ATV Wild Ride 3D – A Full Retail Experience on the eShop
ATV Wild Ride 3D is here to make a statement that digital download games on Nintendo 3DS’s eShop do not have to be watered-down experiences. Releasing the same day as Nano Assault EX, a game striving to meet that same goal, ATV Wild Ride 3D packs so much content for the low price of $7.99, that it’s almost crazy. Renegade Kid originally released the game on the Nintendo DS as a full retail title, but decided to revive the game again on the 3DS. Initially the plan was to release it again as a packed retail game, but Renegade Kid struck gold on the eShop with Mutant Mudds while they were in search of a publisher. They quickly moved to the eShop, and compromised no part of the game in the process, something to be commended. In fact, the game boasts many features and upgrades that were not a part of the original release, including online multiplayer and leaderboards.
In a world where free to play models and $0.99 games littered across mobile and handheld platforms, there is a cry from many that the business models and game prices of yore do not really work anymore. In some cases this may be true, say, if the game is lacking in content or is even bested by a cheaper or free game. eShop games, amongst other digital-only games, are often lamblasted for their “premium” prices, obviously in comparison to their App and Play Store counterparts. But what happens when developers release titles comparable in content to full retail games at a significantly lower price? Frankly, we are getting a deal, given that the game is good and to your tastes.
ATV Wild Ride 3D easily qualifies as a “deal” in terms of content. It has a campaign mode, time trials, a freestyle mode, local and online multiplayer for four players, and a leaderboard system (all of which are detailed in our preview ). There are six tracks modified three ways for a total of 24 tracks to master, unlockable riders and ATVs, and a records menu that stores all of the player’s “bests”. That is a ton of content- comparable to any arcade racing game out there. Coupled with the fact that ATV Wild Ride 3D is simply one of a kind on the 3DS eShop and is less than $10, Renegade Kid has created a simply unbeatable package.
Of course, the clause indicated that the game has to be good too, to be worth the money. Wild Ride does not disappoint here, either. The game is easy to pick up and play, but very tough to master. Aiming and timing jumps and knowing when to perform tricks or boost requires precision in order to traverse the tracks in the shortest amount of time possible. Those well versed in the tradition of ATV racers will have no trouble jumping in and beginning the process of track memorization. Newcomers can adapt to this process, or they can simply have fun racing against easier AI via the options. Thanks to some well crafted AI, quick races can be as easy or as difficult as the player wants. It is quite possible to beat the AI (and even the game) without boosting, crashes abound.
ATV Wild Ride 3D Trailer
The physics of ATVs flying around the track are a far cry from realistic, but that is part of the game’s fun, arcade nature. It is comical to fly to absurd heights, performing death-defying tricks, then land on top of rock wall and slide your way down. This did lead to our one complaint about the game, however- it is extremely easy to fall “out of bounds”. Sometimes this is avoidable by knowing how to hit jumps. But sometimes it is not; it was particularly easy to be ruled out of bounds on some tracks. Canada in particular had a few spots where we were ruled out by simply running into a certain wall the wrong way. Frustrating when it happened every now and then, but it ultimately did not severely detract from the fun time that we were having with the game.
Finally, we have the multiplayer component. We are happy to say that creating and joining games is a snap, and that the connections are smooth and lag-free across long distances. We had no problems connecting with other players, including Renegade Kid Co-Founder Jools Watsham, who is two time zones away. Online multiplayer matches can be customized for play against random opponents, or it can be restricted to friends only. This is great for those people that perhaps play for the fun of racing and have not dedicated the time to track memorization, so long as they have friends that play the same way. If you do not want to get your butt kicked online (as ours were), you do not have to. Always a welcome option.
ATV Wild Ride 3D is a fun, arcade-style ATV game that provides challenge, but also options for carefree racing. The amount of content that it has is unprecedented for a digital-only game, and it is truly one of a kind, being an online racer for the eShop. Hopefully its presence, along with Nano Assault EX, an upgraded version of the 2011 retail game, can encourage other developers to bring these kinds of experiences to the eShop. We certainly would not mind, as it stays competitive and dramatically softens the blow on our wallets without compromising the experience itself.