02 Dec, 2004

Crash N Burn Review

Xbox Review | Somebody call 911!
Upon booting up yet another arcade racer we were obviously skeptical, however, by the end of the introduction movie we were eager for more. Crash N Burn is an arcade racer that combines crashing with racing. Sure, we’ve seen this type of game before, but when it’s so fun we really don’t mind. Crash N Burn also adds it’s own flavour to the game by keeping the damaged car parts on the track, the challenge is not only to come first, but to survive, and normally it is the latter that is the most challenging aspect of the game.

I will admit that upon playing Crash N Burn for the first time I was a little more disappointed, the game is definitely different. Maybe I have been treated by Burnout 3 but Crash N Burn is noticeably slower than Burnout 3. The initial few races also offer little variation so the game definitely opens without any surprises. However, we’ll go more into this more later.

The game has a deceptively large amount of modes included. Some of the modes include Race, Team Race, Kamikaze, Team Kamikaze, Running Man, Last Man Standing, Assassination, Running Man and Bomb Tag. Some of these modes are truly unique and could be seen in future arcade games, as some of the ideas are really good.

Crash N Burn also features a few ways to customize and personalize your car. Gamers can change their paint schemes, rims, spoilers and more. This is obviously not as extensive as Need for Speed: Underground 2 but it is a feature which was completely absent from Burnout 3.

The races take place in completely fictional tracks set in America. The track locations range from Miami, San Francisco, L.A and New York. The developer, Climax have done a good job of creating a fictional track, but making the location of the race instantaneously recognizable. Those with online support for either the Playstation 2 and Xbox will get more value out of the game, as it is the first arcade game ever to support up to sixteen players online, just imagine the possible destruction.

Just getting away from the pack there, but missing his back end.

Just getting away from the pack there, but missing his back end.
The main drawcard of Crash N Burn are the ever changing tracks. At the beginning of a race, the track will be clean and ready to be raced on, by the end of the race it is not unusual for half the cars to be littered on the track, fire to be spreading all over the track and bits of debris to be scattered around. The best thing about the game is the fact that no race will ever be the same, and no track will ever look at the same at the end of the race.

The main mode of Crash N Burn is in the race events screen. For the single player there are championships which fuel progression. These include a GP championship, XGP championship, KGP championship and many more. Placing first will earn the player experience points and cash. Cash can be used to purchase vehicles from one of the four vehicle types (Pickup Truck, Muscle Car, Sports Coupe & Hot Hatch) or even be used to upgrade the gamer’s current car.

The game play is significantly slower than we were expecting, but once more cars have been unlocked it speeds up quite quickly. As there is often a lot of debris on the tracks we think that if the game was any faster we wouldn't be able to cope. There is also a lot of things happening on the track at once which can often be cause for slowdown. Thankfully though, there is no slowdown at all and the game retains a very consistant frame-rate.

Sometimes it can feel a bit like the computer is cheating though, a clean consistant race can often be ruined by a unseen car. Your opponents will miss the car and the race might as well be over, as the gamer will be in last position. Often the best strategy is just to try and get in first for the entire race, and stay there while the computers fight. Getting stuck in a battling pack can be ridiculously irritating as precious race time can be quickly lost.

There are a lot of championships which means the game can last for quite an extensive amount of time. The online play with also help to extend the longetivity of the game. As we’ve already mentioned the game is deceptively long, initially it looks like an arcade racer that will last barely an hour, but all the modification options and championships make this game quite indepth.

Getting stuck behind a pack is really frustrating.

Getting stuck behind a pack is really frustrating.
One thing to note is that the graphics aren’t anything spectacular. Actually, we’d struggle to name many arcade games released this year that look worse. However, Flat Out certainly proved that a game doesn’t need to look good to be good. The car models feature some average light effects and the tracks aren’t that good looking. There is definite room for improvement with this.

The sound is not too bad, the songs really do grow on you, however initially they sound a bit familiar (this is, ironically enough a good summary of the game itself) The commentary can range from great to cringe worthy. “Someone call 911” isn’t exactly a phrase that Australians or Europeans are going to relate too. There is no custom soundtrack support for the Xbox though, we genuinely don’t know why this was omitted but it would have been a good inclusion.

Crash N Burn is a title that doesn’t overwhelm from the beginning. It really grows on you though and once it does it becomes highly addictive. Some of the race modes are just purely fun, such as the kamikaze races which just encourage destruction. We admit the graphics aren’t exactly great, and the speed isn’t that great, but the game is fun. It is highly entertaining and can last a long time and is playable online, what more can you ask for? Sure, it isn’t as good as Burnout 3 but is a quality stand alone title.
The Score
Crash N Burn is another game that we have found to be surprisingly good. After playing some real disappointing games lately it is enjoyable to come back and play an entertaining game. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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1 Comment
9 years ago
Crash and Burn looks really really good.
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