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ATV Offroad Fury 2
Score: 96%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Rainbow Studios
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2 (1 - 4 w/ Multitap, i-Link, or Network Adapter)
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:
If you were to hop on you ATV, find a countryside, and roar around it like you own the place, you'd essentially be staring down the exhaust pipe of ATV Offroad Fury 2. The areas you get to tool around in are so expansive and lush, you'd swear you were outside breathing fresh air as you sit in front of the tube in your living room. It's not just that, though, but the overall speed of the game that is impressive. This is outstanding, considering that these huge areas have 5 ATVs racing at the same time. ATV 2 definitely ain't your grandpa's racer.

Unless you mess around with the sound settings, you probably won't notice the engine sounds and the like. Depending on your personality, this could be bad, or it could be good. The reason you may not care is because, instead, you will be treated to the outrageous sounds of bands like Korn, Cypress Hill, and System of a Down. Trust me, the music in ATV Offroad Fury 2 is diverse enough to please even the most fickle of crowds... well, unless you're a knee-slappin' country boy, that is.

Here's the scoop. ATV Offroad Fury 2 is one of the better racing games on the market today. Its simple controls and impressive landscapes offer much more than your typical drive-in-circles racing game. In addition to running around the track, the developers at Rainbow Studios have implemented a great control scheme that allows you to hit jumps (and more importantly, land them) perfectly with a little timing and coordination. To do this, you will need to snap the left analog stick at the right time, and you'll be airing out with great finesse.

While in the air, you have the option to trick, too. If you choose to do so, you'll be treated to very easy-to-use, simple trick controls. A few quick button presses, and you'll be able to groove like you've been defying gravity all of your life. Of course, in the Freestyle gameplay modes, you'll need to learn these controls to score big. In the Championship racing modes, you'll actually earn points toward unlocking new bikes, levels, and equipment with each trick you pull off.

In addition to the great single-player gameplay offered in ATV 2, you'll also be treated to some great multiplayer modes, both online and offline. Here you'll find your standard racing and tricking modes, but you will also find a quirky game that had me hooked from the first time I played it... namely HOCKEY. Hockey on ATVs, you ask? Trust me... it's a blast and worth the price of admission on its own.

ATV Offroad Fury 2 offers two modes of difficulty, and within you will move up in the ranks of a Championship season, which gets progressively more difficult. Fortunately, the easy controls and simple nature of racing games makes playing ATV Offroad Fury 2 fairly easy. Success will, for the most part, come down to knowing your course and taking advantage of the little nuances of each individual jump that you face.

Game Mechanics:
ATV Offroad Fury 2 controls like a dream. Whether you're tackling simple jumps or trying to pull off a 3-trick combo, the controller in your hands feels perfectly natural. There is one exception, however. As a Tony Hawk player, I tend to automatically grab the shoulder buttons when I try to trick. The main 'modifier' button on ATV 2 is the L1 button. This is fine, so far.

The problem that arises is that if you combine the L1 button with the R1 button, it's like performing a reset on the track, which accidentally happened to me more times than I like to admit. Believe me, when you go to pull off that unbelievable trick over the finish line, and you are all of a sudden sitting at the start line, no longer in first place, it can get very frustrating, very quickly.

With that minor (well, major, if you look at it honestly) control problem aside, the rest of ATV Offroad Fury 2 handles like a dream. Any racing fans out there will want to check this one out, especially those into online gaming. Even people that are only in to multiplayer games will want to rent ATV Offroad Fury 2, if only to check out the outrageously fun hockey mode.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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