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Although you could call the Ultimate Party Pack a simple add-on for Burnout, it brings a lot more to Paradise City than that. Rather than putting you straight back into the game with a few more challenges, the Party Pack added a whole new layer of presentation to Burnout. This was just the perfect way to get my family involved in the game. The funky bright interface and new audio cues brought the party atmosphere straight into the room and I couldn't help but get excited for this new experience.
Breaking Burnout into a collection of mini-games will sound like heresy but it's a welcome change from the previous content and makes the whole game a lot more accessible to casual players. There's nothing too deep or overwhelming about it at all. We just turned on the PS3, loaded up the game and within a few minutes we'd completed eight different and entertaining challenges.
Up to eight players can take part and up to eight challenges can be done in a session. Each of these challenges are either categorised in speed, stunt or skill. Speed involved doing a set task, like smashing billboards, in as little time as possible. Skill was all about performing tricks or attempting drifting challenges and Stunt involved doing barrel rolls or specific jumps.
This whole mash-up of different challenges appealed to my family immensely. My son never got on with Burnout's vast and bewildering array of events so these mini-games drew him right back to the game. I found that he'd happily play these events again and again, clocking up more time in the party pack than I ever did just freeburning.
Even better was cheering my son on as he did some insane drifting and jumps that I'd never managed to do before. This was real high-quality family fun.
Part of this success is the amount of variety in all the party games, even if the skill challenges seem a little lacking in depth. In one instance we were charged with performing a barrel roll with the stipulation of not crashing the car. Of course, being a competitive Dad I tried to be a bit stylish and do a double roll or land with some panache. But unless I did exactly what I was asked I ended up failing the event. It would have been good to see some style points added for extra tricks rather than just having a pass/fail scoring system.
But the most fun we all had was trying out the skill events. Here it's all about getting the most drift distance, longest air time or most tricks in a time period. One round that was a particular favourite restricted us to 30 seconds to do as many stunts or tricks around an airport setting. There's something insanely fun about trying to do all this in front of your family as they try to distract you. Even better was cheering my son on as he did some insane drifting and jumps that I'd never managed to do before. This was real high-quality family fun.
Even though this party pack add-on for Burnout doesn't bring anything super-spectacular to the game I still felt like it achieved its goal. It turned Burnout from a vast city experience into a flashy and fun mini-game mix that was perfect to play with friends & family.
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