Start your engines ATV fans, because Climaxâ€™s latest title in the long-running series, ATV Offroad Fury Pro, has hit the dirt speeding on the PlayStation Portable.
As with a lot of games in the genre, it can be easy to get knocked off motorbikes or ATVs, so there are a few basics for beginners to pick up before hitting the races. Luckily this game includes a training mode that contains tips such as navigating tight corners and a variety of jumping techniques to avoid crashing. Some of these exercises are unforgiving, with failure coming from the slightest mistake made, such as an accidental wheelie before a jump. Fortunately none of the training exercises are compulsory and players can skip straight to the racing after a few runs.
Once the training is out of the way, players can jump into the Championship mode where they choose up to three sponsors and try to meet their requirements for bonuses such as more funding and free gear. The requirements of each sponsor vary, with some looking out for showmanship, while others are less demanding and just want you to come in first, second or third place. Depending on who you pick there are some great deals to be struck.
The free gear is useful when customising your rider as you can save your cash for vehicle upgrades. If sponsor gear isnâ€™t to your liking, however, you can pick sponsors that will give you cash to browse the shop for new riding gear and vehicles to unlock or upgrade.
As you customise your vehicles in the garage, their respective stat increases are shown in real time so you know exactly the kind of boost you will get - be it in horse power, cornering or weight. To further pimp your ride you can change the colours and logos on each vehicle and your riding gear. Now itâ€™s time to hit the dirt in a vehicle of your choice.
When it comes to picking the race you can select from a variety of modes and courses to earn your credits and satisfy your sponsors. Each league has two classes - Amateur and Pro - with four and five rounds of races respectively. However, the latter difficulty must be unlocked along with many of the other races in the easier mode.
AI drivers are fairly competent and wonâ€™t be shy about performing stunts, resulting in the occasional crash. Although challenging, they arenâ€™t unrealistically flawless racers either. Between each event and round you will receive emails from your sponsors telling you if you have missed out on a bonus and what your contracts entail.
Once youâ€™ve unlocked everything in the Championship section, you can dive into any race from the single event mode to enjoy a quick sprint around the track. Just like in Championship mode, each event is played out in a specific vehicle type; Snowcross uses the snow mobiles while the others use either the ATVs or buggies.
If youâ€™re in the mood to customise a track, ATV Offroad Fury Pro features two styles of custom track editor: the light and the heavy. The light track editor is easy to pick up and acts to ease players into editing before they get into the heavy one, which allows for more difficult tracks with narrow ruts and crossover jumps. Each one sports a reasonably detailed view of each track piece and an intuitive interface that includes a zoom to get a closer look over every inch of the track to make sure you get the best course possible.
When the dust settles on ATV Offroad Fury Pro you'll find a complete package (for a PlayStation Portable title) all the way from the track editor to the selection of vehicles, tracks and sponsorship. Itâ€™s worth a look for fans of the genre and even someone looking for a well-rounded racing experience on the Sony handheld.