Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Mad Riders

Review: Mad Riders

2:00 PM on 05.30.2012 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

ATVs are the perfect meeting point between motorcycles and cars, making for a fast but light vehicle that should be fun to control in a videogame. Yet, I can’t think of any game that captured the appeal of ATVs without pandering only to gearheads. MX vs ATV was a bit too niche. Nail’d came close, Pure came really close, but Mad Racers does it one better by making the ATVs faster and the tracks crazier.

Building upon the framework laid down in 2010's Nail’d, developer Techland (Dead Island) has created a speedy, insane arcade racer that shouldn’t be passed up by ATV fans or those in need of a new adrenaline-fueled racing game to carry them through the week.

Mad Riders (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade [Reviewed], PC)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Techland
Released: May 30, 2012
MSRP: $9.99 / 800 Microsoft Points

Mad Riders reminds me of many of my favorite racing games. Most of all, it reminds me of SSX 3, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, and Burnout 3, three of my favorite games. Mad Riders isn’t so different from any other racing game at its core: it’s still a race to the finish line. The difference here is in the environments and way the ATVs control. Like Burnout, you’ll rely heavily on your ability to boost to get ahead. You only gather boost fuel from item pick-ups and stunts, so you’ll need to be very strategic in burning up your resources.

Instead of dodging traffic to fill up your boost meter, you’ll be taking constant risks in performing tricks in the air and on the ground to earn boost. For whatever reason, Mad Riders takes its time in unveiling tricks to the player. This makes for a rather dull first tier of stages -- there are eight tiers each featuring five tracks -- but the game quickly ramps up once you have the full repertoire at your disposal. Soon, you'll be overwhelmed by all the trick opportunities. There are bullseyes you can risk landing within, hoops to jump through, and other ways to earn boost during a race.

Pulling off tricks in Mad Riders doesn’t have the grace and visual flair of SSX, but it still gives me that same rush. I love pulling a wheelie off on the ground and using the boost gained to ride past my opponents on an uphill slope. Or, risking a double flip in the air to get some extra boost for the end of a track. You are constantly making these risk/reward decisions that keep you on your toes. The vehicles feel somewhat jerky, not nearly as smooth as I like. There are some nice control touches, though. I loved how you could extend or shorten your jumps in the air by holding down or up on the left analog-stick. It's not very realistic, but it a fun addition that gives the game its own distinct feel.

Another key component to the game are shortcuts and refill areas. Along with boost tokens, the tracks have shortcut tokens you can pick up and store for future use. There are several shortcuts and refill stations (supplying boost tokens) you can trigger in the map, as you draw near them. These can give you a great advantage, but they can also help out competing racers if they weasel their way into the open path. Shortcuts, along with branching paths of tracks, help take away some of the repetition of the game’s straightforward races.

Mad Riders has a wide audience in mind, so I can understand why it plays dumb early on. It doesn't make it okay, however. Along with a shorter list of tricks, the early game also hides behind dumbed down tracks that lack the sharp turns and branching paths of later stages. Eventually, the tracks open up and become increasingly challenging and unpredictable. All of the game’s tracks take place in tropical areas, reminiscent of Pacific Rift. You’ll drive through ancient ruins, beaches, and dense jungles. The narrow paths, high-contrast visual filter, and locations crowded with trees make for a disorienting racing experience. I found myself frequently going off path, not because I couldn’t make a turn but because I didn’t even know I was supposed to.

It doesn’t help that the game has one of the peskiest track reset systems I’ve ever seen in a racing game. If you wander off the main path, even a little bit, the game will suggest you respawn, despite still being in relatively good control of the situation. Then there are all the myriad screw-ups you’ll find yourself in due to the game’s wonky physics and vehicle handling. You’ll eventually grow used to the game’s quirks, but it takes some time for it to sink in. Though the game is accessible, learning the ins-and-outs of it can be a frustrating period.

I love variety in racing games, but Mad Riders is one of the rare times where I wish the game just stuck to standard races. The game offers five different modes: race, stunt race, race the clock, ghost challenge, and arena. Most are inoffensive distractions, but I found myself groaning whenever I had to do an arena race. These tracks take place in a small, enclosed area where you race toward waypoints in a circle. Stunts and speed rarely factor into these matches, which goes against what makes Mad Riders fun. Instead, you focus on perfecting your slide and finding the best shortcut to the next waypoint, which is fine until you get stuck on some object along the way or can’t tell where the next checkpoint is because the waypoint arrow blends in with the rest of the screen.

Once you have exhausted the game’s campaign and perfected the very difficult elite races, you can breathe new life into the tracks online with other racers. Although the game copies-and-pastes track sections into one another to make-up its large track roster, it’s still 45 original tracks at the end of the day which will keep you guessing upcoming turns instead of memorizing them.

Techland have made a worthy follow-up to Nail’d, despite Mad Riders' quirks and faults. I’m a junkie for a good and fast arcade racer. Mad Riders is one of the first games to fit that bill in some time.



THE VERDICT

7

Mad Riders - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Mad Riders


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


A blog test. Brought to you by Buckner & Garcia

Cblogs of 2/11/16, 2/12/16 + Firethoughts

What is Search Engine Optimization

PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

Your Opinions On Racing Games Are Stupid

The Nerds Have Won

Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Don't have a date for V-Day weekend? Why not fill that void in your life by making a Super Mario Maker Level for this month's Dtoid Designs Contest? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/CJ+Andriessen/dtoid-designs-the-wacky-wiggler-challenge-338301.phtml
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So uh, my dream was interesting. Travel somewhere to get furniture, protests going on, police lock us behind a gate so we go round and blow up their car to escape. Now apocalypse time with city on fire and zombies and then I get a girlfriend.Quite varied!
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I watched the movie Flight with Denzel Washington last night. It got especially good once John Goodman appeared and it turned into a sort of fun, surrealistic drug comedy. But then the ending undid every bit of enjoyment it gave me up to that point.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Putting together the Valentines Day edition of Gaming's Beautiful People and finding it surprisingly hard - ooer, missus etc - to find a male couple to put in the list. Any suggestions? All I can seem to find is the guards from Undertale.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
The story in Destiny seem kind of crummy. I feel like I'm missing something here. It doesn't really click. Taken King however seems pretty good though.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know how after years and years of constant truckin' Truckers are known to get one permanently sunburned arm?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Quick note for Soul Sacrifice Delta: Sony designed it weirdly, and so while most of the updates should come in by downloading the newest update, other stuff you might not get unless you hit this on the main menu. Don't miss out!
Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
Getting my Ninja on for a selfie in the Bathroom for the contest:
Donald J Trump avatarDonald J Trump
Found this image of myself on Ted Cruz's computer, disgraceful! Further proof he isn't natural born, no true American would have a disgusting image like this! (Censored by some idiot's ugly face)
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
That moment when your dog eats one of your figures but don't notice until it's to late. 10/10 Dog. Yah fuck.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Love, Lost, Live, Lost (2014) - Yesterday was me and my girlfriend's 16th year anniversary together, so I decided to share this song. It deals with being in love, losing that person, moving on, and learning to love again. It's 9 minutes long, too :P
gajknight avatargajknight
I have done my part. Thank you Niero. Question: Does blocking someone also remove their front-page articles too?
iam16bit avatariam16bit
I've been on this site for sometime and for some reason I've never done a quickpost until now.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Why did I have to read that Austin Grossman was going to be one of the writers on a cancelled Half-Life 2 episode?
Parismio avatarParismio
Dammit its 3 and i cant stop reading cute gay romance mangas.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Going to be honest; I love out-of-context anime screenshots. They're... kind of incredible.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Retweet of the year goes to President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Shuhei Yoshida.
Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

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 -