ATV Offroad Fury: Blazing Trails

The year is 2001. The world has just gotten over its second y2k scare and Bill Clinton leaves office. In February, Rainbow Studios released the highly anticipated 4-wheeler game, ATV Offroad Fury for the Playstation 2. With 12 vehicles, 20 some tracks, and a couple race types with 4 player split screen and we had the time of our lives. Only 4 years have passed, and it is time for a handheld.

Although the version is smaller, this game packs a much bigger punch than the original did, in about every department of games. Lets start with the graphics. For a handheld, they are absolutely breathtaking. The environments are large and the length of sight is astonishing. The character models and ATVs are a little jaggie, but in comparison to the other handheld games on the market- get over it! Dust kicks up as you take the bad turn or crash, and so does snow and mud. With 3rd or 1st person viewpoints, you might want to get a bag to carry your pretty little PSP in. Mind getting a little messy? I didn’t think so.

The environments are also interactive. You can move some light barriers, like traffic cones or small rocks, but boulders and some of the larger course guidelines will keep you in the action of the game.

It is amazing what technology develops in 4 years. This handheld version of a console game completely destroys the idea of handhelds being a lackluster, smaller, dumbed down version of a console game. While the Playstation 2 version had only 12 racers, ATV Offroad Fury: Blazing Trails has twice as many. And where the PS2 version had 20 or so tracks, the smaller one has over 30! The PS2 version even had only a few types of environments. What about the PSP version? Let us see: snow, dirt, mud, water, ice, and grass. Looks like Blazing Trails is just the launch title we need to show people that the PSP should not be just looked at by handheld gamers. Did I mention it’s a launch title? It’s a launch title.

And already Sony has discovered the cheese to gamers: playing with other gamers. ATV Offroad Fury: Blazing Trails has support for up to 8 players (2 times as many as the original did) in wireless multiplayer LAN or even network play through a wireless hotspot. Bored during class? Pull out your PSP and show that city-slicker what real offroading is.

One of the new additions to the current ATV games on the PS2 are fun little mini-games that you can play with your friends. Rest assured they will be included in the handheld version of the game, along with Career Mode, Race Mode, and Freestyle Mode.

If the console version is any indication, this game should have terrific audio and soundtracks. While Sony has not announced a soundtrack, previous games included songs by bands like System of a Down and Alien Ant Farm. The good alternative rock.

ATV Offroad Fury: Blazing Trails is being published by Sony Computer Entertainment of America, and being developed by Climax Group Incorporated. It will ship alongside the PSP here in the United States on March 24, 2004.