Excerpt: As worldwide sales of FlatOut crash through the 800,000 mark, the sequel to the much acclaimed destruction racer is set to accelerate its way on to PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC this May in the nitrous charged form of FlatOut 2, courtesy of Bugbear Entertainment and Empire Interactive, one of the UK's leading independent game publishers.
Conclusion: I had a lot of fun playing the dunk contest in NBA Live 2005 , but I couldn’t really get deep into the actual games. This is not so in NBA Live 06 . I’m thoroughly enjoying the actual season games this time around and I have to attribute most of this love to the Freestyle Superstar system. The graphical upgrade is also a surprising inclusion in NBA Live 06 , but one that also changes how I view the genre.
Conclusion: There’s no doubt that the Burnout series was used for inspiration, and that’s pretty ok with me. The actual racing is not quite up to the level it should be in the year 2006, but the Stunt area is binary crack. I would be more interested in an Xbox 360 Live Arcade version of the Stunt arena than this complete, last-gen offering, but it’s still pretty sweet as it sits.
Excerpt: Racing in FlatOut 2 is non-stop fun. You can break through nearly all of the objects that you see on the screen. The races can become some of the craziest you'll ever have a chance to play. Crashing your car into others can be rewardingâ€”and actually gives you points. You'll have to be careful not to hit a stationary object though, as your driver will fly through the windshield (which in and of itself is sweet).
Excerpt: There's a reason games like Burnout or Twisted Metal get a lot of attention, it's for the explosions and the fun that comes with running people off the road that you can't get in simulation games like Project Gotham or Gran Turismo. It's from that same vein where Flat Out was created, but rather than have explosions and crashing as a sweet added bonus, it was integral to the gameplay.
Excerpt: One of the companies that use to make board games (it might have been Parker-Brothers) use to claim that their games were fun for people from 8-80. I even remember some that said for ages 4 to 104. Being a “little shaver” at the time, I couldn’t fathom the concept of playing “Battleship” or “Don’t Tip The Waiter” with old people. You know, like, 35 year olds. Yikes!
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Just as with the first in the series, Flatout 2 is a missed opportunity, only fun in very small bursts (until you get to the first corner and end up upside down in a barn, that is). It's becoming a cliché to say it, but it still rings true: for destructive arcade-style racing, stick with Burnout.
Summary: FlatOut 2 does an excellent job of expanding what was so good in the original, the content has virtually doubled in all areas and it's testament to Empire and the developer Bugbear Entertainment that they've tried to include as much as possible to make it a worthy investment rather than a slightly altered sequel.
Excerpt: EA's NBA Live series has seen more ups and downs in the past decade than the Bush administration has in the past month - and that's saying a lot. Political witticism aside, EA just can't get it right. It's a series with so much potential and plenty of innovations (such as the playmaker passing and pro-hop), but every year since Live 95, it's been a struggle to produce a solid basketball title.