Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars Review
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars box art
System: PS3 (PSN) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Psyonix 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Psyonix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 9, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Single-player is split up into tournament mode and a collection of mini-games. Tournament play is actually less satisfying because its it is essentially a series of matches that pits you against some bots, always competing for a high score. The mini-game mode beats it out purely because of its variety. Split into five tiers, with four games per a tier, there are a lot of gameplay variations that easily put the soccer-only play to shame. Games like Sweeper, which puts you in the role of a goal keeper defending against a series of cannons and Combustible, a demolition derby mode that requires you to destroy a certain number of opponents, are more fun than just playing through a series of matches.

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars screenshot

Your reward for beating each tier of mini-games is a new car. This would seem like a good incentive to keep you going, but it's lackluster. New cars don't have different statistics. All you get is a slightly different form factor - whether it's more of a monster truck body or a VW Beetle shell - and a new paint job. Had the developers given each Battle-Car different attributes, like better handling or greater acceleration, then this would actually feel like a bonus, but as it stands, it feels like a wasted opportunity.

For such a small downloadable title, Battle-Cars does have some impressive visuals. It uses the Unreal 3 Engine, but inserts something we're not used to seeing in Unreal-licensed games: lots of bright colors. Instead of graduated hues of blues, browns, and grays, there are plenty of yellows and oranges - colors that really make everything on the screen standout. Sure, the polygon count and overall level of detail isn't huge, but what's there works quite well. It's too bad the music can't match the quality of the visuals. It's mostly a collection of generic rock that, for some reason, is mixed really low. Luckily, the developers included custom soundtrack support and mapped track-skipping to the left and right d-pad buttons, so you can quickly cycle through your favorite songs.

Multiplayer support is robust. Offline you can play with up to eight players, substituting bots for as many human players as you wish. Online the play count still clocks up to eight, and the matchmaking tools make hooking up with opponents a breeze. It's too bad the game only comes with three maps - a little more variety would have helped. You can save replays of any match - whether offline or online - and then cut up the clip and save a copy to your XMB or upload it to YouTube. The tools are pretty rudimentary, but do give you a few camera and editing options. It's a nice little bonus to have should you finish a match you want watch at a later time.

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars delivers a unique concept that stands out among the increasingly populated downloadable pack. It's too bad this charm wears off quickly, resulting in a game that feels more like a novelty than a crafty idea brought to realization.

By Jason Lauritzen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
Yes, it uses Unreal 3 Engine, runs at a good clip, and has something we rarely see in UE3 games - a vivid color palette.
3.3
Control
Driving is no problem, but lining up shots seems to require more luck than skill, and the lock-on camera occasionally gets stuck in walls.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Very minimalist. So much so, nothing really stands out. However, there is the option for custom soundtrack support - a nice bonus.
3.0
Play Value
The tournament mode is shallow, but the huge assortment of mini-games and multiplayer breathe some much-needed vitality into a game that would have otherwise been a short-lived downloadable title.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • SARPBC features unique rocket-powered cars with incredible physics-based maneuverability, including the ability to rocket into the air or accelerate at supersonic speeds on the ground by racing over boost strips, obtaining boost capsules, or by performing a rapid succession of acrobatic flips.
  • Players choose their avatar car and customize its paint style.
  • Wide-ranging community involvement is supported through team and league play, as well as extensive and thorough statistical tracking, rankings, and rewards for individuals and teams, including support for PlayStation 3 system trophies.
  • Using the full featured in-game video editor, players have the ability to save, upload, and share their amazing triumphs and hysterical Battle-Car antics to their PlayStation 3 system hard drive or upload clips directly to YouTube.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HDTV).


  • Screenshots / Images
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