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"Full Auto"


Why did I buy "Full Auto", a game that came out for the 360 soon after it launched more than a year ago?  Because Best Buy was running a special on it for $30, and it was "Buy Any X360 Game, Get Live Points at 50% Off" time at the store.

I bit, thinking that I would have a good time playing a game where all you do is drive around and blow shit up.  Unfortunately, the execution of "Full Auto" fails to deliver what you got when you play the seminal car destruction game of our lifetime, "Twisted Metal: Black" (for PS2).  Instead of being tasked with driving around and blowing stuff up with no clock, you are actually racing here, and so while trying to blow up your competitors, you also have to worry about--shocker!--winning the race, which seems like a secondary objective when it has always been more fun to blow shit up.

So, there's that.  Plus, the car and weapon selection just isn't very good.  Each of the roughly-thirty selectable cars drives about the same, and only has a choice of about ten weapons...but, you only get to have two weapons on your car at any given time per race.  So, the collection of missiles, rockets, shotguns and machine guns has to be mixed and matched each time out...not so good.  The armor on each car is reasonably weak, so during most matches, you will be blown up two or three times before finishing, but thankfully, there is a magical rewind meter that allows you to go back in time slightly to avoid any fatal crashes.  There are a decent number of tracks, and while working through about 50% of the Career Mode, there are a decent number of little twists to each objective.  You could probably finish the career mode in 10-12 hours.

I did not invest in online play because the arcade version of the game never seemed to be more intriguing to me if it was played with human opponents.  There is no real strategy involved here--it's drive towards the finish line and mainly hope that no one smokes your ass with a rocket just before crossing.  But, with about two shortcuts per track, I guess you could find a way to slide by each opponent...IF they don't know about the shortcut, which is very unlikely!

"Full Auto 2" is out now on PS3, but not being rich, I haven't made the leap yet...and, after playing this first game, it's unlikely that I will be tricked into buying the newer game.  But, at least the graphics are pretty.

Rating:  Rental


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