hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Preview: ATV Wild Ride

3:40 PM on 12.15.2010 // Nick Chester

In 2007, developer Renegade Kid screwed with our heads and terrified us on the go with its first-person shooter, Dementium: The Ward for the Nintendo DS. Its next handheld title, Moon, stuck to the first-person formula with the action/shooter, Moon. Earlier this year, it tapped into our nightmares again with its terrifying M-rated sequel to Dementium.

So it’s a bit surprising to learn that Renegade Kid’s next game appears to veer wildly from what seemed to be a plotted course -- it’s a high speed, 3D racer for Nintendo’s handheld called ATV Wild Ride. We got an exclusive hands-on with the title, and a few hours in, there isn’t a single gun or horrifying monster in sight.

What it does have in common with Renegade Kid’s earlier titles is that it’s technically marvelous, top notch among its handheld peers, and a hell of a lot of fun.

Like a lot of gamers, Renegade Kid’s Jools Watsham played Black Rock Studio’s 2008 stunt racer Pure and had the time of his life. But as a fan of handheld gaming, he wondered: “Why is there nothing like this on the Nintendo DS?” Sure, there are a few other ATV/MX racers on the market, but there was a slight problem -- none of them are very good. Unlike most gamers, Jools was in a position to do something about it, and the result is ATV Wild Ride, scheduled to hit retail early next year.

At its heart, ATV Wild Ride is about two things -- going really fast and wild stunts. From what I’ve played, Renegade Kid has justified both bullet points, with a speedy game that runs at a smooth 60 frames per second and a nice batch of insane “oh no he didn’t!” tricks.

Renegade Kid offers two control styles for the game, and surprisingly I found the default setting to be the least comfortable. “Type 1” maps the gas and, brakes, and boost to the handheld’s face buttons, with a combination of L/R and the direction pad to pull off various tricks. I personally found this scheme uncomfortable, so finding the second scheme hiding in the menus -- which maps the tricks to the face buttons, and the brake/gas to L and R respectively -- completely changed how the game felt. Your mileage may vary, but I'd suggest trying both out early on before you get to some of the game's more difficult races.

Of the tracks I played (which was most of them), all seem designed with both speed and tricks in mind, with plenty of opportunities to nail jumps. By pulling down on the d-pad, you can “pre-load” a jump; pressing up as you reach the apex of a hill will get you the most air. Once soaring through the sky, you’ll be able to pull of three levels of tricks -- A, B, and C -- the difficulty of which will depend on your boost pay off. These are the kinds of over-the-top stunts you’d expect from a game called Wild Ride, including one called the “Lanky Doodle” where the racer hops up on the seat and does a single jumping jack in mid-air. (Terrifying, but pretty cool to watch.) The more difficult moves you’ll have to reserve for only the best air, so timing your jumps and finding the best inclines on the game’s tracks is key.

The game single-player experience is broken up into a number of modes, including the standard quick race, a score-based freestyle stunt mode, and time trials. The meat of the game is its “World Tour,” which has you competing against CPU racers around the globe at a number of varied locations, including Mexico, England, Thailand, Canada, and the United States. There are 24 tracks in all, and this is a great way to experience all of the game’s content, and even unlock hidden content in the process.

“World Tour” is broken up into four separate tours, unlocked by earning points for landing in the top spots in each race. As I found out, they get increasingly difficult. During my first and second tour, I spent most of the time ahead of the pack, far and away taking the lead in every event. I mentioned this to Jools who pointed out that the AI riders get smarter and more aggressive as you progress. He was right -- by the third tour I was struggling to keep up, my ego kept in check as I remained neck and neck with racers right up to the very end.

Like I mentioned earlier, there aren’t any monsters lurking anywhere that I was able to see, but ATV Wild Ride does feature its fair share of characters. There are eight riders to choose from, seven of which are locked from the start, each with their own look, style, and voice. One of the riders, the fictional British racer Simon Jeremey, even sounded suspiciously like Mr. Watsham himself.

You’ll also have your pick of ATVs, as well, a total of eight. Like the riders, only three are available at start, leaving you something to work towards as you make your way through the tour. Vehicles are rated on four categories -- speed, acceleration, and handling -- with some of the best only obtainable as unlockables.

ATV Wild Ride’s music is also notable, as well. It’s the kind of aggressive punk-style music you’d expect from this type of racer, original music by Gregg Hargrove’s band, Swift Justice and the Hired Goons. Why’s that remarkable? Hargrove is Renegade Kid’s co-founder and art director so it’s not likely you’ll hear the music in any other title.

“Back in the day I used to attend their live performances here in Austin,” Watsham tells me. “So I was familiar with their songs already, and when it came to the music for ATV Wild Ride, it felt like a natural fit.”

From what I’ve played, ATV Wild Ride definitely feels like it'll be a natural fit for fans of high-energy, arcade-style racers when it ships early next year.

Photo Gallery: (42 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I recently beat Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow again, but this time I played on Hard mode from scratch. Outside of dying a few times due to me being an idiot, and enemies hitting harder, it was actually easy. Like really easy.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Today I replated bacteria that I made take up a plamid hopefully stitched onto the genes generatlight. Taken from other dead bacteria and put into a non glowing species, to make it glow. Fucking microbiology is the best.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
It seems fairy farts are a fragrance, a soap, incense, a vaping liquid and a kind of nail polish. I'm clearly in the wrong line of work and need to eat more chili.
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
"You gave the Lost Soul a big smile, like you remember she likes to do... For some reason she sort of wants to smile back..." I'm not crying. Not one bit.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just tried 'The Last Of Us' on PSNow Trial, only to be told... 'Something went wrong. Try again.' Game-appropriate error message or quickie plot-summary?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I hate when people say crap like "I admit that [thing] in games is problematic, but I still enjoy it" because it's an underhanded way of contradicting your own views while convincing yourself that you aren't a hypocrite.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Well shit. I knew I was more than likely going to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront (cause you know, giant Star Wars nerd and all) but holy cow, the beta is fucking great! I need the full game like, now.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Anyone here going to NYC Comic Con? Always wanted to go and lived so close, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Well I haven't seen any levels like this on mario maker so maybe it's unique the I'd is 55BD000000961CBA GIVE IT A GO and let me know what you think
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Stranger ... wadda you buying ? Want some crack ? Here ya go... [youtube][/youtube]
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
My brother caught me this Pokémon in our room yesterday. How should I name it? [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Yay, I got off of work early and may have Friday off! I have a sinking feeling I'm going to work 10 hours on Saturday as a result, though :/ We ran out of stuff to make stuff with so they must ship us stuff so we can ship stuff.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Yo yo I'm Marie and I got dat gangsta flow. High scores ain't no trip, cuz I whip that shit like Sonic quick. I-I mean no! I didn't say anything! Stupidrecordbreakingcombodolt. [img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -