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ATV Offroad Fury 3
Score: 63%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Climax Group
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 Ė 2 (3 Ė 4 Multitap/1 Ė 6 Online)
Genre: Racing/ Online

Graphics & Sound:
This is my first time playing the ATV Offroad Fury series, and I must say, when I could play the game (more on that later), I seemed to enjoy myself. Several summers ago, Iíd go riding on my friendís ATV up north in Minnesota. Granted, I wasnít flying off jumps and what have you, but ATV Offroad Fury 3 did take me back to simply riding an ATV. The scenery you ride around in is the most visual aspect, because thatís where you're driving. Whether youíre just riding around the course or freestyling it up in the forest, the landscape around you is gorgeous. The riders and ATVs as well look pretty realistic, as do the animations for the countless number of tricks you can perform.

Instead of just listening to a bunch of ATVs drive around the entire time, ATV Offroad Fury 3 features a large assortment of music tracks. Everything from rock to country, with a little something in between, is represented in an enjoyable soundtrack. In fact, the folks at Climax sent over a sample CD featuring seven songs on the game. Itís nothing big, since there are more than seven songs in the actual soundtrack, but it was a good mix that gave me an idea of the gameís music.


Gameplay:
I can only imagine ATV Offroad Fury 3ís gameplay is similar to that of previous versions. This being my first time with the series, I found the handling to be rather addictive at times. Sure, the tricks seem to be more arcade-like than realistic, but sometimes thatís the fun. Pulling off the stunts felt a lot like the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, where tricks will get noticed, and combos will get you points. Oh by the way, you sometimes have to race around the track too.

There are plenty of different modes and events that come with Offroad Fury 3. For the events, you can play at either Amateur or Pro Class status (being the more difficult). Here, you can play in Supercross, Nationals, Enduro, Short Track, Freestyle, Freestyle Objective, and Olympics. Each one basically challenges your skills on the ATV in a variety of ways, whether it be handling corners and jumps, to your ability to hit targets or pull off sick stunts.

As for the modes, you can either play in Single Event fashion, Championship, Multiplayer, or Online. Championship is the big one where you can unlock a whole lot of things, including tracks and Multiplayer options. As like many other racing games, the more points and wins you get, the better the upgrades you can buy, which will definitely be needed for those tougher courses (either when racing or freestyling). You can also edit together your own track in the Enduro Waypoint Editor.


Difficulty:
There are two levels of difficulty for Offroad Fury 3: Normal and Expert. However, nothing comes easy in either level. Even on the Normal difficulty level, youíll have to go through several races and other modes many times before completing the tasks. Also, for those that are new to the series, or just want a refresher course, you can learn the basics of the game by going through the Training mode. Here youíll learn about powersliding, simple tricks, and difficult combos.

Game Mechanics:
So if youíre wondering why I gave ATV Offroad Fury 3 such a low score, hereís why: I wasnít able to play a whole lot of the game. Not because it was that bad, but because the game wouldnít run. Countless times, instead of loading the game, my TV would instead just sit in black. As a result, I wasnít able to play the game whenever I wanted to. Now, before you go accusing my PS2 of not working, bear in mind the fact that this hasnít happened with any other game or DVD Iíve played on my PS2. So whether I was sent a bad copy, or this is a reoccurring problem for others that play the game, not being able to load the game dropped the score severely.

When I was able to play the game, the controls werenít too tough to figure out. The tricks were easy to manage, and controlling the ATV wasnít especially hard. Loading time (heh) didnít take too long, and my memory card wasnít bogged down. And whether I was alone or had six racers at the same time, the game never lagged.

My honest opinion is for people to rent this game before buying. Iíd hate for someone to drop $40 and then not have the game work on a consistent basis.


-Red Dawg, GameVortex Communications
AKA Alex Redmann

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