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iPhone  header logo

2XL ATV Offroad


For: iPhone

One size doesn't fit all

Product: 2XL ATV Offroad | Developer: 2XL Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc), wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.0
 
2XL ATV Offroad iPhone, thumbnail 1
Like wearing a beautifully long coat to hide a pair of high-water trousers and tight sweater, 2XL ATV Offroad uses glossy graphics to conceal gameplay that just barely covers the essentials.

Its controls are short on responsiveness and Career mode lacking in depth, yet there are enough pieces between the game's wealth of pretty courses and local multiplayer modes to dress up a presentable racing experience.

At first glance, it's hard to imagine anything ill-fitting here. 2XL ATV Offroad dresses to the nines with spectacular graphics. Each of the game's 16 tracks pops with detail from the snow-covered pines of Rubicon to the dusty cacti of Castle Rock.

There's also a set of indoor supercross courses that boast the same visual fidelity, with massive crowds, billboard advertisements, and flashing lights surrounding the dirt mounds.

Career mode brings all of these tracks together, weaving them into 11 leagues. While better than nothing, it's a linear strand that does little more than string together single player races. The lack of depth is surprising: no unlockable vehicles, riders, accessories, bonus levels, statistics to upgrade, or even parts to customise.

The only element that distinguishes Career mode from its one-off Arcade and Multiplayer counterparts is that events have to be unlocked, whereas the latter two modes grant free access to every venue from the get-go.

There are more noteworthy deficiencies, however, as 2XL ATV Offroad putters about all three modes with control challenges. To claim that the controls are broken would be a gross exaggeration, the responsiveness ensuring no slipping and sliding down the track. Yet there is an issue with precision. What truly boggles is that a wealth of options are provided as a means to counter this concern and they fail to do so.

The default accelerometer control scheme doesn't respond dynamically in correlation to the degree at which you tilt your device. Shallow or sharp - there's little in between when it comes to steering, your ATV either gradually rounding a bend or veering sharply off the track.

Even when adjusting sensitivity settings in the options menu - two to be precise, one for steering and the other for tilt - there's no discernible change in handling.

Alternatively, there's a pair of touch control options, both of which are unusable. The slider method works horribly, while the faux analogue stick affords absolutely no sense of control. Both have a tendency to slip from underneath your finger, resulting in wild and erratic movement - it's the last thing you want happening in a race.

Tricks are pulled off using a set of unmarked buttons lining the far sides of the screen. It's a simple system, but effective when combined with tips of your handset to execute flips.

Sadly, motivation to do these tricks is limited to the game's two freestyle arenas. During a race, it's to your disadvantage to pull tricks because they don't provide you with boost and actually put you at risk of crashing.

2XL ATV Offroad goes big with flashy graphics, but its gameplay is a size too small. The controls need to be tailored, the single player career hemmed for sophistication, and trick system mended to be relevant during races.

Until the game fits nicely along those lines, it's hard to fully appreciate 2XL's new clothes.
 
2XL ATV Offroad
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 19 October 2009
2XL ATV Offroad dresses up controls quirks and a shallow Career mode with phenomenal graphics
 
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