Since the release of Burnout 3: Takedown earlier this year, we have seen quite a few games that have tried to go the same route, one of which is Climax’s budget title for the Xbox. It’s called Crash ’N’ Burn, and it has a lot of potential for a budget title but does it have enough to take the game through the finish line? Read our full review to find out!
One of the biggest budget genres for the consoles has been the racing genre, which actually seems to also be the one genre (besides ESPN Sports) that can do well with the low price tag. In Crash ’N’ Burn you can tell pretty quickly that this is a less expensive game but not so much one with a twenty dollar price tag.
Although Crash ’N’ Burn could be considered much more of an online game then an offline, the game does offer some offline modes to choose from, offering you a chance to unlock some new cars and such. The offline modes consist of a single race and a championship mode, which aren’t overly deep. The championship mode has you go through a few different types of races that all work relatively the same. My opinion is that the championship mode should have been worked on harder because the game’s championship mode is extremely short and not all that well thought out. Only the diehard fans of the game will actually take the time and effort to unlock everything in the game, but from my experiences I never really got into the championship mode mainly because there wasn’t a whole lot driving it.
One of the more unfortunate yet understandable things about Crash ’N’ Burn are the vehicles which are not licensed at all. This makes the most sense because of how much crashing and burning (hence the name) that you will be doing in the game. The game does make cars, which ranged from compacts, sports to muscle cars, look very similar to their real life counterparts, with just slight variations. Although it would have been nice to see real cars the ones that are in the game are pretty good.
So the single player obviously isn’t the meat and potatoes of the game, because that’s where the Xbox Live support comes in. In Crash ’N’ Burn, the online mode is setup similar to most standard Live games, with the quick match, Optimatch, create a match options all available. The game also throws in some computer-controlled cars for the spaces in the game that are not held by human drivers. This is one of the best and worst ideas the game developers had with the development (being the AI). Online, the AI really struggles to even force any sort of action to the game, which instead leaves them more to getting in the way more then anything. The online play in the game works well enough to be respectable.
All of these gameplay modes and more would be nothing if the gameplay in the game wasn’t any good and this is where some of the ups and downs of the game come. You see the arcade style in which we have become used to has become so polished over the years, that while playing Crash n Burn it really feels as though you are playing a game that was created quite a few years ago, rather then a new release. You can see the developers weren’t striving for excellence in the game as the AI could have really been helped out quite a bit. Many times during the driving sequences the AI does some of the most ridiculous decisions and it makes you scratch your head and wonder why these sorts of things weren’t cleaned up a bit.
So while we do know that this is a budget title and that does usually cause a dip in the quality of the game, there just still isn’t enough in this package to really satisfy the average gamer.
One of the worst qualities for almost all budget titles are the visuals, which also seem to get the raw end of the deal. For one reason or another, the quality of graphics in these games never really decent enough to make them respectable.
Well Crash n Burn may not be as bad as some of the budget titles I have played over the years, but it still doesn’t help the genre either. With that being said, Crash n Burn decides to take a very arcade style and it works well for the game but it just feels quite a few years late. The car designs are by far the best portion of the game, which closely resemble real life cars, with minor differences. The biggest problem with the game is the frame rate, which has a lot of trouble when a lot of action hits the screen.
Overall Crash n Burn is a decent looking game, nothing overly wrong with it besides the frame rate, and in this game it seems like unless you are looking for things like that you will be just fine.
The main point for any of these arcade-style driving games are to be fun, and for that we do get some satisfaction out of Crash n Burn. It may not be on par with Burnout 3, but on its own merits it does provide some fun experiences. The Live support, which is what really drives the game, works quite well but just isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. The one thing that does however drag the game down is the poor computer AI, which at first can be funny but after a while just becomes a big annoyance.
You ever heard the saying "you get what you pay for"? Well although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in regards to this game it is right on the money. This is a game that does well for the price, but for a game in general is just average. It has some good sequences, some decent ones, and some bad ones. If you are a huge car racing fan and like seeing things blown up and are on a tight budget, this isn’t a bad budget game to pick up.
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