Herald rating: * *
Dirt bikes and dune buggies should always make an exciting video game. It is surprising then, that MX vs ATV Unleashed grows old after the first 20 minutes of play.
The stunt parks aren't particularly elaborate or well-illustrated. The crashes when your stunts go wrong are not convincing. The uphill races quickly lose their appeal, as each new hill begins to look exactly like the last one.
This game starts out bland. You have to win races to progress to new, presumably more scenic race tracks and ride gruntier bikes. It is not overly difficult to progress through the game. The problem is that once you are in front in the races, it is a boring trip to the finish line.
The sound effects are sub-par, consisting of the whining of a motorbike engine and dull bangs when you hit something. A repetitive collection of rock songs fills in background noise.
So many similar games do so much more with the PS2 platform for the same price. If MX vs ATV had the quality of a WRC rally game it might justify its existence.
Apparently you can progress to driving golf carts, helicopters and planes later in the game if you persevere. But, as the name implies, you will spend most of your time on bikes and quads and, by and large, it's a fairly tedious ride.
* 12+, $9