With ATV Wild Ride, Renegade Kid veers wildly from territory its best known for, be it the nightmarish halls of a mental hospital in Dementium, or the sci-fi action of Moon. But the developer feels right at home with its latest, delivering one of the best racer offerings on Nintendo’s handheld to date.
ATV Wild Ride (Nintendo DS)
Behind the wheel of an ATV, fans of arcade-style racing will feel right at home. Wild Ride eschews the use of the touch screen, relying entirely on the game’s physical controls. No fault of the game, the Nintendo DS controls do feel a bit cramped for my tastes, a complaint I’d have of almost any racer on the handheld. But Renegade Kid had enough forethought to include multiple control schemes, and with some time I was able to ease right in without much trouble.
The ATVs themselves feel good on the track, even on the tightest turns I never felt out of control. Pulling of tricks is a simple combination of the buttons and use of the d-pad. It’s a three-tiered system that ranges from easy one-offs to more wild tricks that will end in disaster if you don’t have enough air. Fortunately, most of the game’s tracks are cleverly designed to take advantage of the tricks system. Ramps and hills are generally placed in such a way that you’ll be able to gain enough to pull off some of the biggest tricks, gaining enough boost to get ahead in a pinch.
If you had to fault Renegade Kid for anything about this excellent handheld racing package, you could probably say they played it too safe. It’s fairly straightforward in almost every way, never really venturing into any new territory in terms of racing or trick mechanics. Still, if you manage to hit all of the right notes, it sometimes doesn’t matter that you’re playing the same song as your predecessors, because the notes still sound damned good together.
Ultimately, it boils down to this: ATV Wild Ride is your only real choice for an arcade-style ATV racer on Nintendo's handheld. It's not that there are no other options, but where others have tried and failed, Renegade Kid succeeds in building a solid portable DS racer with ATV Wild Ride.
THE VERDICT - ATV Wild Ride
Reviewed by Nick Chester