the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Burnout Paradise DLC Review, Part 1: Legendary Cars

Being a chump, I've bought all the downloadable vehicles for Burnout Paradise (as for why the party pack isn't the first DLC review... I didn't buy it, as I have nobody to party with). I'll be reviewing them in 3 parts, then posting a summary. Up first, the legendary cars:

Jansen 88 Special (you might know it as: DeLorean from Back To The Future)
Undeniably the coolest car of the pack (the Nighthawk gives it a run for its money but ultimately loses), it can switch between road mode (i.e. normal) and hover (lights on back go on, wheels fold somewhat into the car, whole thing stays about a foot or two off the road). Unfortunately, it can't fly, although making it hover does seem to affect the handling a bit (it seems to turn a lot more sharply using the handbrake when hovering).
Oh, and did I mention that there's a flame trail when you boost?
Performance: 7/10. It's no slouch, but there's plenty faster.
Handling: 9/10. It can pull off some pretty tight turns, but not much more than a regular Jansen P12 can do.
Boosting: 5/10. Standard stunt boost, hovering doesn't change anything.
Crashing: 3/10. It's weak... not really weak, but it doesn't take much at all to take it down.
Useful for: Showing off, making power parking harder while hovering (you heard me!).
Overall: 6/10. It's a decent performer in a stunt run, and it looks awesome, but it's not all that useful.

GT Nighthawk (you might know it as: KITT from Knight Rider)
If you just want to know one thing about this car... it's FAST! It looks fairly nondescript driving around normally (as nondescript as a sleek black car that looks like little else in the game can be), but it brings the goods when you start boosting. A rear wing pops up, and arrays of lights on the front and back start pulsating back and forth... you won't have that much time to look at the thing though because you'll be DODGING TONS OF &*$# COMING TOWARDS YOU. This thing is FAST while boosting, and generally the only things that slowed me down were traffic or walls (crashing hurts, and you really start to hate the slow-mo crash screen).
Performance: 10/10. It'd be either among or the fastest car in the game, and while it's a bit slower when not boosting it's still fairly fast.
Handling: 9/10. It's great at drifting when you're going flat out, and when you're not (how dare you?), it's completely more than adequate.
Boosting: 9/10. I'm knocking a point off because of how easy it is (for me) to run into anything in sight (and almost everything that isn't), that and it's a speed boost, and I hate earning enough to actually use it. Despite that... good luck catching up to this thing on an open road with a good driver.
Crashing: 3/10. About as good as the 88. Made worse by the fact that you'll be doing it a lot more.
Useful for: Outrunning and infuriating pursuers, looking like a secret agent, becoming well acquainted with the "wrecked" screen, and outrunning bullets.
Overall: 9/10. If you can control it, it's a potent weapon.

Manhattan Spirit (you might know it as: ECTO-1 (the car) from Ghostbusters)
It's large. It's not all that fast. It has sirens and lights.
The people you run into won't care about that, they'll be too busy cursing you and your descendants. Perhaps not in the car crushing ranks of the Inferno van or the Takedown 4x4 (then again, perhaps it is), the lights and sirens are a great way to let your adversaries know that death is imminent and resistance is futile.
I am sad to report that there are no streams to cross, however.
Performance: 5/10. It's not the fastest, but it doesn't need to be... just don't use it in a race.
Handling: 3/10. That tight corner? Forget about it. That average corner? Uh-uh. That gentle bend? Maybe... if you have enough speed you might be able to drift around it.
Boosting: 6/10. Standard aggression boost. Upgrades the car from "death on wheels" to "death and grave pisser-on-er on wheels". The boost may be standard aggression, the results surely are not.
Crashing: 9/10. Goes through most cars like a hot knife through butter. A couple of others have a chance, but only because they must be decommissioned tanks.
Useful for: Clearing paths through cars, light buildings, livestock and Greenpeace. And inspiring a permanent fear of sirens.
Overall: 9/10. If it's not the best car for road rages and such, it's among the top... but it's probably the most fun.

Cavalry Bootlegger (you might know it as: The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard)
First, let me get this out of the way... a Mexican flag? That's just not traditional (however it is most likely within copyright law). Also a problem is that it's available in colours other than orange, and the doors' condition is yet to be determined. Other than that, it's not the fastest car, it's not the best handling (not exactly shabby in either category though). Trust me, the only reason you'd want this car is for the horn. And trust me, you DO want it. It's also among the best cars for stunt runs that I've tried, and damn it, it's traditional for stunt runs. If you own this car and aren't using it for stunt runs, what the hell is wrong with you?
Performance: 7/10. Not the fastest car in Paradise city, but there are many worse. It's good enough for most things (except maybe racing against faster cars).
Handling: 8/10. Good stunts need good control, and this'll get you lined up well enough. Threading massive car-sized needles might be out of the question, but the needles might make good weapons.
Boosting: Standard stunt boost. Doesn't give you a great deal more speed, but you'll have no problem filling it up. Depending on what you're doing, draining it might be the hard part.
Crashing: 7/10. It's The General Lee, or as close as is allowed by copyright. It's no Manhattan Spirit, but it can certainly hold its own.
Useful for: Pretending you're on an old TV show, giving you an excuse to do old-guy narration when going over jumps, sending people to mental institutions by pulling up beside then and continunally blowing your horn.
Overall: 8/10. It's fun for stunts, and more fun* freeburning online. Just get in that old Duke mentality: there's always some predictable but awesome stunt you can do to win the race.
*Only for you.

Best in set for:
Looking awesome: Jansen 88 Special
Kicking ass (speed): GT Nighthawk
Kicking ass (literally): Manhattan Spirit
Pulling off insane stunts: Cavalry Bootlegger
Infuriating people: Cavalry Bootlegger
Driving while listening to Ride of the Valkyries: Manhattan Spirit
Throwing your controller across the room: GT Nighthawk
That futuristic roleplaying fantasy you've always wanted to do: Jansen 88 Special.

If you're only going to buy one, then buy: Cavalry Bootlegger. But since when does what I say matter? You're going to buy the 88 Special, that's a fact.

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