Motorcross (MX) games have been appearing on the PlayStation2 faster than you can whip round the track. The latest offering from THQ pitches two wheels against four in a frenzy of engine-revving madness. But does it stand out from the crowd?

From the outset the outline is both familiar and common - you race, in various different modes, raise money to upgrade your threads and wheels whilst unlocking more features. The difference has to be in the details, and on that front, MX vs. ATV is not lacking. Not only is there multiplayer, but this can take you online so you can race opponents around the world.

The MX aspect is exciting fast-paced racing action, but the ATV doesn’t quite stand up to the competition. Although the ATV will give the bike a run for its money with some careful riding, the bike feels much more dynamic, and thereby, much more fun.

In terms of controls, the game features some funky bits to spice up the action, such as clutch slipping and suspension loading. From that point of view we would recommend any buyers to go through the tutorial to learn the tricks and get the most out of the game. The ATVs seem slightly unstable, but can still take a battering. The Freeride mode will let you do basically anything you want, but to open up all the comedy features you need to do some racing and more importantly some winning - and the mini-games provide plenty of variety. Winning is not too hard, but it’s one of those games where one slip will drop you to last place.

Verdict

It always seems to come down to the same thing with games like this: if you already have a motorcross game, it will probably fulfil your gaming needs, but if you are looking to fill that void, then MX vs. ATV is a cracking good laugh - perfect for kicking back with your mates and giving them a damn good thrashing on a Sunday afternoon.