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Thread: Back In The 'box-Vehicular Rage Therapy (Burnout Revenge on Xbox)

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    Default Back In The 'box-Vehicular Rage Therapy (Burnout Revenge on Xbox)

    Beyond the lovely pandemic we've all been suffering through to some degree, we have not been reminded that Spring can bring out the worst in ailments. For this discussion, the many flavors of flu. And yes, in the realm of the northern MidWestern United States we've been battling cases of a nasty stomach flu-the kind that rushes in and forces everything to rush out of you from either or both your personal North or South poles. This is how my family started their Easter holiday weekend-one kid pulled a Bishop from Aliens (sans being stabbed), spewing forth what was left in his little body. Then a daughter. Then the rest of the family. I was already dealing with a stomach issue and this made it that much worse. And amongst a total of 13 people living under the same roof, we have one bathroom. Cue the Mortal Kombat music. Needless to say, nobody got their game on. I didn't even bother COOKING.

    Easter morning came and the benevolent bunny's sugary offerings went near untouched. The day was dreary and I didn't want to do a thing, along with everyone else. One of the eldest daughters, who comes home on the weekends, was going to take a car into the shop to have a part installed Monday. She came back in with some bad news....my car had been the vehicular victim of a hit-and-run. I didn't comprehend at first in my delirium. I thought the bat-rastard was outside, hopefully looking meek while I drag my infectious carcass out there to converse with the sap. No, my wife and elder kids were waiting for the police. My "new" car-a 2005 Chevy Impala that replaced my dead and recently scrapped 2009 Chevy HHR. I had it for two weeks and other than some minor issues that were going to get checked over, it was a pretty sweet ride. Not too techno feeling (I hate cars with a lot of gadgets-I don't need to be told that "Ice is possible" when I can see the danged snow on the ground at twenty degrees) yet not too old. And some turkey hit it in the dark of night on a lit road. Of course, police can't do anything. No witnesses, we don't have cameras (things are already getting a bit Orwellian-why join the Joneses who have their worthless crap under surveillance?) so that was that. Insurance is liability only and the umbrella policy of the house and property doesn't reach the street. A punched in left blinker, a half shaved off left quarter of the bumper, the metal that now rubs against the back passenger door and the car always thinks the trunk is open (it tells me so-thank the auto gods it doesn't have a constant bell going off).

    I stewed on this all week as I recovered from my intestinal double-whammy. While working remotely, I sat in my section of the basement where I have my piles of stuff segregated from the rest of the family's piles of stuff. I've been culling the collection lately, getting enough credit to get the family a Nintendo Switch and thus getting rid of stuff I don't use or play with. The Xbox was on the chopping block. I was contemplating its existence on Friday when the wife came home from running errands and having my car looked at to see what could be done with the damage. The prognosis: more than what we paid for the car (which wasn't much) and even then there was rusting that would make pulling the metal back impossible. Car itself is functionally fine save for that rubbing of the door. Did I mention that this was the second accident a car of mine has been in in four years since living in this town?

    Ugh. I cleaned off the space on top of my small file cabinet so I could actually USE it for something. I pulled my Xbox out and set it up next to my computer rig. I hooked it up to my high end but old Dell multimedia monitor via HDMI and I sat to evaluate this machine's fate. Out of the list of games installed on the upgraded and modded system, "Burnout Revenge" stood at the top of the list. "Why not?" I said as I selected the game. It was a game that got a lot of play in my "old life" of my first marriage. My group of friends (bro and sister and law, wife, a couple of other friends) would sit down and pass the controller around to try and plow through the levels to unlock stuff. I haven't really touched the game in quite a while and my kids were not really into the "pass the controller" thing. No patience.

    This was just what I needed.

    The first race in my profile was a smash up derby style contest. Hit as many cars as you can to keep your timer going and rack up as much damage (in dollars) as possible. Perfect. I forgot how much playing "Burnout:Revenge" was so frantically zen-sure you are driving like the devil is on your heels but the track is laid out in a way that you practically drive with the Force. Driving becomes fluid motions as you blur through intersections, past pillars or around turns. Most vehicles (save for massive machines like buses and semi-trucks) can be rear-ended without causing damage or slow down to you. Your impact can also send a car flying into other cars, racking up even more points. Your boost meter fills, your timer extends and you keep going. I was thinking of the nameless rat that smashed my car as I plowed through the virtual victims of my rage. My run ended with a gold medal and almost a cool million in damages. And this from a guy who hasn't played racing anything in forever.

    I finished up my allotted game time racking up stars and unlocking cars. Out of all the Burnout games, this is by far my favorite. "Burnout: Paradise" is a beautiful game but it suffers from the "open world" syndrome (in my opinion)-you can joy ride but you trip into races at the stop lights. You have to "find" something to do. "Revenge" has everything easily select-able. Sure it may seem limited to the modern gamer who has that sense of wanderlust but you know what, if I want to wander around a countryside, I'll hop in my somewhat busted car and check out the bump mapping in real life. Here I can just select the type of race I want and let my flights of fantastical vehicular slaughter run rampant. Graphically the game still stands up, heck the whole OG Xbox can still stand up to a modern game. Sure it may not look photo realistic but then WHO CARES?! The cars are gorgeous, the environments are varied and are detailed (visible best when you crash and use the Crash Time to angle your car to hopefully snag a rival driver) and the sounds are fantastic. Plus you can just zip in for a quick race of your choice and back out.

    I shut down the machine and looked at its spot next to my computer. Yeah, that's a good place for it and I think it'll stay. I don't have all my games loaded on the drive yet (funny enough, I have stuff I don't have on disc loaded) and I'm itching to reacquaint myself with Microsoft's first console behemoth. It can be hard sometimes when something is strongly tied to a fun time in a past life and you wonder if the feelings of fun you had were just from that moment or if the games can be fun on my own. It's a test I'd like to tackle. I used to write posts here in DP about the Xbox and I think maybe it's time to start that trend up again. In the meantime, are there any titles exclusively on Xbox you find therapeutic? Like eviscerating foes in "Ninja Gaiden"? Flying with weeds in your teeth in "Crimson Skies"? Or do you like to just beat up Birdie with your bat in "Conker: Live and Reloaded"? Sound off below and I'll see you next time.

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