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== BURNOUT PARADISE THE ULTIMATE BOX ==
The Burnout games have previously been a huge success with the most notably Burnout Takedown being the highlight of a series of top racing games. Burnout Paradise is available for PC, PS3 and the Xbox 360. Burnout Paradise has been changed in a lot of different ways but I wouldn't say its been changed for the better. Developers Criterion Games have added a somewhat strange free roaming system to Burnout a little bit like the old Driver games that were back on the PS1. Burnout Paradise has been completely reinvented and to be fair the older Burnout games are much better. The Ultimate Box version of this game is more expensive than the normal Burnout Paradise and the gameplay is exactly the same. The only added bits to the Ultimate Box version is new cars, the ability to ride and use bikes and it also features Cagney. Cagney is three new multiplayer modes for online play. The Ultimate Box also features the party pack and update pack. Both these packs feature new cars and new areas to the game.
Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box is the 7th installment of the Burnout games. Electronic Arts have yet again published the game. The game doesn't feature a concrete story line and its also set in the fictional Paradise City. Burnout Paradise is a fast paced action game with lots of challenges.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
The Burnout games have usually been fantastic for the gameplay options and features but Burnout Paradise just doesn't offer as much as previous Burnout games. One huge loss for Burnout Paradise is the multiple game modes that have always been available. One being the crash modes that were available where you had to cause a massive pile up. Burnout Paradise only has the one real proper single player game mode to offer. The multiplayer options are just like the single player challenges but against other online gamers. The challenges in the game can be found at traffic lights. As weird as it sounds it actually isn't a bad idea. When your at the traffic lights rev your car with two buttons and you'll be told what challenge you have to undertake. Before entering the challenge it actually tells you on the right of the screen what type of challenge it is. I actually do like the challenges in this Burnout game and most of them are really enjoyable.
The challenges include Road Rage. In Road Rage your aim is to take out as many cars as possible in the time limit. At the start your told how many cars must be taken out. This is one of the easiest challenges in the game and the most fun. There is also a normal Race. Race against the set number of cars from one part of the city all the way to another. This gets really repetitive because its from traffic light to traffic light and there isn't a whole lot of difference with the routes you have to take. Marked Man is a really good challenge but it can become extremely frustrating. The aim of this challenge is to get to a certain point in the city whilst being hunted by hungry savage like cars that I like to call Terminators. They are one of the reasons I like the game because its challenging. Stunt Run is another easy challenge and to complete these challenges you only need to do stunts. Stunts are easily done by hitting jumps or using boost. Reach the target score before time runs out. Burning Routes is the type of challenge that reap rewards if you complete them. These challenges are hard to come by but all you have to do is get to a certain point in the city in the allocated time limit. Doing so will result in a new car. There are also bike challenges available if you would prefer to ride motorcycles. The challenges are pretty much the same but are set at certain times in the game. For example you can only enter certain challenges at night.
When your not in a challenge then your more than likely just free roaming the city. The city isn't the biggest place ever but it does have a lot of unique places to visit and it has a lot of things that need to be done. If your lucky other racers will pass you whilst in free roam. If they do chase them down and take them out to be awarded a new car. Now when I say new its actually wrecked and needs picking up from the Junk Yard. The Junk Yards can be found on your map. After getting your newly wrecked car then I suggest visiting a repair shop. They are scattered throughout Paradise City and all you need to do is driver through. There are also so many petrol stations scattered through the city and these stations refill your boost. Fancy a new paint job? then visit the paint shop. Like the rest of the shops driving through it will automatically do what needs to be done. Also scattered through Paradise City is lots of different billboards and shortcuts. Find and smash your way through all of them for rewards.
Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box is a good racing game but its no way near as good as previous Burnout games. It does offer a fair bit in terms of gameplay but is that enough? obviously not. Also the lack of police in the game is pretty bad because there is hardly any what so ever. Also the multiplayer online modes are a little weak in my opinion. Yeah there are a lot of different challenges to take but for some reason I just didn't enjoy them as much as when I did in single player. I do think the free roaming part of the game is pointless and I do feel this is the main reason for the game not being as good as past Burnout games. Plus with no crash modes how can this even be called a Burnout game?.
=== GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS ===
Burnout games have always had detailed graphics which has been a fantastic thing about the games. Burnout Paradise is no different. The graphics are detailed to the fullest especially with the huge car crashes you can witness or even take part in. The crashes look almost real and it certainly gives you a great feeling when things like this work tremendously well. One disappointment I had is the design of the city. Its not the biggest city a game can offer. Take Grand Theft Auto for example, its huge and has multiple locations to explore but Burnout Paradise only has Paradise City. Its also not the best layout to a city and at times most of the places look the same half way across the island. The scenery on the other hand is actually really good. A beautifully designed sky and some lush looking water make the game look a lot better and also makes you forget how poor the city actually looks. Also the cars and bikes in the game look nicely designed. I was fairly impressed with the graphics to this Burnout game.
The sound effects are a little varied in terms of quality. One of the best sound features to the game is the Guns N Roses song Paradise City that is the main theme song for the game understandably. It suits the game well and is always played. To be honest there isn't much else in terms of music available except for the rock songs the radio plays automatically when your driving around. Also one of the best parts to the games sound effects is when a massive pile up takes place because it sound realistic and smashing. Overall the sound effects would be great but the two things that let the game down in this department is the constant jabber of the guy in the background and the other is the sound seems to dim at times then all of a sudden get louder.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
The game isn't that difficult but it can be challenging as well as annoying. Most of the challenges in the game are simple and barely gave me trouble. I did hate doing the race challenges the most because one false turn and your either going the wrong way or you've taken the extremely long route. Also the Marked Man challenges are the most annoying because the cars are like savages and wont stop whacking you. The challenges can be challenging and as you progress further in the game they become more challenging. Also the length of the game is okay. Like I mentioned the city isn't huge but there are a lot of different challenges and events to undertake making up for the small city. Also it doesn't take a long time to complete maybe 15 hours tops but with the multiplayer options it can last a whole lot longer.
=== ACHIEVEMENTS ===
Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box achievements are pretty straight forward and not that hard to get. There are a total of 60 achievements available to get which is a brilliant amount and more than what most games offer. Most of them can be acquired just by progressing on in the game and completing challenges and doing certain tasks. Some achievements are for obtaining your licences which can be obtained by completing challenges. Other achievements can be acquired by destroying so many vehicles in Road Rage. Beating certain timed events and also winning so many races. There are a couple of time consuming achievements but shouldn't cause a problem. One is to get a total of 500 takedowns overall. The achievements to Burnout Paradise are really good and definitely challenging and fun to try and get them all.
=== GOOD BITS ===
*Lots of different ways to cause havoc and make your opponent crash out.
*There are a lot of different events and challenges available to play.
*The overall graphics to the game are fantastic especially the crashes.
*There are a lot of different vehicles to drive, find and unlock to use at your disposal.
*Multiplayer options are okay and can be fun to play.
=== BAD BITS ===
*There isn't a story to the game and it feels like your playing for nothing.
*Sometimes the sound to the game seems to get quiet.
*Paradise City isn't big enough and doesn't offer variety.
*The length of the single player mode is too small and the game could do with more single player modes.
*The game can be annoying at times.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Okay so its not the best Burnout game ever but its still fun to play. Its definitely different from other Burnout games and maybe thats where developers Criterion went wrong. I did enjoy playing the game because I have always been a huge Burnout fan. I found myself swapping between Burnout and the Need For Speed games and always found myself thinking which is the best. Don't get me wrong its a good game but the Need For Speed franchise has always been one step ahead. If your a fan of fast racing games with hectic action then look no further.
Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box has an age rating of just 7+ and is suitable for most gamers. The game manual is okay and gives a lot of helpful information. I would recommend the game because its good and is still playable online. Beating your friends in challenges is always a highlight.
The price of the game varies depending on where you look. I actually got mine from Amazon used but in brilliant condition. It set me back just £12 for The Ultimate Box edition which is fantastic value for money. For a brand new copy of the game your looking close to £20. I would say its worth investing in for a used copy. Overall its a good fast racing game and I would scrape a 7/10 for it.
Check out my gameplay video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDmnFsWeT2E
Review also on Ciao under username: MrBrightside1987!
I've always been a big fan of the burnout games. Burnout 3 had great races, cars, soundtrack and graphics and after burnout 3 came burnout 4. Burnout 4 was good with the added feature of being able to hit cars going the same way as you without crashing.
So when I heard about burnout paradise I figured it would be a great game. I was wrong.
Burnout is, in short, a racing game. But unlike other racing games Burnout has always offered much more; different types of races (E.g. race and road rage mode), crash mode, takedowns, boost bar, multiplayer mode and online mode.
While the main features are the same as the previous burnout games Paradise adds in the extra feature of freedom and a map. While in theory this sounds great - drive anywhere and find the fastest route - it just doesn't work. When you're not racing it's nice to just be able to drive around, but once you start to race you're constantly looking at the map and trying to figure out where to go, all the time while trying not to crash or drive too slow.
The speed and near misses are what made burnout great, but now your focus is more on map reading and attempting to find the best way, then learn the route and then how to drive it quickly. After driving any route so many times you begin to learn it and the best way to get from A to B without the crashes, but it's so easy to make a wrong turn on Paradise and then you find you're back to the map trying to work out where you need to go.
A few extra side roads are always interesting, but when racing this game would be so much better if they blocked off some roads, removed the map and just gave you the option of taking a few different roads that all lead the same way.
So actually finding your way isn't as simple as it should be, but how about controlling the car? Well each car has slightly different stats. Some have better handling, some have more speed and so on. Still, every car drives well and the controls are simple.
Starting a race is also fairly simple to do, although not as simple as it used to be. No longer can you just click through a menu and decide on a location, instead you have to drive there. I don't mind this idea, it means you find random races as you travel around. However, trying to find a certain race might prove more difficult if you can't map read. The other annoying thing about it is if you lose the race. You have to drive all the way back to the start line to retry, unlike in previous games where you could select retry after a race.
As well as the single player mode Burnout Paradise also has an online player mode and mulitplayer mode, which work in the same way as the single player mode except that you race other people around the world or your friends rather than the computerised cars. Having this gives more life to the game, but if you're not impressed with the gameplay in single player mode you probably won't enjoy the online mode or multiplayer option either.
The audio is as good as ever with realistic sound effects you'd expect from any car game and the normal type of soundtrack, including artists such as Guns N' Roses, Jimmy Eat World and Avril Lavigne.
As for the graphics, they are good too. The cars and locations look quite realistic.
The game has lost the main thing that made it exciting to play. After many hours of playing this game is probably ok, but for those who don't want to have to learn a whole map or keep map reading and just want to jump in and race this game is not for you.