Reviews by hoyvechkin

90

Open World Done Right

hoyvechkin | Aug. 3, 2013 | Review of Midnight Club II

Building off the unique foundation of the original Midnight Club, the sequel improves on it in every way. This game presents you with three huge open cities to explore and race through, LA, Paris, and Tokyo. As you progress through the game, you unlock new cars/bikes and some special unlocks such as the ability to race on two wheels for a speed boost. The difficulty ramps nicely as you progress, unlocking new autos when needed. The checkpoint system employed in races affords you the right amount of flexibility in the open world, without limiting you to just one 'right' path. The game also rewards exploration, through various shortcuts to be used in races. The only downside to Midnight Club II is that to some it might be starting to show its age (graphics, the story seems generic and ripped from the Fast & Furious craze), but for $10, this game is sure worth the ride.

85

Open World Arcade Racer

hoyvechkin | Aug. 3, 2013 | Review of Burnout Paradise: Ultimate Box (NA)

Burnout Paradise trades in the tight, well constructed tracks of the prior games, for a robust, sprawling open world. The city is filled with things to do, such as billboards to smash through and jumps to complete, as well as special races for each street. The main game features the race modes you would expect from burnout, with the same mix of unique autos. While the world is fun to drive around in, my biggest complaint is that due to the open nature of the races, the racing doesn't feel as tight as in prior games. While others may enjoy the plan your own route racing, it seems that with one wrong turn, it's race over. In the end I believe Criterion crafted an amazing open world, but the racing took a hit because of it. The game is still very much worth your time and money.