|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Incinerator / Rainbow||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. 16, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-6||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Some diversion is offered in the other modes such as the Challenge, Hill Climb, and Ski Jump mode which are essentially mini-games. In the Challenge mode, you'll have some objectives to complete that will test your abilities to compensate for the control system. Cornering on the ATVs with the throttle on full is likely to cause you to powerslide right into the scenery. Having to cut the gas when making a sharp turn will solve the problem but at the expense of slowing you down.
The Ski Jump mode really pushes the floaty physics to the max. This is a huge jump where you can really catch some air as you're launched into the stratosphere. For making money, this mode can't be beat. Cash will help you with upgrades, outfits, and new bikes and quads. But if you want to buy a monster truck or dune buggy, it's going to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. It will take you a long friggin' time to accumulate that much dough in the standard modes, but you can expedite your earnings by catching lots of air and landing safely in the Ski Jump mode. Keep in mind that these other unlockable vehicles are only used for superfluous riding. The golf carts and the dune buggies actually feel better than the bikes or ATVs. I guess it's because you don't expect much from a golf cart, and the sand has a different feel to it with less in the way of jumps or sharp turns.
Preloading for jumps is easy and effective, for both bikes and ATVs. The clutching for the bikes is smooth, and powersliding is an essential tool. It's not so easy to pull off on the ATVs, as it tends to be more difficult to control. Stunts are easy to pull off thanks to the extra long, and unnatural, hang time. But that's the way things are so you might as well get used to it. You certainly won't complain about the extra air too much when performing the Combo challenges in the Freestyle mode. I really didn't notice any difference in handling when I upgraded the suspension on my ATV. Other upgrades that are more noticeable are the visual ones such as graphics kits, exhaust systems, and sponsor-sponsored apparel.
The graphics are far too simplistic for the PS2, which further supports my claim that this game was not a priority for the system. The colors are weak, and some of the tracks are very dark in sections. The textures can be repetitive and blurry. Some of the environments are so fake looking that they remind me of exhibits in a mall. Stiff and jerky animations, as well as huge load times add to the general lack of production values. Most of the tunes also belong in a museum. I love rock, but the tunes here lean heavily on the alternate punk fringe of yesteryear. You can pick and choose some tunes on the jukebox menu, but eventually you're going to have to hear them all since you can't delete or skip any particular selection. The engine sounds are good, as are the sound effects.
Now that I've had to time to think about it, it seems that the only reason that MX vs. ATV Untamed for the PS2 exists is to force players to purchase the superior version on the superior PS3 system.
CCC Senior Writer