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It's A Small World

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-01-18 10:55:30

Americans on Average Weigh 25 lbs. More Than When the Ride First Opened

I haven't been posting my game reviews here, since the site relaunch is right around the corner. Game reviews will be found, well, in the game review section. I'm going to use this space to talk about impending releases that I'm intrigued by.

Burnout is hands down the best arcade style racing franchise. Burnout Paradise releases on Tuesday, and it's the first real "next-gen" entry in the franchise. (Can we start saying "current-gen" yet?") The demo for it has been available for some time, but it's so (understandably) limited in scope, that it doesn't really convey the heart of the game experience.

Burnout Paradise has been transformed into a free roaming exploration experience, in the same way that Crackdown did for the third person action genre. Instead of tackling a prearranged set of races, there's something to do at every street corner. You simply drive around and tackle the next challenge you feel like, as opposed to flipping through artificial menus. Instead of the courses being set on rails, you can take any route to the finish line, and the joy is in finding the most optimal one.

No doubt, this can be bewildering at first. It's odd how games have conditioned us to expect tight boundaries, and now that the technology and design has advanced to give us freedom, many gamers find it disconcerting. As far as I'm concerned, Burnout Paradise brings me ever so closer to my childhood imaginings of flinging my Matchbox cars around in simulated races and wrecks.

Toss in online play, where you and several buddies muck around the city together, and pull up to any stop light and decide to start a race - I'm more excited about Burnout Paradise than any non-sim racer has ever made me.

I also have to discuss the fact that Burnout Paradise is the first significant release that actually runs a shade better on the PS3 than 360. I'm still going to snag the 360 version, because it supports custom soundtracks (PS3 version does not), and because my 360 friend list is larger than my PS3 list by a scale of (literally) 100:1.

Now Playing - Old arcade games for my upcoming Retrogaming column

Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce

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