Compared: February 16, 2002
AKA Acclaim has just unleashed, ATV Quad Power Racing 2 on all the next-gen consoles. While we didn’t have the opportunity to review the GameCube version we did put the PS2 and Xbox games up against each other in side-by-side comparisons for gameplay, features, and overall quality. The few differences that do exist are fairly substantial, and if we are ever given the chance to review the GameCube version of QPR2 at a later date we will append this article with our findings.
Acclaim currently has the luxury of being the only ATV title currently available for the Xbox, a luxury the PS2 version doesn’t share and perhaps why that game falls victim to stiff competition from another ATV racer that has also recently been released for that system. But this review is to compare a single title across multiple platforms, so lets get down to it.
Round 1: Control
The big differences in gameplay once again fall into the category of controller preferences. Personally, I found the Dual Shock of the PS2 to be a much more comfortable controller and the four shoulder buttons allowed for a much more friendly control scheme. There was a significant learning curve going between the two versions, but the typical gamer won’t be playing both so this is a moot point.
While I found the D-pad on the Xbox controller a bit more accessible for stunts than the Dual Shock, overall, the PS2 has the best control and wins this round.
Round 2: Visuals
The Xbox manages to win this round by offering a much faster framerate, which translates to better gameplay, and also offers some added perks like better textures, bump mapping, real-time lighting, reflections, better water, and just an overall crispness to the entire game. Seeing these two games side by side, it really is impressive to see how all the subtle changes add up to some really significant differences.
Round 3: Music & Sound
Both games share the same loud and obnoxious soundtrack that is so limited you will have heard and become sick of the entire song list long before your first career season is complete. Even though the Xbox version fails to capitalize on the custom soundtrack feature it does win this round if for nothing more than offering an in-game Dolby Digital surround mix that once again, translates into better gameplay. It really helps to hear when those other riders are trying to pass and on which side.
Round 4: Other Deciding Factors
Neither game supports online play even though this title released well after both systems went “live”. But the Xbox version does offer four-player support while the PS2 is limited to two players. Yes, there is no support for the PS2 Multi-tap.
Of course the biggest deciding factor is competition. The Xbox version has none and the PS2 version has ATV: Offroad Fury 2, which trounces all over QPR2 in features, quality, control, and of course, online support.
If you have an Xbox and want to play an off-road racing game, specifically one with ATV’s then your choice is clear. ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 is a fine title that will offer you countless hours of racing and freestyle fun once you work your way through the clumsy and often imprecise controls.
The PS2 comes in just behind the Xbox in a very close second place. Despite my personal preference of the Dual Shock, the Xbox nudges it out in graphics and sound just enough. And even though a 6.9 is a respectable score, the PS2 release pales in comparison to the current competition.