JAGUAR: Super Burnout

From: John Daniels (ah499@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 08/16/95-10:27:04 AM Z

From: ah499@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (John Daniels)
Subject: JAGUAR: Super Burnout
Date: Wed Aug 16 10:27:04 1995

1-2 players
Atari Corp., for the Atari Jaguar
    For some reason, while the Jaguar is in need of more sports titles, Atari
has opted for "secondary" pastimes like skiing and auto racing, instead of
mainstream ones like baseball and basketball.  Their latest offering is SUPER
BURNOUT, a cartridge rendition of the asphalt-peeling world of motorcycle
racing.  Pick from six bikes and eight international tracks, then hit the road
and try to finish in first place.  Other options allow for three difficulty
levels, manual or automatic transmissions, and up to seven laps per race.
Four racing modes are available, including a record-breaking mode and two-
player simultaneous play.  The best average and individual lap times are saved
to the cartridge, along with the controller and game settings.
    SUPER BURNOUT is a game that can be taught in ten seconds.  Like RIDGE
RACER or SUZUKA 8 HOURS, the emphasis is on driving fast and finishing first,
not on buying upgrades or qualifying for higher levels -- just point your bike
and hit the accelerator.  Of course, it's a bit more complicated than that;
the different motorcycles have vastly different performances, for instance,
and negotiating sudden curves and hairpins requires good racing skills.  There
is a very good variety of bikes and tracks, though devoted fans might have
wanted a few more courses to play with.
    The difficulty is just right, with reasonable intelligence for the six
drones.  They block pass attempts, start turns on the inside, and behave as
skilled opponents; finishing first is thus a difficult, but not impossible,
challenge.  The near-perfect controls have only one problem: shifting gears
with the manual transmission requires simultaneously holding a button and
pressing up or down, which is a tad clumsy.  Fortunately, this game supports
the Jaguar's new six-button controller.  Gears can be changed with 4 and 6 on
the keypad, which correspond to the index buttons.
    Ultimately, however, SUPER BURNOUT will appeal largely to die-hard racing
fans.  More casual gamers may find the one-player mode to be a little tiring
in the long run.  Aside from setting new times or getting a better ranking in
the championship mode, the game doesn't have that much more to offer.  Racing
with another person is better; unfortunately, the drones are absent in the
two-player mode, which reduces the appeal a little.
    The graphics on SUPER BURNOUT have plenty of great points that are marred
by a few drawbacks.  Game visuals are mostly scaled sprites with a few
texture-mapped items, all flawlessly flying by at incredible speeds.  Numerous
on-screen objects and a seamlessly weaving and bobbing track simply add to the
appeal, while subtle cues like the dark marks on the track give critical
racing information.  But while the graphics are detailed, they lack variety --
a tree-lined lane would consist of the same tree image copied several dozen
times.  Also, in the two-player mode, roadside objects aren't rendered as far
along the horizon, which creates an annoying "pop-up" effect.
    The primary game sound consists of the roar of your bike's engines, at the
expense of most everything else.  There are cheering crowds and a small thud
for crashes, but they're almost inaudible over the bike itself.  Fortunately,
the digitized voice that announces race information comes through loud and
clear.  Music consists of numerous well-done background tunes sprinkled
throughout the game.  Most of the tracks' themes are appropriately peppy and
fast, though a few are oddly sedate, and the two-player mode doesn't have any
in-race music at all.
    SUPER BURNOUT is a game for players who want an uncomplicated, arcade-
style racing challenge.  While it lacks innovative technology or complicated
details, it makes up for these shortcomings with lightning-fast action and
pure, simple fun.  With precise controls, a healthy mix of options, and crisp
graphics and sound, this game is highly recommended for devoted racing fans.
                GAMEPLAY:        8.5
                GRAPHICS:        8
                SOUND:           7
                OVERALL:         8
  Rating values  10 - 8   Great! This game can't get much better.
                  7 - 5   Good. Average game, could be improved.
                  4 - 2   Poor. For devotees only.
                      1   Ick. Shoot it.
  Now, am I the only one who found the end-of-game message for SUPER BURNOUT
to be highly amusing?  That's the one you see when you finish the championship
mode and just let it sit there and roll through -all- the text...
  Send whatevers to  |      If it has pixels, I'm for it.
--------------------------------------+------------------------------Lynx up!
"You weren't chosen because you are the best pilot in the Air Force. You were
    chosen because you are the class clown and frankly, you're expendable."

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