Dirty Bike Racing Games has always been available with Excitebike . In the late 90’s and early 2000’s the Motocross Madnessappeared, which took racing with dirty engines to a new level and later became the MX Unleashed. . ATV Offroad Fury was introduced at about the same time that the players started using ATVs. It didn’t take long before the games were merged into one that would become the MX franchise against the ATV. The legacy of these games will last for decades. The Nintendo Switch is now the latest iteration of Rainbow Studio with the designation MX versus ATV All Out. How has the game evolved over the past 20 years and is it still leading the off-road racing genre?
MX vs ATV All Out is a semi-arcade off-road race where players race, jump and stunt on motorcycles, ATVs and tools in the new UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicles). As a teenager I spent countless hours playing MX Unleashed and ATV Offroad Fury. I enjoyed breathing the huge air, doing some aerobatics and hoping to land. These games simply fell into the category of extreme sports, which at the time encompassed the entire industry. I admit it’s been a long time since I’ve chosen one of the new models. When All Out was announced, I thought it was time to see how the franchise was doing after all these years. When I first entered the game, I was immediately confronted with nostalgia, but unfortunately not with such warm and gentle feelings of well-being.
At the beginning of the game you will participate in a training phase on a free roaming website called Rancho. It serves as an access centre for events, but also for other fun and casual things. In manual mode, I immediately noticed a terrible frame; I speak as separate numbers, which makes the boundary of the game insensitive. But I made my way through the neighborhood and completed my lessons in driving, jumping, tricks, etc. After that, I was a little confused about the access to the game from the ranch and instead used the pause menu to navigate to the championship. Fortunately, the frame rate has improved by an order of magnitude during the race, but is still not fixed at 30 frames per second.
I took part in several championships with my MX bike and the standard quad bike at my disposal. To my surprise, the All Out simply doesn’t look like a product that has been developed over decades. The equestrian animation is as difficult as I always imagined, and the physics is also quite fluid, which I bet is a good thing for a more intense arcade game. The rider’s clothing wobbles at speed, which is a nice gesture, but personally I generally expected a more refined ride.
The environment, both on the ranch and on the side of the path, is dead and as empty as I remember the first game. The textures are medium at best, but worse still, many of the rocks have strongly curved and stretched textures, which can often be seen at times when the procedural relief is poorly created. Moreover, the lighting seems very flat and shadows are clearly absent, so I had the impression that the car was hovering a bit above the ground. I am willing to forgive very little given the platform specifications, but after seeing several videos on other consoles, they do not look much better. Visually, this game seems to have been stuck for 15 years.
Outside of training, the ranch is a rather useless and missed opportunity to do something cool. Spread over an area of 25 teeth that you can collect if you make the right jump, but there’s no indication why you’re trying to collect them or what they can unlock. The past, there’s nothing you can do about it. It would be a great opportunity to create some great rides to have fun, but instead it’s just a normal area with some nice hills and jumps and a park built by MX, but that doesn’t justify spending a lot of time here.
The novelty of the All Out is also the inclusion of UTV as Polaris RZR. These side-by-side public vehicles have high suspension and provide a lot of driving pleasure in real life. However, in the game you have to deal with understeer problems and the physics of the chunks in case your UTV turns over anyway. Moreover, the days of monster trucks, buggies and dirt roads are long gone, which once offered something special to ride and play in these games.
This brings me to the next thing, absolutely clear, that I found in MX vs ATV All Out. At the beginning of the game you will receive two MX bikes, two quads and two UTVs, which are called Rainbow or THQ in the fairy tale. Here comes the mighty attacker… Every real car in the game is linked to a DLC transaction. Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Yamaha, as you call it, all the famous manufacturers who make SUVs in these categories came up with a price of $3 per car. For a quick total of vehicle purchases alone, players need to buy more than $92. That’s not all, you’ll also notice that many championships are associated with CSD transactions, and a total of $17 more. While I expect that part of the premium content is tied to the purchase of games, the entire stock of branded cars, which is usually the determining factor for fans who play these games, is tied to the CSD after the base price of $40, which is like a slap on the head. Looks like bait and switch, and it’s not exactly user-friendly.
However, for vehicles you intend to buy, you can spend the winning currency of the game on upgrades and some cosmetic changes. As in the previous games, you can certainly customize your course. Fortunately, no CSD is required to tune the runner and you can use your profits from famous brands such as O’Neill, Fox, Alpinestars and many others to buy all the necessary equipment that will make your runner look pretty happy on the track.
If you have a favourite driver and car, All Out offers various game modes, including a career series, arcade mode (which acts as a local head-to-head game), time trials, some events (for fast play), local multiplayer and online multiplayer (for which I couldn’t find another type of player to leave me alone).
Unfortunately, the switch version simply has performance problems at every stage. In addition to the terrible plot of The Ranch, the user interface responds slowly to inputs, which almost always results in tricky menu interactions. There are some serious sound problems that are also easy to solve, such as when one of these examples occurred while driving around a ranch pond, the surrounding birds and the sound of the water at 200% volume suddenly squirted out of my tiny patch speakers. And finally, my game crashed several times and in different places, causing me to lose part of the progression once.
I wanted to like MX against ATV All Out. Seriously, it was one of my favorite shows when I was a teenager, and I remember enjoying it for countless hours. Unfortunately, there are simply too many omissions, which better keep my nostalgia in mind. To tell you the truth, I might have been able to forgive some of the performance and graphics problems that sometimes occur on the Nintendo platform, but almost all of my favourite content locked up in a separate data centre just encouraged me to hate the game as a whole.
Overview MX vs. ATV All Out
- Graphs – 4/10
- Sound – 4.5/10
- Course of the game – 4.5/10
- Late appeal – 4/10
Final remarks : AFDB
MX vs. ATV All Out is a ten-year franchise extension. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good on the Nintendo switch, it looks outdated and there are serious performance issues that affect many areas of the game visually and acoustically. Even worse is that all content of the cars under the brand of the enthusiast is linked to paid CSDs. If you want to play this game as well as possible, you will draw a total of almost $150. However, I suggest you follow the example of the title of the game and get as far away from it as possible.
Alex has been actively involved in games since the release of Nintendo. After turning his hobby into a profession, he spent just over ten years developing games and is now creative director of the studio.
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