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Burnout Paradise has long been one of my favorite racing games and that speaks volumes as I don't really much care for the genre. Racing games, aside from the Need for Speed series, typically lean more towards the hard core gamer who cares about tweaking every aspect of their vehicle, from paint job right down to the brake pads. While I loved the idea and execution of Forza 2, I was too overwhelmed by it's detailed customization and pressured by it's undeniable need to master the handling of the cars and tracks to progress that once I put the wheel down it was really tough to get back into it. Yes I had the Wheel Controller not the Microsoft wireless one mind you but none the less. I'm a firm believer that racing games should be played with a wheel much like fighting games should be played with a stick. That is unless you are playing Burnout Paradise. The whole city is available from the minute you pop in the disc and it is by no means daunting. You can get right in and fuck around the city finding jumps and gates to smash for a couple of minutes or get serious and take on some events. The racing is never taken truly serious. That is if you don't want it to be. This game really allows you to do what you wish.

Criterion is constantly updating the game with free updates like adding bikes, to new events, even adding in the ability to play your own custom soundtracks. One thing I felt was missing that would truly make Burnout standout from the crowd is adding in Cops and Robbers. This game screams for that type of gameplay and guess what it's finally coming. Later in the year Criterion will also be adding a whole new island to Paradise that will gives this game some truly strong legs. The most recent update will be one of the first to include a fee, however after all they have been adding to it for free, I can't find a single reason not to welcome it with open arms. As you can see from the screen shot above it's a car pack, and not just any car pack a "Legendary" car pack which includes 4 cars that pay homage to some pretty significant cars of pop culture that most anybody will recognize.

The Carson Nighthawk tips its hat to KITT from Knight Rider, during the Hoff days ofcourse, the Cavalry Bootlegger to the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard, and the 88 Special goes "back to the future" becoming a clone of Doc Browns creation and stops by 1984 to bring us The Manhattan Spirit, which you see above. I'm sure no explanation is needed for that one.

So if you haven't traded in your copy of Burnout Paradise, haven't bought a copy or haven't booted up your PSN Downloadable version in awhile, now is as good a time as any other. The Legendary Car Pack hits PSN and Xbox Live Market Place tomorrow for $7.99 (600 MS Points) or a la carte for $1.99 (200 MS Points) except for the 88 special which runs $3.99 (320 MS Points) alone. I could do without the Cavalry Bootlegger personally, but with a savings of $2 for a whole lot of kickass, how could you not?

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