Quad bikes, then. The preferred mode of fun transport for the hungover Sunday of the bachelor weekend and the farmer's best friend, other than his dog, is an ill-served genre in video games, considering how many racing titles there are available. The second instalment of ATV Quad Power Racing, and the first to appear on Microsoft's Xbox, is here to demonstrate that this innocuous-looking yet hazardous pastime can be enjoyed without fear of flipping the bike and breaking your neck. Let's offroad!
Actually, there's a familiarity about ATV Quad Power Racing 2 that's apparent right from the get-go. The game is another variation on the trick/stunt/pure speed genre, borrowing heavily from EA Sports Big's SSX and Sled Storm, for example. Sled Storm is in fact the closest comparison we can make. Granted, there's not much snow around, but the vehicles are of a similar size, and in one particular mode - Combat - you get to knock seven shades out of your opponents if you're clever enough. Other modes featured include Freestyle, Arcade, Single Race, Time Trial and Career. Of course, Career is the mode where gamers will get most joy out of ATV Quad Power Racing 2. Career mode leads to all kinds of goodies such as the ability to upgrade your machine and unlock characters and stadia. There's also an array of multiplayer modes for the ultra-competitive amongst us, so you don't always have to compete against the professional ATV'ers (is there really such a thing?) such as Tim Farr and Dana Creech. With more than a dozen tracks to tame, and the aggressive stance of your opponents, it's a deep experience, and one which makes a refreshing change from the plethora of land-based racers littering the shelves. It's all in the handling, see?
There's a niche for this kind of thing on the Xbox, and luckily enough for both gamers and Acclaim, that niche is Xbox-shaped.