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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 24, 2006

My view: 'Burnout Revenge'

By Jeremy Castillo
Special to The Advertiser

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5 Outstanding: Add it to your collection now. A must-have.

4 Great: Buy it or rent it definitely play it.

3 Good: Worth playing despite some flaws.

2 Fair: Unless you're a fan of the license or series, don't bother.

1 Poor: You'd have more fun playing Pong.

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Game: "Burnout Revenge"

Console: PlayStation 2 (also available for Xbox, Xbox 360)

Developer/publisher: Criterion/EA

Genre: Racing

Number of players: One or two; six online

Rated: E10, for those 10 and older

Game play: "Burnout Revenge" is inspired by road-rage-induced fantasies. The objective is to win races by any means necessary, even slamming fellow racers into oncoming traffic and over the edge of a cliff, drifting around hairpin turns at breakneck speeds and taking insane jumps.

The World Tour mode is where most of the action happens. You'll start off as a lowly racer but with each race you progress in earning a reputation as a road danger. Every event you play will have a ranking system. At the end, you'll have two rankings: a medal ranking and a star rating. The star rating is more important because it determines how much you advance. However, it's not as linear as it sounds sometimes you unlock events for rankings you've already surpassed and are forced to go back and play them just to get to an even higher level. It makes the game feel unorganized but doesn't take away from the fun.

The racing options here are great. Most fans will gravitate to Crash Mode: Here you drive into the middle of traffic and gain points according to the amount of destruction you create. Traffic Check events are geared toward anyone who's ever been stuck in traffic: You speed through the streets, slamming cars as hard as you can for points and turbo boosts. Eliminator, where the last-place car is dropped at the end of a lap, is a racing-game standard nowadays here it's where the AI can get really cheap, so be warned.

Good/bad: What's most impressive about this game are the little technical details such as sound, controls and handling of mechanics. The sounds are crisp and help bring a level of adrenaline to the game; controls are tight and easy for anyone to pick up, which is good because this game can get quite addictive. The cars themselves are characters, all with different abilities and handling and it's up to you to figure it out, which gets more complicated at times than it really needs to be.

My take: "Burnout Revenge" is easily the best game in the series and the best arcade racer on the system. Racing fans will surely enjoy the insane amount of guilty pleasure brought on by traffic checks and wanton destruction, as would any gamer with a pulse. A truly great game that is worth playing at any cost.

Jeremy Castillo is a student at Windward Community College and editor of the college's newspaper, Ka 'Ohana.