SONY PSP REVIEW: ATV OFFROAD FURY: BLAZIN' TRAILS
Like a midget Cage Match at a local tractor pull, ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails really packs 'em in. I'm talking about features - not rednecks.

Blazin' Trails includes tons of tracks, unlockables, on and offline modes, mini-games and customizing options in addition to an auto save and waypoint editor. Don't forget about the racing and the large amount of tricks that you can pull off in the air.

It's going to take a little bit more practice to get the hang of this ATV game than any of the PS2 titles. The controls are not totally smooth which will hinder some of the deft moves you may have cultivated on those other ATV games. Even when you do get used to it you will always be aware of the compromise.

Any sense of freedom or openness that you experience is quickly quashed by the unforgiving physics and framerate drop. When you think about how much this game does offer on this new handheld system it's quite amazing, but the problem I see that we're always going to run into is that it's so close to the PS2 that it will always be compared to the PS2. That's something the developers are going to have to live with if they're going to release games that have already become entrenched in the PS2's roster.

Taking bumps too quickly can cause you to lose control of your ATV. Likewise, taking corners tightly can flip you over or throw you off the track. There seems to be a slight delay in the controls when you execute a sharp turn. Getting unstuck or right-side-up can take a bit of time and greatly decrease any lead you may have gained on your opponents. Unlike the PS2 version these ATVs don't have any real sense of weight. They seem unable to really grab hold of the dirt for traction.

Online play is restricted to four players as opposed to six. That's fine with me because even with four there is some serious slowdown. I'd hate to see what six would look like. Graphically the game also suffers. The models are blocky and some of the textures are fuzzy, especially the ground textures which make it hard to see ruts and small bumps.

You can choose your online opponents, at least in terms of skill, by determining to play only those within your ranking. You can set up a buddy list for those that you know are within your skill level and send those you know to be inferior and superior to an ignore list. Tons of stats are available online including the ghost data of the top ten players so that you can follow their every move for training purposes. Customs paint jobs are also available for those with superior rankings which will instantly let everyone know you're a contender - at least until the cheat codes come out.

Blazin' Trails may suffer from some control and graphics problems but it may not be fair to compare it to a PS2 version. It's loaded with modes and is a relatively deep game for a racer. You can still do a lot of tricks with it but overall the racing experience is hampered by its mechanical shortcomings.

PReview by Vaughn

Rainbow Studios started it all with their wildly entertaining ATV Offroad Fury, which I remember writing was the first PS2 game actually worth buying. Unfortunately for PS2 owners the game was released months after the launch of the PS2.... Climax takes over the development reigns with a continuation of the series which just happens to feature wireless play. Nice.

While the ATV Offroad games on the PS2 have fallen into repetition, we're hoping the handheld version will breath some new life into a once cool series. With the sheer amount of gameplay options and modes included, it looks like that wish just might come true. Look for this one at launch time!

Press:

Intense, free-roaming, off-road racing takes on a whole new meaning as gamers will be able to blaze their own trail, anytime, anywhere with ATV Offroad Fury Blazin’ Trails for the PSP handheld entertainment system. Supporting multiple players via wireless multiplayer connectivity, riders will be able to choose from more than 24 highly detailed ATVs as they tear it up on more than 30 unique environments with six distinct terrain types including snow, dirt, mud, ice, water and grass. During both single and multi-player gameplay, gamers will be able to see from both first and third-person perspectives as they cruise through visually stunning backgrounds featuring water and mud effects along with fully interactive objects and instances such as ramps, tires, cones and trees.

ATV Offroad Fury Blazin’ Trails for the PSP provides gamers several gameplay options including a training course, and competitions in several race modes such as race, freestyle, career or any of the various mini-games.

Features:

  • Multiplayer Gameplay – Gamers can compete locally against friends or other race fans from around the country in head-to-head play via Wireless Multiplayer Connectivity.
  • Six race modes including: Practice, Lap Attack, Single Race, Championships, Freeride and multiple Multiplayer games.
  • Practice – Players may ride any available course for an unlimited duration. The game will also include a training course and waypoint editor.
  • Lap Attack – Players turn in their best time and race against the clock to better it while mastering the track before race time.
  • Single Race – Players compete against each other or the artificial intelligence on any available course.
  • Championships – Players compete in a variety of championships to earn a gold, silver or bronze trophy and unlock new ATVs, tracks and other goodies. Mode includes a new short track and One-day events.
  • Freeride – Players drive anywhere, as long as they want, on any available environment without lap count or time restrictions.
  • Mini-games – 10 mini-games including: King off the Hill, Treasure Hunt, Tag, Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Rings of Fire, Ghost Chasers, Bomb Dodge, Graffiti.
  • 24 highly detailed ATV’s
  • Vehicle tuning system allowing players to change tire type and gear ratios.
  • Up to 20 customizable component parts for both your bike and rider along with color designs and logos to place on panels and rider liveries - showing rider experience in events.
  • New Trading Card System – With an all-new Trading Card System, users will be able to win, trade, or share new ATV’s, Riders, Rider Gear and more.
  • Garage mode – stores a player’s complete progression and unlocked data, including vehicles, component parts and rider liveries.
  • Tricks – Gamers can pull off 34 freestyle tricks including combos and linkers.
  • Visually stunning backgrounds with water and mud effects and fully interactive objects and instances such as ramps, tires, cones and trees.
  • Six distinct terrain types – Snow, Dirt, Mud, Ice, Water and Grass – each with distinct handling properties.
Click For Media
System: PSP
Dev: Climax
Pub: SCEA
Release: Apr 2005
Players: 1 - 4
PReview by Dean
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
2.5
CONTROL
2.0
MUSIC/FX
2.0
VALUE
3.5