2.23.2009

Burnout Paradise Legendary Cars

When I'm not playing Street Fighter, I enjoy certain driving games.  Lately I've been playing Burnout Paradise, which I've come to realize is the greatest driving game ever.  That's a bold statement, I know.  Even with great driving games like Gran Turismo, Outrun, Ridge Racer and even Mario Kart out there, it's still an easy choice.  75 vehicles to choose from, an enormous highly detailed city and suburbs to drive around in, over a hundred activities to participate in, including races, stunt runs, speed runs, marked man and takedown runs.  The vehicles handle beautifully, and it's FAST, FAST!  You really get a sense of speed and danger when you play.  And the crashes are the most realistic ever.  Nice, dramatic slow motion footage of your crashes with lots of debris and flying tires.  Haha fun!  Custom soundtracks, you can use the in-game soundtrack or use MP3 off the HDD.  Plus, all events are available online, to race with or against  friends.

Another great thing about the game is that since its release a year ago, the developer Criterion Games has fully supported the game with downloadable content.  And unlike some companies that shall rename nameless who overcharge for downloadable content NAMCO...  Most of the Burnout Paradise content is free.  Namco charges me $4.99 for one extra character in Soul Calibur IV.  Criterion has released multiple full updates for free.  The first was the Cagney Pack in August '08, which added new missions and new cars for FREE.  The second was the Bikes Pack which added a whole new dynamic to the game, day and night.  Plus it added motorcycles and over a hundred new missions just for the motorcycles, FREE.  Next was the Party Pack, which changed the overall look and layout of the in-game menus, and allowed you to restart a mission halfway through or if you fail (rather than driving all the way back to the start point).  It also added an 8 player party mode where you can take turns completing objectives, again FREE.  Finally, for the first time Criterion has charged for an update, but I didn't mind paying for it as they'd given me all the previous major updates for free.  Last week the Legendary Cars pack was released, they took four pre-existing cars in the game and modified them to emulate some well known "legendary" cars.

The Manhattan Spirit:

Based on The Ecto-1. when you press L3 the lights and siren turn on.  When you boost, the lights and PKE meter spin.

The Cavalry Bootlegger:

Based on the General Lee, the default color is white, but can be switched to orange.  When you press L3 the famous horn sounds.  I like to use it during jumps.

The Carson Nighthawk:

Based on KITT, this car should not exist.  When you boost, a spoiler pops up from the rear and the trademark lights and sound flash at the front.  If you look inside the window, you can see the detailed dashboard of gadgets. The car is also silly fast and nearly indestructible.

The Jansen 88 Special:

Based on Doc Brown's DeLorean time machine. When you boost, you get two fire trails behind you.  The best thing about the 88 Special is when you press L3:

Yep, it actually hovers.

Criterion also has FOUR MORE updates planned for the near future.  The Toy Cars Pack will add some interesting super-deformed versions of classic Burnout vehicles.

Boost Specials will add two of the fastest cars in Paradise City, one is a classic hot rod, the other is TBA.

Big Surf Island is one I'm really looking forward to. There is a bridge under construction in Paradise City.  When Big Surf Island releases that bridge will open and you'll have access to a whole new area to explore which promises some of the greatest jumps and stunts in Paradise City.

The fourth pack to be announced is Cops and Robbers, where they'll be adding police chases to the mix.

Now you tell me, does this not sound like the greatest driving game ever or what?  The entire game is available now for the low price of $40 as the Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box, with all the updates up to the Party Pack included.  If you have PS3, you can download the Ultimate box on PS3 Network.  That's right, don't even need to go to the store to play this one.  Xbox 360 owners will have to leave the house, guard your pasty gamer skin.

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