Category Archives: smash cars

Don’t Call Dr. Beat, or Anyone Else

At this point, I have about five dozen games downloaded for free from the PlayStation Store. I wish I knew about this option before I ever went to the real bricks and mortar store to buy games, or had friends lend me games. As it stands, I haven’t touched any of the purchases or lenders in months – I’m just playing free downloads. Burnout CRASH! is just one of them.

Burnout CRASH! is a racing game that is apparently part of Criterion Games’ Burnout videogame series. I liked it immediately because it had old music (“Crash” by the Primitives circa 1988) for this old man, and that’s a plus. The tunage was powered by Autolog, some kind of online gaming thing. They wanted me to buy into it, but I passed – I’m spoiled by all this free downloaded games.

At first glance, Burnout CRASH! appears to be what I like most about Smash Cars and the GTA games (and what I really wanted to like about Incredible Hulk) – smashing stuff. There is however a whole lotta introduction and directions. With so many rules, all the fun was being sucked out of this game more and more. Now I know I’ve complained about lack of directions before, but for a game where the point is to break stuff, it just seemed like far too much. Most infuriating of all was the voice of the stereotype west coast radio DJ constantly asking, “What are you waiting for?” That pissed me off.

The game itself is simple despite multiple unending instructions. You crash into an intersection with your car, and then blow up repeatedly, trying to cause as much collateral damage as possible. Sounds simple, right? Maybe I’m just not playing it right.

Just when I was convinced I couldn’t be annoyed much more, I hear the song “Dr. Beat” by the Miami Sound Machine from the dark disco days before they let Gloria Estefan take more control. It’s one of those songs that made folks hate disco. It made me hate disco. The tune plays whenever an ambulance comes onto the screen – which is a lot.

Take that, couple it with five to ten minutes of introduction, along with five to ten minutes of tallying my score, and I’m just angry. Why can’t the game just let me break stuff in peace? And you know what even makes me more angry? I can play this game. I can operate the controller on this one. Too bad I’m not playing it any more. As of now, it becomes one of The Rejected. It made me too mad.

Smash ’em Crash ’em Racing

When I was a kid, way back in the Dark Ages known as the 1970s, these cars called SSP Racers were all the rage. These wonderful toys with the one big wheel and the T-stick to rev them up and race across the concrete or the floor filled many days and nights of my childhood. There were dozens of models to collect and then they came out with the next evolution – the SSP Smash-Up Derby. Not only could you race them, now you could run these cars at each other and parts would fly off, just like in the demolition derby.

When I first started college, in that null zone between the Atari 2600 and the first Nintendo system, I had a first date with a girl who invited me babysitting. The home where she was babysitting had an Atari system, so I borrowed some games to play while we, ahem, babysat. Before we moved on to other activities, we played several racing games on the Atari like Night Driver, Pole Position, Enduro and Spy Hunter (I think, it might have been too early for that last one), but because we had other things on our minds, we played them badly, and crashed into stuff constantly. In hindsight it was kind of fun. The crashing part, I meant.

Now among the demo downloads from the PlayStation Store I have found a game that kinda puts together those two memories into a fun beach atmosphere. It’s called Smash Cars, and I like it a lot, and even my feeble gamer novice mind can grasp how it works.

You’re controlling a little remote control sand buggy and racing around a preset course on the beach. Oh sure, it’s a race, and you’re supposed to win and get the best time, but I had the best time by crashing into stuff. You can drive through boxes, drive off the pier, and the most fun, crash into the people in the beach. I absolutely love hitting the jump button as I approach this one guy, and nailing him right in the beanbag if you know what I mean.

I love this game. A lot. When I was looking for mindless destruction games, I should have been looking for this one, not The Incredible Hulk or Grand Theft Auto. Highly recommended.