Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Got Burnout & Fast And Furious Pegged, Ladies And Gentlemen!

But first, a new trailer for Burnout Crash.  I don't recommend that you watch this, but it's too late for you:

Losing vital signs...I NEED MEDICATION!!

But really, if waving your hands around destroys a city, might as well make a Godzilla/King Kong game so what's the difference?  You're not even using driving motions in this game.  What a sad little game.  Once again, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???


Alright, now that we got that wacky little monstrosity out of the way, let's talk about Burnout, Fast and Furious, all those games I like to bash and why they're so popular.  The answer seems obvious, but let me tell you how I see it.

When people play games, there's multiple reasons as to why they do some.  Some do it to solve puzzles.  Some do it to explore an environment.  Some do it to unravel a story.  Some do it to socialize with friends.  Some do it to create a work of art.

But you know what the main reason for games is nowadays?  To feel powerful.  That's why some of the most critically acclaimed & top sellers are basically action-adventures, FPSes, and fighting games.  Games like Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, God of War, Doom, Dead Rising, Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, Batman Arkham Asylum, Prince of Persia, Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter, Tekken, hell, even Super Mario Bros. (steppin on Goombas & Koopa Troopas).  The whole point is to make you feel like a champ...a bad ass mutha-effin champ.  I just killed everyone on the screen!  DUDE THAT WAS EPIC BEAST MODE GUYS!!!  I'm awesome.

That's not to say that I dislike all of the games above (hey, I like FPSes) or that Sega is an exception to this style of game (there's Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, House of the Dead, etc.).  Or that all popular games must be violent cause there's a lot of "decent" ones out there.  Like Portal 2.  I literally saw a Portal 2 commercial on Disney Channel.  So it mustn't be that bad, huh?

So what does this have to do with Burnout?  Well, Burnout makes you feel powerful.  It's an "instant gratification" game.  You don't need massive amounts of skill--just pick it up and play.  You drive down the road trying to complete your primary objective--win the race.  You can take down your opponents by plowing them into obstacles!  YEAH, TAKE THAT BITCH!!!  And should you suck, well--you can always take out gobs of traffic while you're at it.  Hey look, I just destroyed a bunch of minivans and an explosive oil tanker.  Most people like the wrecks.

As a matter of fact, there's literally a game mode in Burnout where the goal is to launch a precious sports/muscle car into oncoming traffic & self-destruct (multiple times if necessary) to do as much damage as possible.  If that's not catering to the powerful crowd (causing massive destruction), I don't know what is.

And this is also applicable, to a certain extent, to games like Fast and the Furious.  Now this game isn't nearly as violent, but Midway/Raw Thrills really loves to use rubber-band AI to their advantage.  Regardless of how poorly you drive, the other drivers keep you in it all the way to the finish line.  It makes you feel good that you barely won as if you're such a great driver (a "powerful" driver).  Unfortunately, the cheap AI seldom lets you win so it leaves you hanging there.  Sneaky Midway.

Now let's talk about Daytona USA, OutRun, etc.  IMO, being able to drive a powerful vehicle, rocking back and forth in drifts, while dominating the competition makes me feel powerful.  Yet sales & popularity for these games have really dropped off.  Why?  Because it doesn't make you feel powerful from the get-go.  There's no massive wreckage to cause (excluding your own vehicle) and it takes a while to get good at the game.  Most people simply don't have the patience for this ESPECIALLY in an arcade setting where they don't want to plunk down a lot of money just to get decent at it.

I'm not going to say "well that sucks, everyone is stupid," but if you're going to make a racing game nowadays, why not go for the biggest demographic?  Burnout sells, Daytona/Outrun notsomuch.  Hey, that's the way it is.  And now you know the whole story.  BTW, this is coolAnd this is funny.


  1. So basically, they took Burnout and removed the ability to drive vehicles. Wow. Let's just flail our arms around like we're having a seizure and make stuff explode. Probably the best 5 minutes of fun you'll ever have with Kinect.

    Speaking of Kinect, maybe you'll find this video interesting...
    Not very related, but interesting nonetheless.

    I promise, one day I'll use that Name/URL option thingy you suggested. I just can't think of a suitable name at the moment. lol

  2. Great video. It's like Goldeneye with Paintball Mode with Virtual Reality with J-Pop. I don't think the Kinect is bad--it can be used well but all we get is "wave your hands at the screen to kill guys" or "play this poorly calibrated racing game." Pretty stupid...