|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Rainbow Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 17, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 - 12 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Once you've mastered all the different modes you can play in custom mode and quick play, then you can participate in the x-cross tournament or an event series. X-cross tournament presents the player with a series of individual tournaments with increasing difficulty that eventually culminate in a championship race. This mode is pretty linear, but features a pretty good sampling of all the different modes peppered throughout the tournament rounds. The only real issue here is that none of the modes are completely avoidable, so if there's one mode you're really terrible at, you may need to brush up on your skills a bit because more than likely you'll have to pass that event in some shape or form to move on in tournament mode. It should also be noted that tournament mode is rather expansive and takes quite some time to play through.
If you're wanting a competitive experience, but don't want to delve into the lengthy x-cross tournament mode, then the event series may be a perfect fit. The event series is made up of several pre-selected events in a certain location that you can compete in for cash and prizes. The prizes are pretty useful, but the cash is somewhat worthless in this game. Although there are plenty of things to buy, like gear and new x-cross vehicles, most of these are relatively cheap, and you'll get paid buku cash for each event series you participate in. If you do really well at one event, you could make upwards of $100,000- which could quite possibly be enough to buy most everything in the game.
If you feel like you've had enough time by yourself playing MX vs. ATV: Untamed, then you may be ready for multiplayer. MX vs. ATV: Untamed features a pretty entertaining split screen mode, as well as an engaging online mode. The split screen mode includes the quickplay and custom modes from the single player mode, as well as several fun mini-game modes that include tag, stunt, and lap domination modes, and a version of snake. (You remember the computer game with the apples? Same idea here, don't touch the lines) However there are some mini-game clunkers here too, chief among them being the hockey game that essentially turns your vehicles into hockey players and challenges you to make goals. The hockey mode is extremely frustrating because the control is not there, and honestly, x-cross vehicles weren't made for hockey. Plain and simple.
Online modes are fairly simplistic, which is a good thing. Essentially the online mode consists of what you've already seen in the custom mode. You can pick your event, track, and vehicle, and then wait for people to join your match. And the good thing is that up to twelve people can play online, so if it is a crowd you want, then it's a crowd you'll get!
As far as visuals go, I think this game hits right above average. The 1080p details really show, especially on some of the outdoor tracks, but I can't say this game looks as good as this year's Need for Speed or the upcoming Gran Turismo. But if it's eye candy you want, you definitely won't be disappointed by this title. Just don't expect to be overwhelmed either.
The sound in this game is pretty good, and the soundtrack plays like your local alternative rock station. All the usual suspects are here, including The Used, Reliant K, and My Chemical Romance. The only thing I might have wished more for in terms of the soundtrack would be a little variety. Because while the alternative rock scene might be my personal favorite digs, I know that it's not for everyone. I think a little hip hop, or maybe even some pop could have benefited the soundtrack greatly. Sound effects are pretty good, and feature some pretty realistic engine sounds from the different vehicles. The sound effects are especially useful when you're playing in a race with multiple x-cross vehicles, because you can hear the different types of vehicles around you. A pretty cool detail if you ask me.
As you've probably noticed, I liked MX vs. ATV: Untamed. However I was not amazingly impressed by it. While all the modes are good when taken on just their own merits, I can't overlook the fact that this MX vs. ATV release essentially plays like the previous one, which has the curiously similar title of MX vs. ATV: Unleashed. I would definitely recommend this title to those who haven't had any experience with the series, as it is a great standalone title. But for those with a passion for x-cross who have already experienced MX vs. ATV, this title may not be as unique of an experience as they might want.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer