the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Burnout Paradise DLC Review, Part 3: Boost Specials

There's only two of these cars, so they get a bit of special treatment.

Carson Extreme Hot Rod
If there's one thing to be said about this car, it's this: you WILL crash. That or you're going to have to slow down enough so that you lost all the speed you gained. For those of you not in the know, this car has unlimited boost. Just press the button and boost away. The catch? There are only two ways to stop boosting: crash or slow down until you're barely moving. If you're really careful, it's almost possible to keep some semblance of control... but not really. While it's not recommended if you're making a multitude of turns, it can't be beat for leaving someone choking on your dust on the I-88, through the mountains, or anywhere with few objects and a decent road:traffic ratio. And if you see that smartarse in the Nighthawk who never seems to run out of boost, you're more than capable of shoving him (or about anything short of a Takedown) into the next state. Just learn from my mistakes and don't t-bone anyone at inordinate speeds. Satisfying, yes, but respawning will lose you valuable seconds you could use taking other people down. And you know better than that, don't you?

Oh, one final warning: don't activate the boost just before a corner. If only I'd heed my own warnings.

Performance: 9/10. It's not exactly the fastest accelerating car in the world, since it's kind of heavy. Boosting removes that problem though.
Handling: 6/10. It'll get you around corners and into other cars with relative ease... not much else though.
Crashing: 8/10. It'll usually be on the winning end of crashes. Which is good, because you'll be doing it a lot, whether you want to or not.
Useful for:
  • Destroying Paradise City, one wall at a time. It doesn't really matter whether there are people driving these walls or whether these walls are in fact "cars", because you'll be destroying them anyway.
  • Bringing the world's rubber supply to its knees. Why do burnouts for fun when you can ruin your tyres AND the atmosphere at the same time?
  • Demonstrating new heights of overkill... that I've probably broken already.
Overall: 9/10. Massive speed cancels out crashing more often than Windows ME, giving you one nice happy smashy speedy death/speed wagon.

Hawker Mech
This is actually a hard car to review positively. Again for the unwashed masses, this can switch between stunt, speed and aggression boost modes whenever you want. The problem is that it's about as agile as a cow riding a bike, about as fast as... a cow riding a bike, and nowhere near as strong as...... a Takedown 4x4 (or a cow riding a bike). That's the problem with branching out: you're never as good at any one thing (except for the cow riding a bike... once it gets back to the paddock, it'll be milked dry then taken to slaughter, you heartless bastards). The Mech's good enough for stunt events (let's face it though, I've beaten a stunt event in a toy Citizen), not really fast enough to beat a lot of race cars (or the Extreme Hot Rod), and nowhere near strong enough to win most of the road rages. So what is it good for? Not bad at marked man, since you frequently have to switch between defense, speed, and trying to make jumps you don't think your pursuers can. It's also not a bad choice for a freeburn online, as you'll be able to at least come close to doing most of the challenges.

Oh, and it has a rather nice light/paint scheme. But that doesn't really make it any more useful.

Performance: 7/10. No slouch. But not a real winner either. You make sure to tell that to the guys whizzing past you.
Handling: 9/10. It'd have to be for the stunt boost to be any good... and it still isn't. But it tries, damnit!
Boosting: 7/10. It's a 10/10 on the cool factor. But since when did I care about the cool factor?
Crashing: 6/10. There's a lot it can't stand up to. Make sure to pick on those weaker than you, in case you weren't already.
Useful for:
  • Looking cool. No, really, it does. Well, mostly. Okay, maybe a little. Possibly a smidge on the fat side though.
  • Changing styles in the middle of a race. All the superheroes do it. Well, maybe just the supervillians. I haven't been to a meeting with those guys in a while so I'm not so sure.
Overall: 6/10. All the cool looks and good ideas in the world wouldn't change the fact that this isn't good enough at any particular thing to beat cars designed for it... or a cow on a bike.

Best in set for:
Burning petrol faster than it's capable of being produced: Carson Extreme Hot Rod
Jumping, changing boost types midair, then wondering why just changed boost types midair: Hawker Mech
Lighting up a small neighbourhood: Hawker Mech
Involuntary destruction: Carson Extreme Hot Rod
Lifting the front end of your car in the air, then crushing a small car under it: Carson Extreme Hot Rod
Staying Alive (cue music): Hawker Mech

If you're only going to buy one, then buy: Carson Extreme Hot Rod. If you can't afford that, then buy the GT Nighthawk and the Manhattan Spirit, put them together and it's basically the same thing. If you still can't afford them, there's only one real option for you... a cow on a bike.

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