I just got my copy of Burnout Dominator for PSP (yes I know I should have gotten it months ago ;-) and wanted to share some first impressions...
Don't get me wrong, I honestly think that Burnout Dominator is the best Burnout game to date, but it still has a few design flaws that just annoys me to the point of banging my head against the wall and crying out in sheer agony...
Please observe the following "features" that IMHO annoys me to death:
- Training videos that can't be skipped (shown upon entering World Tour for the first time on a new profile)
- Actually pausing the game several times during the first race to give "hints" (/sigh)
- The game jumping directly back to the class selection menu whenever you unlock a new class (as if I would jump-start a new class before completing the class I'm currently pursuing)
- The totally insane loading times when restarting a race... The race is already in memory for crying out loud... What on earth is there to reload???
- The total lack of an internet-play game-mode... Seriously... How hard can it be to enable online play when you already support ad-hoc wifi network play AND internet connectivity in the same game?
- The admittedly good looking "photo shoot" display mode when choosing a car, which unfortunately makes it very hard to actually get an impression of what happens when you change the color-scheme of the car
- Speaking of choosing a car... Where on earth is my car stats????
- No possibility to create a custom key-layout, can only choose between PS2 and XBOX default layouts
- Product placements! IMHO product placements have NO place in a game like Burnout. I can fully understand commercials and other forms of product placements in a game like Formula 1 to give the game a sense of realism, but in a game like Burnout where all the cars and tracks are made up and realism isn't even on the menu, product placements are just a nuisance (Check out Spiritual Towers for a "nice" Burger King ad for instance)
In spite of all this, Burnout Dominator shines through as the overall best Burnout game I've ever played though, as there are some VAST improvements in comparison to earlier games.
- Burnout chains is back! - oh yes, baby!
- Hugely improved menu system! Nice pictures for each class and race, intuitive navigation, love the icon and check-marks indicating if there is a car to be unlocked, etc, etc, etc ;-)
- No crash-mode - I know this probably bums out alot of you folks out there, but IMHO crash-mode has had a steady decline since Burnout 2 Point of Impact. It had declined to the point of being totally useless in Burnout Legends for the PSP, largely because of insane loading times from the UMD in comparison to actual playing time (my experience was that I used more time waiting for the crash scene to load than actually playing the scene)
- Great soundtrack!
- Superbly designed tracks!
- Great selection of cars
- Finally drifting has a true meaning in the game!
- Entertaining new game mode: Maniac!
- No traffic-checking. While traffic-checking was entertaining enough in Burnout Revenge, I kinda felt that it made the game less challenging as it effectedly halved the number of hard obstacles on any given track.
- Downloadable tracks! (I just hope they release more than one extra track)
As I look back at this post (after spamming the "Preview" button a few times), I see that this has just been my fanatic rambling on the ups and downs of the most recent addition to the Burnout family, which I sincerely think have aged and matured into a fine wine, instead of sour vinegar. I find myself wondering if it's only me that feels this way about this game or if there are others like me in this wide world. Still I hope that at least some of the things I find annoying will be eliminated in the eagerly awaited Burnout Paradise, so we can continue to say that the Burnout series of games only has improved with each new incarnation, not withered like so many other game series have over the years.
Feel free to flame me all you want if you happen to disagree with me on this subject ;-) Or if, Gods forbid, you actually agree with something I said, feel free to comment. I hereby toss my thoughts to the masses awaiting judgement. ;-)
Jørgen "Jasman" Syvertsen