Publisher THQ Nordic continues to bring their back catalog of titles over to the Nintendo Switch with the latest being MX vs. ATV: All Out from developer Rainbow Studios. This all-terrain racer released on other platforms a couple years ago but now that it’s available to play in portable mode should fans give it their attention?
As soon as you start the game you’re put into a tutorial track area to let you learn the ropes. Controls in the game were easy to come to grips with as the triggers control your gas and break. Holding the break or the Y button lets you reverse, the minus button lets you shift between camera viewpoints, and the plus button brings up your menu. The d-pad left, right, and down arrows let you quickly see in those directions while holding the up button lets you change between music tracks. The B button resets you and the R shoulder button lets you perform stunts. You can’t remap these controls but there are a variety of different presets in case you don’t like the default one.
Once you’ve had enough of riding around in this open area and are ready to get into more of the meat of the game just bring up the menu where you can find all of that. The game has quite a bit of content whether you want to play alone or with friends. There is two player split-screen support and up to 8 player online support. Online lets you jump into a quick match, search for a custom lobby, or make your own. During my time playing though I was only able to get into one online race and it only had one other player in it so the odds of these having a good online population seem low.
For solo playlists you can jump into single race events, time trials, or go for trophies in series events. There are different race types with those being Supercross, Opencross, Nationals, Freestyle, Arenacross, Freeride, and Waypoint. Most of these are standard track races against AI but Waypoint is a bit different and the mode I enjoyed the most. Here you are put in huge open areas and have to race to reach various checkpoints and how you get there is entirely up to you. Something I didn’t enjoy about the standard races is that the AI difficulty seems to be a bit all over the place. Sometimes they were really difficult to beat and other times they were so easy I had to wonder what in the world happened?
Regardless of what you are doing in the game you have the option of using a bike, an ATV, or a UTV. I preferred using the ATVs and UTVs the most but you may like the bikes better. I didn’t mind the bikes but I did find that the physics felt a bit off as quite a few times when I landed my rider fell off even though my landing looked smooth. There are a ton of parts you can buy for each vehicle too letting you increase their performance whether it be the suspension, tires, engine, brakes, etc. For an older game though I wish more was included as there is a ton of DLC to buy and the game constantly throws it in your face when in the menus. I personally feel like this content should’ve been included in the Switch version.
When it comes to the performance on the Switch the game isn’t the most stable. The game is supposed to run at 30fps but it dips under that pretty often making for an uneven racing experience. It wasn’t horrible but I absolutely noticed when it happened during races. The graphics also failed to impress and pop-in while racing was quite noticeable. The load times when going between races are also a bit on the long side. As a fan of rock music, the soundtrack in this game is exactly what I look for with songs from The Offspring, Asking Alexandria, 3volution, and more included. There is a photo mode included but it’s as barebones as you can possibly get with it only letting you spin the camera around in place and zoom in and out. It’s quite disappointing and not something I’d ever see myself using with its lack of features.
MX vs. ATV All Out can be fun but I’m not sure anyone should be racing out to buy it. It doesn’t look great and it misfires at times when it comes to load times, framerate, and AI difficulty. It’s got a lot of content but even there I had issues with there being a ton of DLC that isn’t included. If you’re desperate for an off-road racer on your Switch give it a go but otherwise you may want to keep looking.
*MX vs. ATV All Out is available now on Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on Switch. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.