Does Crash Course 2 Crash and Burn?Doritos Crash Course
was a free-to-play title that came out in December of 2010 as a finalist of the Doritos-sponsored “Unlock Xbox” contest. The concept of the game, which eventually won the entire contest, was inspired by TV game shows such as Ninja Warrior or Wipeout, and this is clearly evident through the game. Even though it was free-to-play, it proved so wildly popular that three years later, under a different publisher and developer, it's back in the form of Doritos Crash Course 2
– and it's still free-to-play (as long as you're connected to Xbox Live).
As soon as you begin the game you can notice that the effort which went into the development of this game has significantly improved since the original. While the game at its core remains practically unchanged, several new features significantly add to this title's fun factor and longevity. The menu you're met with after turning on the game is no longer bland as it was in the first title, and the graphics already look crisper.
The game still plays a lot like the TV game show Wipeout, inasmuch as your gamertag's avatar will be jumping and hurdling his way through some pretty wacky obstacle courses, with the constant threat of falling into the pool of water far below looming over him or her. However, new features such as wall-jumping and clinging to ledges makes for interesting new gameplay, as well as opens the door for the developers to make wildly new obstacles.
Among the new and upgraded features are “split paths,” an unlockable option for all tracks that will allow you to access new routes within the same tracks. Sometimes this just leads to collectibles, sometimes it leads to keen shortcuts, and sometimes it opens up some really advanced areas that can shave full seconds off your time if executed properly.Crash Course 2 currently exhibits four areas. This is the pirate one!
There's also a wide variety of basic gameplay improvements made to keep the game flowing smoothly. First off, your character still does a silly intro into each course, but this time they're skippable, making retrying tracks much less of a chore. Additionally, many obstacles that would have forced you to restart your checkpoint in the first title – such as squishy hammers – no longer force you to do so, but will simply stun you for a while, costing you precious seconds but not returning you to a previous checkpoint. Most of the time, the only time you're still forced to do this is if you fall into the water.
Furthermore, as mentioned before, your avatars can now briefly run up walls, and even jump backwards off of them. Using these new features smartly can lead to shortcuts in places you may not have imagined before. And the ability to grab a ledge, which takes a moment to climb but saves you from falling, leads you to try some very lengthy jumps you never could have made before.Doritos Crash Course 2
also introduces two kinds of in-game currency: stars, and coins. Stars are the basic and most used currency. They're collected throughout the course (often in hard-to-reach, or shortcut areas), and also rewarded by placing 3rd, 2nd, or 1st on a course for the first time. They're even rewarded for completing a multitude of offered bonus objectives, yet another new feature that brings in some interesting new ways to play the game. Coins, on the other hand, are very rarely rewarded, usually for reaching some kind of milestone, though they may be purchased using Microsoft Points.Hammers will still swing you right into the camera if you're not careful
These stars and coins are both used to unlock levels or their associated split paths, buy optional power-ups, or even buy avatar effects to change your avatar's appearance in-game. Since almost
everything in the game can be purchased with stars or coins (only a few things can only be purchased with coins), and since stars are an unlimited supply (because bonus objectives are infinite, and will reward stars each time you complete one), there is little to no reason to spend real money on this game. In that light, this game does stay free-to-play, and is not of the dreaded “pay-to-win” variety.
Online gameplay and online leader boards are still around this time, and they're embraced even more. While playing online is still mostly the same as playing offline, a new mode called tournaments and the ability to download friends' avatar ghosts to race against bring just a little fresh air into it.
I mentioned early in the review how just looking at the menu made you see how the production value of this title has increased, and it holds true throughout the entire game. The graphics are crisper and the levels are grander, and the game continues to receive updates. Despite being a free-to-play game, Doritos Crash Course 2
really does a wonderful job of showing us how a sequel can be more of the same, but better. The game truly takes all of the things that player's found so silly yet addicting in the original title and turns them up to eleven, then tosses in loads of new features to boot.AchievementsDoritos Crash Course 2
offers about three times as many achievements as its predecessor, but cheevo-hunters may not be happy with a few of them. For example, completing 75 bonus objectives or collecting every star on every track can be pretty time consuming, if you don't enjoy the game. For the most part, overall, the achievements aren't difficult, and with no DLC ones, this title shouldn't be too hard to 100%.Achievements never affect the score of a game and are included by reader request. Only the categories below influence the final score.SummaryGraphics:
Colourful and cartoony, they're a huge step up from the original, but don't expect anything ground-breaking from a free-to-play title.Sound:
Music is pretty forgettable, but clear sound effects can actually be useful for helping time obstacles, and the such.Plot:
Not a game for plot; this title's a pure pick-up-and-play platformer.Gameplay:
Simple, but very fun and addictive, side-scrolling time-trial platforming with wacky obstacles. Loads of new features set this title above the original.Length/Replay Value:
Being a free-to-play game, it doesn't have the most content in the world. The offline courses should easily last you a few hours, and even more if you're going for all the collectibles. The online capability can help this game's longevity, and it can even feel fresh after taking a break from it for a while.Yea or Nay?
It's pretty hard to say “nay” to a free-to-play game, really, but there certainly are
free games out there that still aren't worth your time. Especially if you're low on hard-drive space, you may be particularly picky about what you download even if it is a free game. That said, there are worse XBLA games out there that aren't free and take up even more hard-drive space. This game is especially great for gamers with kids, because it's a generally easy to learn game and it's just all around silly fun.Final score:
7.0 out of 10I claim no right to the pictures used in this review, and they will be removed if requested.