(Written and originally posted 02.20.08)
I recently picked up Burnout Revenge, Sega Rally Revo and Ridge Racer 6 from the bargain bin at one of the local electronics stores. I haven't played Sega Rally yet, though it seems from the demo that it should be an enjoyable enough arcade racer. After sinking my teeth deep into Virtual Tennis 3 and DiRT side by side, it just seemed like the logical next step.
I've tried and failed to get into Ridge Racer, though. I must admit to being biased towards somewhat realistic car physics, and after careening all around the countryside in DiRT, being whipped on rails around hairpin turns and crashing thirty times into a brick wall over the course of five seconds is a tad off-putting. Drifting is fun, but the first twelve or so races in the exploration mode all feel so slow. Even when you're using the nitrous boost (which at this stage is roughly once per lap), things really don't seem to be going very fast.
I did go online and cut my teeth on some higher level cars, and that was a great deal faster, though I kept getting my ass whipped. Apparently, Ridge Racer 6 is still hot in China, and I'm not gonna spend enough hours with this game to beat the crazy drifting masters of Beijing. Also, what the hell is all the points? I've made myself a t-shirt stating the sad fact that "I spent six hours playing Ridge Racer 6, and all I got was 10 lousy achievement points."
So I switched to Burnout.
Holy mother of crap.
I've never played any of the Burnout games before, but from what I gather, Revenge isn't the worst place to start. Sure, the last-gen roots shine through in places, and there's a somewhat unflattering launch title feel to the presentation (though not as jarring as when I put in PGR 3 for the first time after playing DiRT for an afternoon), but by God this game is just so much fun!
Burnout Revenge deserves to be played as loud as possible, and I've been doing just that. It just feels more dangerous and irresponsible the louder you go, and I'm loving it. It took me all of three minutes to get hooked, and I'm having a real hard time putting this game down. Though at times it feels as much like a puzzle game as a driving game, the driving mechanics and sense of speed are so mind-blowingly excellent my recently re-awakened gameplayer brain almost can't stand it.
If Ridge Racer was explosively fast, and gave you all sorts of mad boost for dodging oncoming traffic and taking down other cars, I'd totally dig it.