13 July 2019 | owlfy
Surpasses all previous ATV/MX games
Developed by / Rainbow Studios
Published by / Sony
Release date / Feb 5, 2001
Introduction - If you have any experience with Rainbow Studios you know they're legendary when it comes to MX/ATV games. Their track record speaks for itself. They developed Motocross Madness 1/2, ATV Off-road 1/2, MX Unleashed, and MX Vs. ATV Unleashed and still continue to develop games even after being bought from THQ by Nordic Games. This was their first Off-road game for consoles and probably the best MX or ATV game up until that time period.
Graphics - At first I wasn't amazed by the graphics but the more I played the further I appreciated the games style. It certainly is an upgrade from the PS1/N64 similar type games and for 2001 I'm rather impressed. The terrain seems to merge together nicely with the foliage and the mountains and various objects. Each track appears different in color, and the sunlight and textures really pop out on certain maps. Nothing is too sharp and there is plenty to see and explore. Some tracks are massive and they have skillfully placed jumps, houses, parked cars and bridges to have fun on. I love exploring the game and finding secrets, easter eggs, or glitches. Rainbow Studios really went above and beyond to make this game nearly flawless. The four-wheelers look decent but are tad bit fuzzy and the exterior frames of each vehicle seem to be all merged together without much detail. Same goes for the riders. I could barely recognize a muffler or any other small sections of the ATV if I chose a bright color like red because the components blend together way too much.
Controls - Very simple to pick up and play. X controls acceleration and left analog stick controls your steering. For bigger jumps you flick down on the left analog stick at the base of a jump and snap it forward when leaving the jump. The tricks are easy to pull of with the triangle and square buttons allowing you to use a variety of tricks. My only gripe is no back flip seems to be present in this version. You can also choose a variety of camera angles to your liking.
Music/Sound - A lot of Grunge, Post-Grunge, and Nu-Metal. Bands like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Anthrax, Sevendust, and Primus. If that's not your style you can turn the music down. I usually turn it down so I can hear the engines even though the engines pretty much all sound the same. You will hear your guy/girl grunt and make other noises when you crash or hit other vehicles. Also, the crowd cheers when you make a huge jump or pass other opponents even if there is no crowd present. It's almost like having your own real-life laugh track only cheering.
Gameplay - The reason you play the game. Obviously you must advance in career mode to unlock tracks, but the biggest disappointment is that there is only one ATV to unlock to my knowledge. It's the fastest and has the best stats so I suppose it make sense. Other modes are Nationals, Supercross, Enduro, and Freestyle. You can practice on pretty much any course and mode or you can do hot laps/time trials to beat the best times. There is no difficulty mode to choose from but I found the set difficulty a little challenging but not overly impossible. Career mode doesn't take very long so you can have all the courses and ATV's within a few hours. You can also create/edit your own waypoint race on any track but you can't race computer players on them. You and a friend could split screen it but don't expect to race if you're by yourself unless you do a time trial. You can edit it to make it very difficult or very easy and adds replaybility to the game.
Final Thought - Definitely a must have if you enjoy racing and off-road games. It doesn't have all the features of the later versions but it's nice to see where it all started. It's extremely enjoyable to ride around and freeroam and see what you can discover. With Two-Players I imagine it to be even more exciting. Unfortunately I don't have any gaming friends to test it out with but it looks like a blast from what I've seen on YouTube. The game is dirt cheap now and worthy of a play.