Review – MX vs. ATV All Out (Switch)
Developed by the same folks behind Monster Jam Steel Titans, MX vs. ATV All Out was originally released in 2018 and received less than stellar reviews. It was deemed beyond glitchy and very outdated for its time. The announcement of a Switch port made me worry a bit, considering that the game could barely run properly on much more powerful hardware. However, it also made me feel slightly hopeful that Rainbow Studios would take its time to fix the issues that plagued the 2018 release and adapt the game’s visuals and resolution to Nintendo’s console’s hardware. Especially considering a niche racing title like would be a perfect fit for a library that is still lacking in this particular kind of game.
There are basically two kinds of gameplay in MX vs. ATV All Out. You can spend your time in a big open world that acts as a tutorial area, as well as a pseudo challenge mode of sorts. This challenge is filled with collectibles that are located in tricky spots that will require you to perform precise jumps in specific angles in order to reach. It’s basically the same as the open world mode from Monster Jam Steel Titans. Besides that tutorial section, that’s actually one of the game’s highlights; you have your standard competitive racing, which can be enjoyed either solo or online.
The racing itself is as straightforward as you would expect. You have circuit races that feel and play like MXGP 2019 and the underwhelming Monster Energy Supercross games. There are also waypoint races, which are set in huge maps full of checkpoints that you’ll need to reach in a specific order. How you reach them and with which kind of vehicle, is completely up to you. I liked these races much more than the traditional circuit ones, as they make MX vs. ATV All Out way more unique than its off-road competitors.
There are three kinds of vehicles you can drive. Motorcycles are light, nimble, and easy to perform tricks with. You control them just like in MXGP 2019, using one stick to steer and another one to control your rider’s weight and center of gravity. ATVs, or quad bikes, are basically a clunkier version of motorcycles. They are a bit slower when performing turns and it feels like anything you do with it results in an automatic crash. Finally, you can drive UTV buggies, which are basically this game’s easy mode. Considering the fact they are basically cars, you won’t crash while driving them. They’re also heavier, faster, and you can run over other competitors while driving them. It’s completely unbalanced, but hey, it’s here if you want to drive it.
What the game offers is pretty straightforward, but it’s fine. What I don’t like about it is the fact that even though this is already two years old, the developers and publisher are still trying to sell overpriced DLC with extra modes and competitions. This wouldn’t annoy me that much if it wasn’t for the fact that an Anniversary Edition of MX vs. ATV All Out already exists for other platforms, featuring all previously released content, for basically the same price as this vanilla edition of the game.
This isn’t the most disappointing thing about MX vs. ATV All Out, however. I was already expecting for its performance to be underwhelming, and well, it is. Granted, there are worse racing games available on the Switch, as the previously mentioned Monster Energy Supercross, but it’s still worth discussing. The game barely manages to run at 30fps, and when it does, you can still notice its frame pacing struggling to maintain a smooth output. The visuals are just average, being obviously downgraded from the previous PS4 and Xbox One releases of the game.
It results in an overall slow-paced game that simply did not excite me, even though I was performing three back flips in a row with a motorcycle in the middle of a desert. Not even the fact that songs from The Offspring, such as “The Kids Aren’t Alright“, were present in the game’s soundtrack, helped that much. Especially considering the heavily compressed and poorly mixed sound effects basically made the sole act of listening to Noodles’ guitar riffs way harder than it should have been.
Considering previous reviews for other platforms, I was expecting for MX vs. ATV All Out to be way worse than what it ended up being. It’s by no means a great game, as it’s quite boring and performs poorly. However, I still managed to have my fair share of fun with it, mostly by wasting my time looking for collectibles in its interesting open world mode. It’s still a disappointment, nonetheless. The Switch still doesn’t have a lot of realistic racing titles and MX vs. ATV All Out could have easily managed to satiate a niche in its library. I guess I’ll have to keep on waiting, as this is not exactly an easy recommendation.
It looks more detailed than other AA racing games on Switch, but its framerate is just unacceptable, even for vehicles that don’t exactly reach high speeds.
Performing tricks is fun. The physics are actually quite good. The problem lies on the aforementioned framerate. It just removes any sensation of speed you would otherwise get, and it also impacts on your controlling feedback.
While the soundtrack is good, being comprised of some licensed tunes from well known bands, as well as some other generic tunes, the sound effects are beyond mediocre.
Fun Factor: 6.0
It’s not inherently boring. The open world exploration is actually a lot of fun, and there are lots of different events to partake in. The problem lies in how unexciting these races are, all due to the underwhelming framerate. There is also a ton of DLC that has already been released over two years ago.
Final Verdict: 6.0
MX vs. ATV All Out is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of MX vs. ATV All Out was provided by the publisher.