Burnout is the typical arcade style racing game. What sets the game apart is that rather than being on a closed course, you're racing on the streets, while the cars are still there. That's right, you're playing in traffic. This also means you have a tendency to crash. A lot.
The game looks very nice. Track design, car design, texturing and lighting are all good. The smoke/dust effects are very well done. Framerate is rock solid. Sometimes it's hard to see the cars you're about to run into, but other than that there's nothing to complain about here.
Meh. Rather mediocre music, IMO. Didn't really stand out at all. Also, during the middle of the race, it seems like the music always changed to the same song, which didn't really fit the game. Sound effects were fine though.
There are two different control schemes. I would have liked total customization, but scheme 'B' worked out OK, as it has brake/gas on the analog triggers. D-pad changes camera from outside to inside view. I also would have liked more customization of the camera. If you could move it back/up a little, it would have made it easier to see where you were going. You can also choose Automatic or Manual transmission. Gear shifts are done with X/Y. I preferred Automatic.
During each race, you are racing against both 3 computer opponents and the countdown clock. You must get to each checkpoint before time runs out AND try to get ahead of your opponents. The real appeal of this game is weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds. Doing so successfully is very satifying and also builds your boost meter. Crashing is not so fun as it slows you down and your boost meter is lowered. Races are somewhat long; a single lap can be 3-5 minutes.
This is my main problem with this game. There aren't a lot of tracks. I think I saw 8 during my time with the game, and several of those are variations on the same track. The real issue is that there wasn't really anything that made me really want to keep playing this game. There is a multiplayer mode that I didn't play, and that might add some play value. Perhaps it's just my taste in games, but I wasn't too crazy about this one.
E for Everyone. Some dramatic car crashes, but nothing violent. Kids, don't drive like this at home. Remember in real life, CAR CRASHES SUCK!
If you like car racing games, this one might be for you. It's the only game in the genre on the GameCube right now, so you might want to pick it up. Otherwise, I can only recommend it as a rental. Not my favorite.