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Anthony Capone
01 Jul, 2008

ATV Offroad Fury Pro Review

PSP Review | The offroad beckons.
ATV Offroad Fury Pro is the latest in a long line of ATV-themed games to hit the PlayStation Portable. Developed by Climax Studios' and released by Sony Computer Entertainment, the game lives up to the high quality of other recent first-party titles such as SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike and God of War: Chains of Olympus. With solid gameplay, plenty of vehicles and tracks and fine visual presentation, ATV Offroad Fury Pro is one race you'll want to participate in.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro plays excellently, thanks to the solid control setup and vehicle handling system. Vehicles are fairly easy to steer, and tricks aren't too difficult to perform. The learning curve for the more difficult tricks is somewhat steep, but this is to be expected.

There are heaps of wheels on offer in the game, including bikes, buggies, trucks – and naturally – ATVs. Each vehicle handles differently, showing just how much thought has gone into the title's development. Bikes are really light on the racing track, enabling lightening fast turns around corners. By comparison, ATV's are much sturdier, so players may opt for them, though doing so sacrifices manoeuvrability. Cars and trucks give you more of presence on the road, as well as additional pushing power. It's usually better to pick a car or buggy over a truck however, as the latter aren't always as quick and are sometimes unwieldy to drive.

There are many kinds of tracks to race on.

There are many kinds of tracks to race on.
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Developer Climax has included a heap of racing tracks, so there will always be a new road for players to tackle. While the tracks are fun to go out and drive on, there isn't too much variety between them. Nonetheless, racing tracks throw a heap of challenges at aspiring drivers and are always quite nice on the eye.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro's single player campaign simply consists of a long string of races. There is a different championship mode to beat for every separate race type. The championship mode can be further modified to account for factors such as difficulty and vehicle type. This system is rather repetitive, but if you want to experience every set of wheels the game has to offer, a fair amount of time will be spent in the single player campaign.

Climax has incorporated a really nifty feature in the single-player championship mode – the ability to attract and retain in-game sponsors. Players are allowed to work for a maximum of three sponsors at once. You get money depending on how well you perform in races, or how many trick points you generate. However, some sponsors also take money away if you perform poorly. To put it simply, players get finance for finishing in top place, but lose money for finishing last.

It's easier to score monetary bonuses in cars and buggies.

It's easier to score monetary bonuses in cars and buggies.
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In addition to earning finance off sponsors, players are rewarded with money for driving well and beating opponents generally. Money can be put towards acquiring new vehicles and upgrades. While the system for earning money via sponsors requires a little strategy and cunning, the same cannot be completely said for the in-race money system. You get monetary bonuses for performing tricks during races, which by itself is a good incentive. However, it's much easier to get these bonuses in rally cars and buggies, as opposed to ATVs or bikes. Hence, if you want get some finance together quickly to purchase a particular vehicle or upgrade you'll have to race in a car or buggy.

When playing solo, the computer AI is somewhat of a mixed bag. Computer-controlled players zoom back and forth and side to side in front of your vehicle in the straighter sections of the road, making overtaking in these sections quite a challenge. The AI is also good at following the direction of the track and making jumps. However, computer racers can be easily overtaken when turning corners.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro features a track creator, which provides a nice distraction from racing. There aren't too many options to play around with, but it's still a nice addition nonetheless. As an added bonus, players can trade tracks they have created with ATV Offroad Fury 4 on the PlayStation 2. You can also switch vehicles and more between the two games, but unfortunately, PSP and PS2 owners cannot actually race against each other with their respective versions of the game.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro features excellent vehicle models.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro features excellent vehicle models.
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Now that Sony's portable gaming device has been out for a number of years, developers such as Climax have mastered the development of the PSP's visuals. Graphically, ATV Offroad Fury Pro is up there with the best the PlayStation Portable has to offer. Indeed, the game looks more like something you would play on the PS2. We experienced a few framerate hiccups, but these we few and far between. Vehicles pack a great amount of detail, environments and racing tracks are rendered expertly, and racing and crash animations give the impression you're really sitting behind the wheel. Overall, ATV Offroad Fury Pro runs quite smoothly, and is easily one of the best looking racing titles the PlayStation Portable has to offer.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro also features a decent soundtrack, and it will be some time before players find themselves listening to the same song for the second time. However, load times are a little testing, with some tracks taking what seems like a minute to load.

In terms of multiplayer offerings, ATV Offroad Fury Pro supports a maximum of four players in Ad-Hoc and Infrastructure mode. Racing against human opponents is always better then playing against the computer, and this particularly comes across in Climax's latest title. Indeed, we experienced some truly hair-raising and amusing moments in our online play.

ATV Offroad Fury Pro is one of the best racing titles that the PlayStation Portable has to offer. Climax's title offers a heap of vehicles and tracks, with excellent vehicle handling. The single-player championship mode may seem a little repetitive, but it is a decent length and offers the chance to experience every set of wheels the game has to offer. The AI and in-race money system is a little questionable at times, but with fine graphics and multiplayer modes, this game is an excellent package. If you're a fan of racing games or lamenting the PlayStation Portable's recent lack of solid titles, you owe it to yourself to speed off and grab a copy of ATV Offroad Fury Pro.
The Score
Despite a few issues, Climax's game is an excellent first-party title. Solid gameplay, visuals and multiplayer modes makes ATV Offroad Fury Pro one of the best off-road racing titles to hit the PlayStation Portable.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  26/06/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $59.95 AU
Publisher:
  Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre:
  Racing
Year Made:
  2006
Players:
  4

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