Burnout Legends is a car racing game for the Nintendo DS, and different versions of this game have also been released onto other platforms.
The game is easy enough to pick up in principle, but when you reach this point you are likely to notice that the game is very difficult to play and it is very difficult to control the car. Sliding the car is difficult and it is hard to even keep the car on the track. Although there are other racing games which are hard to pick up at first, this game just appeared to me to be badly programmed.
The game should be better than this as there are lots of different modes to play in the game. You can choose from driving on single track in a range of modes such as road rage, pursuit and crash, or you can choose to play through a world tour campaign. The crash mode, which works by trying to cause as much damage as possible, is entirely unplayable in this game as the collision detector programming just doesn't work.
The graphics are unimpressive, especially when you discover that your car has managed to drive through a wall and other collision detector errors which you find on a regular basis. It diminishes from the atmosphere and it of course diminishes from the game play. The music and sound effects in the game are again poor, with very little effort put into them. Since the game lacks playability, good graphics or sound effects, you can imagine that the game is entirely without atmosphere.
If you are able to persist with the poor game play, you will discover that there are extra cars and tracks which can be unlocked by progressing through the game. However, it is unlikely that many players will get that far through the game to see the rewards of their work. The principle of the game really is very good, especially with all the options, but playability is the key factor in any game.
Normally I'd say at this point that as the game has the capability to play with up to another five players, this increases the fun of the game for a while. However, in this case, I didn't find that the multi player mode was able to add anything to the game, it remains terrible, and seems more based on luck than any skill you may pick up playing the game.
The game is currently available for nine pounds on Amazon, although can be found cheaper second-hand on the same site, or on eBay. The game is rated 3+ so is suitable for children of nearly all ages.
Overall, this is a good game on other platforms which has been poorly ported onto the Nintendo DS. It verges on unplayable, and is in my opinion certainly not a game which has much long lasting game play. Unless you can pick up very cheaply, I'd personally say that this isn't a game that you should bother with, there are other driving games to be found on the DS.
Questions should really be asked why the production company let this game be released since it appears to only be half finished.
Being a fan of racing games for many years, I had always played racing games on larger consoles such as PS2, X-Box etc, using a steering wheel controller and pedals where possible. I had played the original Burnout on the Nintendo Gamecube and was intrigued to find that Burnout Legends was now available to play on the somewhat smaller and maybe less suited, controller wise, Nintendo DS.
The original Burnout series set itself aside from the pack of usual racing games as it had an emphasis on spectacular visual crashes. Burnout Legends has taken a selection of tracks from its previous releases and combined them into a single title release.
On loading the Cart you have the choice of many modes covering time trials, road rage and, as expected, Crash mode. In addition to a good selection of tracks you also have a varied selection of cars raging from standard coupes to testosterone fuelled muscle cars.
Graphically, the cars are slightly blocky and the background scenery is slightly blurry. The background detail is probably less important as you would expect scenery to blur as your cars drive past it at speed anyway. The crash animations, being one of the games unique nuances, were in my opinion slightly a let down and not as graphically realistic and convincing as found on the previous console versions.
Sonically speaking I found the background music to be uninspirational and repetitive, it became annoying quite quickly. In contrast, the sounds of the car and crashes are quite acceptable, considering the overall memory limits of a NDS cartridge.
Now on to the important part - game play. Each car has its own handling characteristics, such as variances in speed, acceleration and reactive handling.
On the tracks the cars seem to handle quite well, despite having an analogue controller. To be honest I found that the D-Pad controller of the DS struggles in this kind of game environment, as steering in general requires a graduated approach, not the all or nothing on/off switching of analogue control. There are some collision issues, where your car appears to have hit another object and maybe it hadn't!, but these issues are few and far between. In single player mode the artificial intelligence of the competitor's cars, controlled by the DS, are managed well and provide a reasonable racing challenge. The game is also playable wirelessly against other human opponents, I was however unable to test this.
In conclusion, to compare Burnout Legends to its bigger brother predecessors is probably unfair considering the limitations of the NDS memory, graphic resolution and sound. These issues set aside, the game is faithful to its predecessors and is an enjoyable racing game albeit slightly let down graphically by the crashes and surrounding scenery. The game play is enjoyable and varied enough to last several plays, add to this the bonus of portability and instantaneous racing action and you have a good overall racing game.
Burnout Legends offers on-the-go automotive anarchy, combining the series' trademark speed, destruction and depth in a portable package combining classic tracks from the series