MX Vs. ATV Unleashed

Format: PC

4 005209 076135
Age Restrictions: 12+
24 March 2006

Choose from a multitude of rides including ATVs, monster trucks, sand rails and more, and tear through miles of open terrain in the ultimate quest to conquer the off-road. Compete in new racing events, mini-games and massive free world environments featuring hill climbs, machine challenges, gap jumps and short track races. A groundbreaking career mode features MX bikes and ATVs, as the two vehicles collide on the same track to determine racing's best machine. There's rugged outdoor tracks, technical Supercross courses, and a unique combination of the two called SuperMoto. For those in need of testing their limits, freestyle offers four unique modes and introduces the 360 back flip twist. Drive it, fly it, and race it in a complete off-road masterpiece...

I loved MX Unleashed when it was originally launched on the PS2 and those of you familiar with that game will feel right at home with MX Vs. ATV Unleashed. There is a slightly different system for performing back flips and a new stunt variation has been added that allows you to complete 360-degree stunts, but basically everything else is the same.

This updated version of the MX Unleashed series not only allows you to race motocross bikes, but also ATV's - or quad bikes, if you like. This adds something extra to the gameplay, but to be honest I preferred to stick with the bikes. As you progress, you can control unlockable vehicles including sand-rails, monster trucks, bi-planes and even 4x4 golf carts.

Whereas MX Unleashed's freeworld option allowed you to explore large areas of land with rocky areas, with which to perform jumps and stunts, and a number of challenges, when you start MX Vs. ATV Unleashed the environments that you can explore are very dull and they only have a few very bland challenges - which are usually just more races.

There are plenty of extras to unlock in this version, but you start with such a small selection that you are going to have to win a few races before you can unlock the more interesting parts of the game. Those that remember the variation of playable stunts available from the start of MX Unleashed, like the precision jump mode that had the rider attempting to jump onto numerous targets, will be disappointed with the very bland modes available. While you can unlock sections as you go along, it would have been much better if some of these were available from the start.

The most annoying thing about this game is the randomness of who falls off their vehicle when two machines crash. I moaned about it in my review of MX Unleashed and I'm going to moan once again. There is nothing more annoying than to be ahead of the pack, only to be knocked flying because someone else decides to ram you. This happens a little to frequently. Having said that, it's great fun to watch as your opponents go flying while you come off unscathed.

While this is still a pretty cool game I prefer MX Unleashed - it's just more fun and you feel like you're getting somewhere as you complete the challenges.

Ray Thompson

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