ATV Wild Ride 3D Preview: Hands-On Gameplay Impressions
ATV Wild Ride 3D, due out this Thursday on the Nintendo eShop, comes to us from Renegade Kid. Co-Founder Jools Watsham and his team have seen a lot of success on the eShop thus far, with the likes of Mutant Mudds and Bomb Monkey. Their latest effort is actually a revamped version of a game that they released on the DS as ATV Wild Ride. The new version of the game packs updated graphics and gameplay, 3D integration, online multiplayer, and leaderboards.
ATV Wild Ride 3D brings a smattering of modes to the table. First up under “Single Player” is the “World Tour” which pits the player against three CPU’s in a series of four races. These races come in three varieties; a simple race to the finish line, an elimination race where the player finishing last in each lap is eliminated, and a freestyle competition where the highest total trick score wins. There are six different world tours to tackle, increasing in AI and track difficulty as you progress. If you haven’t got the time four four races, both the regular race and elimination style races are available under the “Quick Race” mode. Freestyle is also available under a menu option of the same name. Finally, rounding out the single player experience is the “Time Trial” mode, where the player can select any of the tracks for practice. All of these modes’ high scores are stored in “Records”.
Multiplayer is divided between local and online play, where the player can host or join a lobby for four players. This is also where the leaderboard for the highest-rated online racers is located. We haven’t had a chance to dive into these modes yet, so look for more information in our full review later this week.
This is an arcade racer through and through- realism not required. It is almost comical at times when the ATVs soar to unbelievable heights, and other racers are visible around you, flying through air, doing the most absurd of tricks. From the start, players will have to quickly learn how to pre-load their jumps in order to leap high into the air. The more air the player has, the longer or more numerous tricks they will be able to pull off. Landing tricks grants the player Nitro, used for short speed boosts. The tougher the trick, the more Nitro awarded. Acquiring Nitro through this process is vital to speeding past opponents.
In our experience, landing is definitely the trickiest part- oftentimes we found ourselves flying into walls or off the edge of cliffs after taking off a jump. Many of the jumps require a fair amount of foresight, and therefore track memorization; going straight on the jump is not always the safest way to go about things. This was the source of much frustration when racing against higher difficulty CPUs on brand new tracks, but it got easier the more we played. Not every jump is meant for tricking off of, no- sometimes slowing down and rolling over the top of the hill without getting air will enable the player to tackle a tight corner while the other racers fly off the track. Knowing when to not pre-load and trick is almost more important than actually doing tricks. Careful planning will be required to become the most elite ATV racer.
That said, the game is extremely easy to pick up and play. The two options for control layout are simple and will work easily for trigger-style or Mario Kart-style play. Each of the six tracks appears four times in the game in different incarnations; regular, extended, and reverse directions of both. The extended versions of the tracks are more difficult, the reverse tracks even more so. The World Tour ramps up in difficulty rather quickly, but each of the other modes allow the player to choose the difficulty of the AI as well as the track. These modes are perfect for practice or just racing for fun against easier AI on easier courses.
ATV Wild Ride 3D has impressed us with the amount of content that it packs so far. It was originally a retail title, after all. Nothing has been compromised in the move to the eShop- in fact, a lot of content has been added in the transition. Renegade Kid really did us a solid by compromising nothing, adding online multiplayer, and then slapping a modest price tag of only $7.99 on the game. It comes out this Thursday, so look for our full review to coincide with its release on the eShop!