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"Burnout: Revenge"


When I first bought my Xbox 360 last summer, I think I had thought that "next-generation" gaming would have looked better than, say, another Madden game with slightly better graphics, or a game like "Condemned: Criminal Origins", which has very good sound but gameplay that just didn't cut it.

Then, after I picked up "Gears of War" last fall for the system, I started to see what Microsoft was talking about when they churned out the 360 just a couple of years after brining out the original Xbox.  And, with a game like "Burnout: Revenge", you can see the potential of what game designers can do if they are focused on delivering the next-gen experience to the masses, because this muthafucka is FAST.

I mean, blazing fast.  Even in its early beginner stages, this puppy is quick.  "Burnout: Revenge" is like many other arcade-style racers in that there are requirements within each race that must be met in order to earn gold, silver or bronze ratings; within that, you are given a rating on how badass your run was, and the combination of the two earns you anywhere from one to five stars for each event.  Those stars are the way you can "level up" your character, up to ten levels of badassery that allow you to try more events.  Those events are mixed between time trials, single races, race series of three events, elimination matches (the last place car is taken out of the race every 30 seconds), revenge races and crashbreaker races (where you have to drive other cars off the road), and, the game's signature events, Crash races, where all you have to do is wreck your car in busy intersections to pile up millions of dollars in damage to win a gold medal.

The racing in this game is pretty intense; the explosions are incredible; because the game has an "NBA Jam"-style competition setting, you can never be very far out of a race, to make sure that every ending is razor-close.  There are so many mini-events, challenges within events, and triggers that allow you to win more cars that there's always something to do...which is really the game's only major flaw.  Kind of like "Gran Turismo" games in a sense, there's literally too much to do in "Burnout: Revenge" and that makes you wonder if it's worth trying to finish completely.  Because the ten skill levels are only slightly harder from one to the next, and because the cars are non-licensed cars that don't exactly fire you up to win the hidden ones, you can do what I did--play the game for about 15 hours, complete 40% of it, and still feel like you got a complete experience from the game.  It would take more than 40 hours to beat the whole thing, and not much would be different between the 15-hour point and the ending, except for maybe some more blisters on my trigger finger.

But, as a rental or as an eBay purchase, you should pick up "Burnout: Revenge" right away.  A ton of fun, but there's just too much here to try and complete, a rare complaint for a racing game but legitimate given the lack of variation around the halfway point.

Rating:  $40


Feedback?  Comments?  Salma Hayek's digits?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09