On track for a whole lot of fun

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

MAD RAC­ERS

$ 15.95 ( Re­viewed on PS3)

★★★★■ I MAY well have put thou­sands of kilo­me­tres on the clock in all- ter­rain ve­hi­cles in video games over the years, but I’ve only just re­cently had my first real- life ATV ex­pe­ri­ence. So I can at­test how much fun these off- road­ers re­ally are to bomb around the bush in.

Rather than tak­ing an authen­tic ap­proach to this four- wheeled all­ter­rain sport, though, this new ar­cade style ATV racer throws the laws of physics out the win­dow, and turns the adrenalin level up to 11.

The game’s tour­na­ment mode, for the most part is stan­dard fare, where com­pet­ing in a se­ries of races un­locks – you guessed it – more tracks and lo­ca­tions. But the thrills and spills of the rac­ing is where the game shines.

It’s pedal- to- the- metal rac­ing, where one tiny er­ror on the track can cost you a check­ered flag, mak­ing it all the more sat­is­fy­ing when you do cross the line first, and in one piece.

Cru­cial speed boosts can be earned by per­form­ing im­pres­sive aerial stunts, as well as col­lect­ing boost to­kens. Spe­cial blue to­kens are also scat­tered throughout the cour­ses that recharge the boost and un­lock handy short cuts.

Aside from the reg­u­lar pole po­si­tion rac­ing, there are achieve­ments to un­lock, plus a hand­ful of other race modes. A va­ri­ety of ATVs are avail­able to jump be­hind the han­dle­bars of, each fea­tur­ing dif­fer­ent strengths and weak­nesses. The paint jobs of these are com­pletely cus­tomis­able, which comes in handy when you want to stand out against other rac­ers on­line. This op­tion ex­tends to the riders too and you can se­lect from a hand­ful of dif­fer­ent out­fits.

This is about as deep as you can ex­pect to delve into Mad Rac­ers. There’s no sto­ry­line in­ter­wo­ven into the race ac­tion, no Hol­ly­wood- style cut scenes, or even a race track ed­i­tor to be found. In this re­spect, the fun is short lived, how­ever, in the same way ca­sual games are ideal for that quick gam­ing fix, Mad Rac­ers de­liv­ers adrenalin- packed rac­ing that will fill those brief mo­ments when you’re wait­ing for your TV show.

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