Review: ATV Quad Power Racing 2

ATV was one of a handful of titles that selected journalists were treated to a preview of during Nintendo's Christmas event late last year and I have to say that the early version we played was great fun and looked very promising. As a result my anticipation of the final product was reasonably high so this was the first disk to find its way to my GameCube from the package that the postman delivered this morning. The only downside that I can foresee is the barrage of race themed games that are being released threaten to overwhelm Nintendo's latest platform and every developer and publisher is still overshadowed by the excellent Burnout, which is soon to receive a sequel. Obviously this isn't a huge problem for Acclaim as they will also publish the aforementioned title but does ATV offer us Cube owners anything different from the normal racing fodder?


Visually ATV is a bit of a mixed bag although the more important aspects of the game appear to have been given the most attention. This means, of course, the tracks and you'll find a number of these reflecting very different off road environments including woods, snow, swamp, etc with associated traps and pitfalls. Whilst they're certainly not even close to what the GameCube is capable of they do a fairly good job of recreating their given terrain with spot effects such as lens flare and water splashing up on the camera adding some nice touches. The bikes and more importantly, the riders, are a little on the strange side though and a collision of any description usually means your rider flying though the air in a less than realistic manner.


The audio in ATV can neatly be divided in half - the soundtrack and the sound effects. The former is without a doubt a game highlight as the developers have managed to snag some excellent tunes to accompany the on-screen action. These include everything from Godsmack and the Rollins Band to Boxcar Racer and Bionic Jive and as they're pulled from the disk they're all of outstanding quality. The sound effects, in comparison, are functional at best and include the usual noises of engines whirring and the banging or crashing of the odd collision. This leaves you with the distinct impression that these 'effects' have been sourced from a generic library rather than designed specifically for ATV. It all works well on a very simplistic level and thankfully the bands generally drown the bike sounds out anyway. Problem solved, as they say.


ATV is quite simply packed out with gaming options and even the racing can be approached from three very different angles. 'Arcade' and 'Single Race' let you sample some of the many tracks and ATVs available and they really do provide the 'quick fix' that you want when you have a few minutes to kill. More serious racers should head for the 'Career Mode', which is basically the Championship section, taking you through various and increasingly more difficult seasons. This is all about points so if you fail to gain the number required you have to attempt the entire season again. Initially this isn't too difficult but by the time you reach the third round everyone appears to have a more powerful bike and greater skill on (and off) the track.

It's generally not enough though to just come first in order to gain those all important points, so in order to become the greatest ATV rider you'll also have to indulge in a few tricks. While the basics are explained in the tutorial section it's only by pulling off some rather impressive mid-air combos that you'll really start to rack up the points. Obviously it's a bit of a gamble as to what you dedicate most time to because while you're spinning around on your bike you could be losing valuable places that will affect your overall score. There's one rather underhand way to avoid other ATVs passing you though and that's to simply kick the other riders off their bikes. This will gain you a few valuable places on more than one occasion but beware that the other riders are trying to do exactly the same to you.

ATV isn't all about racing though and one of the most enjoyable sections of the game is the well-designed 'Challenge Mode'. This is split into two different types of challenges (Ground and Tower) with the object being to complete a series of objectives in a given time limit. The faster this is achieved the better the medal awarded and the more riders and new ATVs unlocked. The Ground section covers many of the basics including tricks and slaloms whilst Tower requires a lot more skill as you attempt to negotiate some incredibly narrow platforms high above the ground. There's also the Freestyle Mode, which takes place in a purpose built indoor arena. It's here you're encouraged to pull off a multitude of insane tricks in order to rack up those points. This really is madness without the danger and there's only your imagination to limit just how far you can push your machine.


Any hint of confusion is sorted out thanks to the wonderfully designed ATV Academy, which is the first section you'll encounter. This takes you step by step through all the various controls and even explains how to perform the tricks in order to gain valuable points. Even without this though the learning curve is perfectly pitched and you should feel right at home with the controls and courses almost instantly and as the opposition becomes more skilled a more sophistication type of ATV is unlocked.


A: Accelerate.
Y:Look Back.
Control Stick: Steering.


This is hugely dependent on just how long you wish to stay with the game as success in almost every aspect of the game unlocks another section, course or ATV. This in itself is a huge incentive to have 'just one more try' but once you've unlocked everything there's little incentive to revisit the single player option again. However there is also a two-player option which, to be honest, is a lot more fun especially when you knock the opposition off their bike.

Final Say:

While there are better racing games available there's little in the way of competition for ATV. The first play through is genuinely enjoyable and the two-player option just about as good as it gets. Given the number of bikes on the track it's a shame that a four-player option wasn't included but any multiplayer option is better than none. There is another 'off road' game available this month, again courtesy of Acclaim, based on the classic Paris to Dakar race but as I've yet to even give it a spin this is, for now at least, undoubtedly the best title of its type available for the Cube.

N-Europe Final Verdict

A welcome addition to the growing number of available racers. Best 'off roader' yet.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio4
  • Lifespan3
Final Score



Well Pitched Learning Curve
2 Player


Trick Control System
A Little Too Short

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