Review | Burnout Paradise: the Ultimate Box
I could have done the Preview first this weekend, and then next weekend the Review but I thought, what the hell let's do it in one shot ! So first you will get the Preview bit and then the Review bit (that is quite long). So read further when you are ready, because this will be getting quite rough !!!

PREVIEW: I have played the original release back in 2008 on the Xbox 360 and I was quite suprised that Criterion brought this game back on the road... After the quite miss step of Burnout Revenge. Between that short test drive and this re-release of the game Criterion made some patches and additions to the game. First of all in the form of bikes for the game. Followed up by some new cars and updates for the game (day and night cycle). But best of all. The release for the PC community. I know what console people will say. But I was one of thoes people. I was one of thoes people that said: give it a go on the PC if you don't make the money you think, go away from it... So here they are. One slight thing they changed in that note is that they re-released it for the consoles as well. But this version is more or less for the PC, now matter how you see it !

REVIEW: When I started to play I were getting the feeling I had the first time I played a Burnout game (back then Burnout 3: Takedown). The sence of joy you get when you go with high speed trough the traffic of Paradise City. The somewhat sad feeling when you crash you car in the barrier, instantly followed up by the smile you get from the co-highway users that were not so fast as you... and that crash with you ! The game is doing everything extremely well. you start your car/bike. You go fast, you go even faster, you will escape from almost intense crashes... and eventually you will have that big crash you have tried evading. The open world scenario works well for the game as well. It's not that open world you would expect from NFS: Most Wanted. It's more like that open world from FarCry 2 only then in an arcade racing / crash game. Because of the day and night cycle you can choose how long it will take to get dark. You can choose between 2 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours and local time. That last option will make the game more challenging in a way. Because then you will see the game change during your playing sessions on the day it self. The events are cool and they have changed the crash event into a showtime event. You can set a record on every road and street in the game. And if you're tired of that you can search and destroy all gates and bill boards and go over every super jump that is in the game. In some kind of odd way Burnout is the Tony Hawk of racing... Insane but also quite serious. And all of this with total control over the vehicle. At first you will find it odd, the A and Z gas and brake on the PC Keyboard but after a while you will get used to it. And it isn't really hard to master a car after that !

SOME FLAWS: In the beginning of the game I noticed some framedrops but this was more or less because of my AntiVirus scanner that Burnout doesn't like. On the bike the system will remember the events you have done. And on the way in a car the system does that as well. But the thing with the car is: after every upgrade from your drivers license you are getting the opportunity to do every event again. And that's odd, because you already did a certain event so it won't be added to your license anymore. But it won't get a mark that is perminent like you get with the bike. After every license upgrade the mark will disapear again. The menu interface of the game is a bit tricky as well ! I was looking for a certain option quite a time. And the showtime event isn't really accesiable either. Talking of which, I liked the crash event in Burnout 3 better then this showtime event. Every event has it's charm but I think the crash expect has lost it's charm a bit. And then, last but not least the Bikes aren't really that worked out as I would like to see. You can do a burning route or ride, and this on day or night scale. But I miss the stunt events on the bike. Or the record of longest wheelie on a certain street or road. But overall the game is good worth for it's money. And that makes me wonder, why EA can't do this for all it's game it's publishing !!!

Out now: PC.PS3.X360 | EA, Criterion Games