ATV: Quad Frenzy Review
|Developer: Skyworks Technologies||Publisher: Majesco|
|Release Date: November 22, 2005||Also On: None|
Racing games anymore come in all shapes and sizes. From full-blown simulation racing such as Gran Turismo to a more arcade feel like Need for Speed and even futuristic F-Zero and kart-racing Mario Kart, the entire gamut of possibilities within the genre has been more than covered. All terrain vehicles are no exception, with many racing games having been created involving them. Quad Frenzy, however, is the first such game on the DS. Is it worth playing? Read on.
Quad Frenzy may have been a budget game, but even for a budget game, the graphics in this game look a bit on the basic side. A higher level of realism could have been realized if more time had been put into them, but instead the graphics seem to come across as somewhat of an afterthought. They’re not horribly pathetic though, and they do get the job done sufficiently. The sound effects are typical ATV-racer fare, and the music is nice but unobtrusive. Still, that’s all one can reasonably expect from a budget title, so I have no major complaints in the sound department.
So far as the gameplay goes, this is where everything starts to break down. Quad Frenzy boasts one of the weirdest menu systems I have ever seen, with A advancing through the menus and B going backward. Doesn’t sound so bad until I mention that the menus reloop when you get to an end. When you get to the screen right before the race starts, you don’t hit A to advance to the race, but you hit start to do so, so you’ll have to remember that. Still, that isn’t a big deal, and you’ll get used to it over time.
Once you finally do get to a race, don’t expect this game to be as easy as most. This is not a racing game where you can just hold down the accelerate button the whole time. There are sharp turns, and the controls seem a bit oversensitive in the fact that you can turn too far in a direction far too easily, especially at high speeds. As a result, you’ll often need to slow down to turn corners.
As if this isn’t bad enough, it is also pathetically easy for your guy to fall off of the ATV. Expect to fall off nearly every time you come over a huge hill and forget to correct the balance of your vehicle or do so incorrectly. You can also fall off from running into things or from having opponents run into you. In most games, this wouldn’t be so bad: a couple seconds delay and you’ll be back on the course pointing in the direction you need to go. Not so in this game. In this game, we’re talking about a five-second delay, after which you’re placed back on the track on your ATV in the exact position it was in when you fell off, including what direction you’re facing, whether it be forward, backward, or sideways. I know it’s really an attempt at realism, but it is still annoying.
At least the controls aren’t too bad. Like I said before, they are a bit oversensitive sometimes, but they do what you tell them to. You can accelerate and brake, drift around corners, and you can control the position of your ATV in the air to try for a more balanced landing. As if that isn’t enough, you can even do stunts on your ATVs if you are inclined to do so, and there’s a style mode where this is a necessary feature of what you’re doing.
So far as replay value goes, there are twenty-five courses in the game, five each in five different categories. At the beginning, you’ll only have the first course in each category unlocked for use in the quick race mode, and it will certainly take at least a little while to unlock all of the stages even after you have learned the intricacies of the game well enough to win races. Beyond the quick race mode are a racing season, a style season and also a practice mode. It even boasts multi-card multiplayer for up to four people. So there’s enough here to keep you occupied for a while.
Let me just state the facts. This is a decent game in many respects, especially if you’re patient enough to learn to play it well. The main downside of this game, in fact, isn’t anything in this game, but rather the timing at which this game was released, in the wake of Mario Kart DS. As much as there is to do in this game and as decent of a game as it is, the fact is that, unless you are a diehard fan of ATVs, Mario Kart DS outshines this game in every way. If you already have that and need something else because you’re tired of it, this might be a decent choice if you’re patient enough, but if you are trying to find just one racing game for the system, this probably shouldn’t be it.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||7|
|Written by Martin||Review Guide|