From what I’ve played, the tracks themselves seem pretty varied, taking players on a trip around the world as they drive their way to the top. You have a handful of racers to choose from, none of which are really that amazing (don’t expect any lovable characters in the lot) - but luckily you only really see the back of their head most of the time. Together it all makes for a slick enough package. If you just focus on the racing, this Wild Ride is decent enough, if not somewhat forgettable.
Luckily, this game isn’t just about racing. Where the real joy in this joy ride comes from is the stunts. In fact, what makes this wild ride so wild is the focus on catching air and pulling off crazy tricks, all while trying to take the lead. In any given track you’ll find a variety of ramps - each of which is practically begging for some wreckless driver like yourself to come along and wreck things up. By pressing the L or R button in conjunction with various directions on the D-Pad you can pull off of a number of tricks, soaring off these ramps and into the air as your car and driver ride the wind.
If you can do this without wiping out or repeating yourself too much, you’ll find yourself victorious. Pulling off tricks also gives you a speed boost, which can prove invaluable in earning you the win, especially when you have your computer-controlled opponents set on a higher difficulty. Some better wipeout animations would have been pretty epic, but as on-the-go stunt racers go, this is already a pretty good offering.
As for options, Wild Ride 3D has plenty. Complementing online and local multiplayer modes are several single player offerings. World Tour is pretty straightforward, offering several different racing tours for you to complete as you try to improve your game and learn the tracks. Quick Race lets you play through a single course at a time, with various options letting you adjust the number of racers (you can have two to four people on the track at a time, including yourself), number of laps, CPU difficulty and racing style (you can choose either a standard race or Elimination, which axes whoever comes in last). There’s also Time Trial (which is pretty self-explanatory) and Freestyle (where the focus is on racking up points from tricks rather than trying to reach the finish line first). Additionally, you can choose to race on each track in its standard, reverse, extended or extended reverse form.
So far my experience with ATV Wild Ride 3D has been quite enjoyable, though I'll have to spend a lot more time with it to see if it seems worth the $7.99 price of entry. Still, what I've played was promising, and has me eager to test out the local multiplayer mode against friends and co-workers. In the meantime… I’ll have to try to hold myself back from taking out that road rage on the streets of San Francisco.