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     " I went out and bought a motocross outfit just so I could feel more at home behind the wheel (and because my ass looks sweet in tight leather). "

      Title: ATV Off Road Fury 2 by Sony

      Format: PS2 Racer

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: A sequel to last year's surprise smash hit, ATV Off Road Fury 2 puts you back at the controls of an heavy dirt quad and has you race in more game styles than J-Lo has ex fiancés. But is it a marked improvement or just another fancy way of tricking you out of 50 bananas? Read on, my monkeys…Read on.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: When I got the original ATV last year, I was both excited and disappointed by the graphics. The environments and textures pushed some of the PS2's capabilities then but the animations and details left quite a bit to be desired. For the sequel I had hoped for a dynamic improvement in graphics but, for better or worse, what I got were very pretty but only marginally improved visuals. The riders and rigs are certainly much nicer and some of the small detail work that the first lacked the second has definitely picked up on- but other than that things are basically the same. That's not all bad news, though, since the graphics were great to begin with and have been improved just enough so that it hasn't been outclassed much in the last year. 4 out of 5

      Playability: We originally made lots of jokes about how ATV 1 dominated the atv racing market (the joke, of course, being that it was the only game on the market). Even so, we were impressed with the controls and pace then and even more impressed now. ATV 2 is smooth and sweet and just about everything you want in a racing game. A great physics engine, lots of jumps, cool tricks, tons of play modes, good competition…it's all here in spades. Enough so, in fact, that in this monkey's opinion ATV 2 can probably stand as one of the greatest racers of all time. The only real drawbacks are that the crash engine is still way too high (you wipe out just too damned easily) and that there might not be quite enough emphasis put on pulling off tricks. Still, if you wanted to be doing tricks all day you'd get Tony Hawk. 4.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: Heh. I laugh because if you had played the game you wouldn't even ask. The multiplayer, and the replayability both, are so ridiculously awesome that they almost defy description. Sure, like any other racing game, a huge part of it is in the eyes of the individual monkey (i.e. will you enjoy racing over and over again), however- if you had a problem with that concept you probably wouldn't be buying a racing game in the first place.
          As far as multiplayer goes you can do split screen, link play, or hop online if you have a PS2 modem. All three modes are fun and pretty much equally exciting though, of course, this title like almost all other online PS2 games have 3 glaring online flaws that plague it. 1) Lag is frequent do to all those dial up donkeys still left in the world. 2) Hooking up with your friends to play can be difficult. 3) The host controls can only be described as "ass"- including no way to replay games with the same racers or any of the other amenities that so sorely should have been included. Still, all that being said, it's great that the option is there and the races are a blast.
          Far more impressive, though, are the sheer number of play modes the game offers. Not a couple, not a few, but what feels like hundreds of options await you to keep this game fresh. Enduro, cross country, trick sessions…hell there's even a soccer game included. So much so, in fact, that you will likely leave several of the modes untouched…unless you're one of those girlfriendless hermits who has nothing better to do with your life than spend every waking moment glued to your PS2.
          All in all, it makes the game one of the greatest in all time for longevity and won't likely leave my play list for quite some time. Outstanding. 4.75 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       When all's said and done, this is one fine 4 wheeling game. It makes me wish I hadn't lost my ATV in that tragic lamppost incident.

      The Good: Great engine, cool racing, sweet multiplayer, and tons and tons of options.

      The Bad: Graphics could have used a little bit more tweaking.

      The Overall Ugly: I went out and bought a motocross outfit just so I could feel more at home behind the wheel (and because my ass looks sweet in tight leather).

      What it's Worth: Market plus.

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