Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: MX Vs. ATV Unleashed

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageMost of us believed, at least once in our long childhood day’s, that when we grew up and obtained the obligatory motorcycle certificate, we were literally one step away from winning the next racing championship, possibly beating Biff; your old school rival on the way.  Unfortunately most of us soon learned that getting from home to work without getting ‘cut-up’ and almost killed by a blasted lorry was challenging enough, without getting six other people to race you at it.

Luckily, a couple of people in times past had this problem too; they used their motorcycles toElectronic Theatre Image take them to their pokey little games development office. These few, wonders of their age, went on to produce games where you were sitting on a back of a two-wheeled engine with nothing but thick skin and a hard head to stay alive, racing four other similar idiots, jumps became the challenge, but falling off just entertained your mates instead of damaging your insides. Thus started a genre that has spanned decades, starting from the very beginning of virtual life progressing to the present day evolved form.  Many, many companies have attempted to conquer the motorbike market through the days, specific title’s that sold massively were, ExciteBike on the NES, Road Rash on the Mega-Drive and MotoGP on practically every format under the sun, ExciteBike64 and the Moto X series on the PlayStation.

Now, on the current generation of consoles we have another huge range of bike games to consider, although one that should catch any virtual bikers attention, is Electronic Theatre Image the latest of the already well established MX and ATV ranges from THQ, in fact it’s the game to unite both the MX and ATV ranges into one brilliant little package.

The concept, for those unfamiliar with the series, is to progress through championships, earning the most points each round, you can do this with a combination of out tricking your opponents (with the large range of moves and tweaks available) and a high placing, or by winning every heat. An enormous variety of accessories to customize your rider and bike/All Terrain Vehicle with is obtainable by winning these championships, some of these can make a difference to driving, while others allow you to customize your character more, adding hours of replay value to the game.

In this game there are two modes of transport immediately available with many more unlockable, truck and dirt buggy racing being two of my favourites, every vehicle handles slightly differently, though not to the delicacy of some driving simulators, but this keeps with the arcade-feel from the early biking games. The jumps can take a little getting used to, but once accomplished, you get a burst of satisfaction every time you manage to get your rider safely down Electronic Theatre Image from his 30ft drop, twirling tricks off his seat as he does so.

The graphics of this title are better than the average game of the moment, giving you the opportunity to check out all the little mods you’ve put on your vehicle, whilst also being able to see spectacular views of your riders many ghastly crashes. The option of a more cinematic camera by merely pressing R1 was a stroke of genius, and make the most gut-wrenching crashes look even more painful.  The stunning skylines and the amazing dust effect when landing or just tearing it down a straight clearly demonstrate THQ’s experience in the field.

The sound is good, all engine noises and suspension creaks and cranks seem relevant enough to make it seem real, although I don’t claim to be an expert.  The sound track has the pumping sounds of Nickelback and Black Eyed Peas, for those of that taste.

Nothing is bad about this game, even the little niggles found in other huge titles of the genre seem to have been ironed into the learning curve. Only minutes after finding a problem you’ll realise that the one holding the pad is causing it, the arcade-feel isn’t delicate, but it is very precise. Everything in this game has been geared towards sheer enjoyment for all who still dream of a biking career, even those that just want to imitate Ozzy and see how many times they can chuck their riders off an ATV.

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