Despite the influx of great racing games early in its life, the PSP has recently suffered something of a draught when it comes to strong racers. Perhaps Sony saw this coming, because here they are with ATV Offroad Fury Pro, one of the best portable racing games to come out all year. It's a game jam packed with courses, multiplayer mode and extra content, the kind of game you can play for weeks without seeing and doing everything. It has a few technical problems, but if you're the type of person that has grown sick of Burnout Legend, WipEout Pure and Ridge Racer, then ATV Offroad Fury Pro should be your next purchase.
ATV Offroad Fury Pro is the follow up to 2005's ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Tails, and in true sequel fashion they decided to cram as much new stuff as they could into this small UMD. Trust me on this, ATV Offroad Fury Pro offers more content than any other portable racing game ever; there are an insane amount of tracks, game modes, multiplayer games, and mini-games. If you're the type of person who loves to get gold on ever track and unlock all the secrets, then you might as well bolt the door and cut all connection to the outside world, because you're going to be at it for months before you do and see everything.
Not that this is a bad thing, in a lot of ways the sheer amount of content works in the game's favor. It's going to take you a lot of races before you get tired of the different ways you can play the game, and even when you do get tired of it all you can jump over to the game's various mini-games and the excitement of the online mode. Make no mistake about it, this may be a portable game on a small PSP, but this little racer has more content than most console-sized games.
ATV Offroad Fury Pro doesn't deviate too much from the tried and true game play of other off road racers. This is a game where you will have the opportunity to drive all kinds of different vehicles against other off road vehicles. This means that you will be able to drive a motorcycle versus a truck, race a traditional ATV against a buggy and so on so forth. This game has something for all kinds of driving game fans, from those who love doing tricks and getting points to those who like the precision of a traditional vehicle.
The game comes with a staggering amount of different vehicles to race. While most of the tracks are geared towards ATVs and MX bikes, I found I had the most fun with some of the more obscure rides, like the snowmobile. The problem with having such a huge amount of vehicles is that they tend to all feel the same after awhile. Sure each vehicle has a few of its own quirks, but only the MX bikes feel radically different from the rest of the bunch. Thankfully this isn't much of a problem because you'll be far too busy actually racing the five dozen tracks. It wasn't until late in the game that I started to notice the problems with the vehicles, which is ultimately a minor problem that will hopefully be fixed when the inevitable sequel hits stores.
Along with a crazy amount of different vehicles, ATV Offroad Fury Pro also features a large amount of different types of races. You get the standard supercross, rally racing, freestyle, and a few others. These different race types end up making a huge difference to the way the game is played and the type of tracks you race on. Some of the game modes will have you racing a certain amount of times with a certain vehicle, while others will have you performing tricks and various tasks on a giant open course. Going through these different modes and experimenting with what you can and cannot do is half the fun of ATV Offroad Fury Pro.
As you win races and complete tasks you will earn credits that can be traded in to buy vehicle upgrades and even new rides. This is the type of thing we've seen done in plenty of other driving games, but ATV Offroad Fury Pro does a good job of constantly presenting items you want to earn. But there's a problem with the credit system, as you play through the game you will find that some vehicles give you more credits than others, making for a somewhat unbalanced money system. It's not an understatement to say that some vehicles will give you five times the credits, so one has to wonder if there's any reason left to actually play some of those other vehicles.
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