Fireburst (XBLA)

June 20, 2013 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The Live Arcade is home to a wide assortment of racing games, but does Fireburst stand out from the pack? The basic premise is the same as most racers, as you need to navigate the track as fast as possible and leave your rivals in the dust. As the title might indicate however, bursting into flames is a key element in Fireburst. As you race, you build up a boost bar and when you unleash that boost, your vehicle explodes into a fiery deathtrap. If you manage the boost correctly, you’ll blaze past your enemies and leave them a burning wreck, but that doesn’t always happen. If you happen to get greedy and hold your boost too long, the fire turns on you and your racer goes up in flames. So one of the main mechanics that helps Fireburst stand out is the boost element, which makes you walk a fine balance between a victory lap and certain death. I loved this mechanic and it really plays well in the more destruction related moments of Fireburst, which were my personal favorite part of the game. But whether you’re in a destruction race or traditional one, the boost provides a nice, unique touch.

So the game has a cool hook, but is Fireburst fun? The game is solid when it comes to the basics, steering is fine and the tracks are well designed. You have 12 tracks to choose from and 16 cars to select from, so there is a good amount of variance here. You also have to choose a driver and there are some real wildcards here, with colorful personas on showcase. I am sure some might find the stereotypical characters a little annoying, but it fits the outrageous tone of the game, in my opinion. So while the basic racing is pretty by the numbers here, enough cool extra touches have been added to help give Fireburst a unique presence. I did encounter some minor bugs here and there, but that is true in most video games these days. I had no huge issues nor anything that lessened my overall enjoyment of the game. If you’re a fan of racing games with a twist, Fireburst’s fiery boosts and colorful racers should be enough to warrant a look.

Video: How does it look?

The game’s visuals won’t light the world on fire, but it looks better than average for an arcade release. The track designs are well done and the various vehicles are detailed and fun to watch in action. There is also a good variety within the tracks, so some cool locales to cruise around and make your rivals explode into flames. The visuals are colorful and bold, which is a great fit for the overall tone of Fireburst.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is where Fireburst is going to earn some complaints, I think. The racers have very aggressive personalities and thanks to in-race taunts, those personalities are on constant showcase. This means a lot of dialogue and a lot of repeated one liners, which are bound to annoy some players. But the voice overs are well performed and aside from the repetition, I think the character work is good and enjoyable. The other elements work well, from the music to the sounds of the racetrack. So all in all, Fireburst puts on a good audio show.

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