|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: Feb. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: RATING||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
If you are a longtime Nintendo fan or even a newcomer to gaming, you may not recognize this franchise. It began as ATV Offroad Fury on the PS2 and quickly became one of the best offroad experiences to be found. Since its first title, there have been numerous iterations and changes, most notably adding just about anything with wheels to compete against the ATVs. Continuing to make changes, this is the first time the franchise makes an appearance on a Nintendo console.
As a Wii title, Untamed puts a motion-sensing controller spin on its already established gameplay mechanics. You are actually given four different control options to choose from, and three make use of gestures. The horizontal and Wii wheel options are fundamentally the same, the only real difference being that one requires you to snap your Wii-mote into the Wii's wheel attachment. In any event, these will both have you tilting the Wii-mote like a steering wheel. Unfortunately, Untamed suffers from the same problems that most racing games have with this control option. Tilting the Wii-mote to steer just isn't precise enough so it leaves you horribly over-steering and fishtailing while trying to compensate.
The vertical option fairs much better and will have you using both the Wii-mote and Nunchuk attachment. You will be able to steer using the analog stick, but you will need to use gestures to preload your jumps and to perform stunts. This was actually my preferred method of control while playing because it seemed like the best marriage between standard and motion-based controls. Pressing the C or Z buttons and gesturing in any direction with the Wii-mote or Nunchuk will allow you to easily pull off the stunts. Still, if you long for a more traditional method of control, Untamed gives you the option of using the classic controller.
No matter what your control preferences are, Untamed is a fairly decent offroad racing experience. You will be able to choose from a multitude of vehicles ranging from MX bikes and ATVs to rail cars and tricked out golf carts. All of these vehicles have benefits and drawbacks, so it is really up to your style of play to determine which you will use. For instance, the MX bikes have incredible steering and get huge air, but it will be much easier to wreck or get taken out. If you are using a rail car, on the other hand, you will be much larger, steer slower, and get less air, but it will be very difficult for you to get taken out. All of these vehicles are fun to use and help to add variety and longevity to the gameplay. The only real disappointment here is that while you can change the way your vehicles look, you can't really change their performance. I'm not really into meticulously tuning vehicles or anything, but having some sort of simplistic upgrades could have been a nice addition.