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Burnout Paradise!

The popular Burnout franchise has long been praised by arcade race fans for its slick controls and ultra-realistic graphics but the game has needed an overhaul that would change up the tired old formula. Fortunately, Criterion Games has answered the call with the newest installment of the Burnout series, Burnout Paradise.

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An Open Playground: First off, I have to state the largest change in this game is the ability to free roam completely throughout the city. Almost anything you see in the background, you are able to interact with. And while the concept of an open city works most of the time, you will undoubtedly have some trouble navigating the town. Even though there is a mini-map in the bottom right corner that displays the available events, you rarely have even a second to peek at it, as the game encourages you to blaze through the city at light speed.

Mind you that statement is not a complaint, not by a long shot, the pace that the game flows to is blindingly fast and extremely fun to play in. Often times, you will find yourself testing your skills, fighting against oncoming traffic, trying to survive!

A Clean, Fresh Faced Look: Another large change is that Burnout Paradise does away with menus and load times. Everything from going offline to online, to changing the color of your car is done seamlessly and cleanly. This is a fantastic feature that Criterion Games competitors should seriously look to incorporate into their game titles.

Eventful Days: Other than the fact that the game is in an open city not very much has changed from the core Burnout model. The most notable event changes occur in race mode. You start at the junction that you triggered the race at, and you are given a destination, but how you get to said destination is entirely up to you.

You can choose to take the risky approach, taking every shortcut and secret tunnel in the city, hoping that they shoot you to the head of the pack, or you can race classic style, bumper-to-bumper, close contact racing. But those two options are far from the only ways of getting your race on.

Another major change comes in the newly titled Showtime mode. The Showtime mode is a direct replacement for the crash mode that we all have come to love. The newly dubbed Showtime mode can be triggered anywhere at anytime, all you have to do is press the shoulder buttons.

In the anywhere-triggered Showtime mode you crash into cars to keep your boost meter full. If your boost meter drops to empty, the show is over and your score is tallied. Should you have online access, your score and your user name will be displayed as the top crasher for all to see, provided you have actually defeated the former champion.

Oh, Another Win, Yay: However, despite all of these new features that work well, I do have to say that the game wares old after a disappointingly short amount of time. The races lose their excitement, the ramps and big air you find lose their intensity, and the game loses its appeal. Not to mention that the game is extremely easy until the very highest level of races.

I was disappointed at the small amount of time it took for the game to get boring in single player mode, but then again, the Burnout franchise was made as an arcade racer, and that is what it is at heart.

Rent vs. Buy: This is a great game, but only to for a quick race to pass the time while you are waiting for the pizza to be delivered. If you wish to maximize the overall longevity of the game you will need to ensure that you have a Microsoft Live account for multi-player action.

If you are looking for something that will deliver highly customizable cars, in depth racing, and more of a deeper experience, then you should be inclined to look at something else

Report Card

This is a great game, but only to for a quick race to pass the time while you are waiting for the pizza to be delivered. If you are looking for something that will deliver highly customizable cars, in depth racing, and more of a deeper experience, then you should be inclined to look at something else. (Krakrabbit.com)

C


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