Setup & Timing
Burnout Legends' menus are pretty straight forward and understandable. The opening credit sequence isn't obtrusive, offensive, or long. Download time is respectably short and connection time (after the download) is nearly instantaneous.
Menus & Navigation
While the menu options are well-detailed, the option bars could have been a little bigger. Other than that, tapping will generally be on target if you're close, despite the small buffer space.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
This is the area where Burnout Legends really starts to have some problems. Initially, things look OK. Then, about halfway through the race, you start to wonder exactly why things aren't like you expect them to be...
- The speed... the mph/kph number doesn't increase with the speed (the numbers increase MUCH faster, relatively speaking).
- The depth... things in the distance don't move closer to you in a natural way (the increase in size slowly, and then ALL AT ONCE!).
- The control... the car doesn't consistently respond to your input (it depends on whether it feels like behaving or not at a given moment).
- The animations... the car's response, while weak, is accurate to some degree, but the car can look like it's sliding around.
- The crashes... the car can do the exact same thing in the exact same place on two different laps and have two totally different results.
- The crash control... be the time you start controlling a crash with the touch screen, it's already over.
The look of Burnout Legends (previously mentioned bugs aside) is alright, considering that this is one of the earlier Nintendo DS games (relatively speaking). The backgrounds don't give a good speed indication, but things aren't unrecognizably blocky. The sound is, basically, just sound effects in the Single-Card Download portion of the race, so it's a take it or leave it situation (not horrid, but not necessary). Players can't chose the number of laps or the starting/ending point of each race, but they do get a single-player downloadable demo... something a lot of new (see: current and recent) Nintendo DS racing games lack.
Please note: All reviews on this site deal only with the Single-Card Download portion of each game and do not reflect ont he single-player experience.
There are, without a doubt, better racing games for the Nintendo DS, both as kart-style racing games and simulator-style racing games. Burnout Legends begins with great intent and promise, but then it falls apart during the execution (pun not intended) and, in particular, with the fine details. Burnout Legends is not the worst game in the world, either, and the game still serves as some good, mindless fun until the problems creep in (about have a race in). I wouldn't be opposed to another Burnout game for the Nintendo DS, considering that this one was devastated more by a series of small flaws and inconveniences than by a single, obnoxious design flaw. First, however, the following would need to be addressed first...
Increase menu buttons and buffer space between the menu buttons.
Correct the sense of speed so that the mph/kph numbers math the animations.
Fix the sense of depth (the yellow arrows don't grow in relation to distance effectively).
Make the controls a little more responsive to movements.
Ground the car animations so that the car (if you're watching it) doesn't appear to slide around.
Remove the crash detection inconsistencies.
Allow button inputs (in addition to touch screen inputs) for crash manipulations.
Permit players to set the number of laps and the starting/ending point for each race.
Offer additional (streaming?) racetracks when playing multiplayer games with the host.
Set up the game so that more than two racers can face off in each Single-Card Download race.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 48 / 100 (a.k.a. 24/50)
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