Vigilante 8: Arcade Review
Vigilante 8: Arcade box art
System: X360 (XBLA) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Isopod Labs 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision Blizzard 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 5, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

“Sticking” issues aren't relegated to only the combat. On several occasions you'll notice your vehicle wedged on a hill or embankment, unable to continue forward. You eventually get unstuck, but it takes several seconds. If that weird kind of geometry error isn't throwing you for a loop, the sound effects might literally do that. During one play session Torque's sedan tires started to squeal, an expected result from rubber hitting the pavement. Only one problem: they didn't stop for the entire level. Even when the car was completely stopped, the sound effect lingered. Also, some sound effects are flat-out omitted. When you drive through a fence you hear a predictable crash sound, but sometimes when your car is flipping over-and-over you won't hear a single effect, almost as if the car is stuck in an audio vacuum, unable to communicate what's going on.

Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot

Single-player's main mode is The Quest. Each of the eight characters compete in three arena battles in locations like the Hoover Dam or a ski resort, and if they come out victorious, then they get a new color for their car – a little bit of an underwhelming reward. The Quest mode is essentially there to serve as a proving ground for the multiplayer, as most of the other single-player modes are customizable skirmishes. Free Wheelin' – an enemy-free mode where you search for alien artifacts – is shallow and resembles more of an excuse for achievement hunting than an actual gameplay type.

Multiplayer, with its split-screen deathmatch and co-op options, as well as Xbox LIVE potential, should be a great boon for the game. Racing and firing off weaponry with up to seven friends is somewhat fun, but the same problems from single-player – control issues and combat problems – carry over. It also doesn't help that the online community (as of the time of this review) is very, very small. Many requests for quick and even custom matches will return with a “no games found” response, forcing you to continually search or start your own game and hope that eager players stumble upon it.

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Nostalgia-stricken fans of the original might be able to look past Vigilante 8's deficiencies and find some fun to be had, but those unfamiliar with the aged gameplay won't be won over by the slicker presentation. Vigilante 8 is a throwback in the purest sense: it's so concerned with preserving aspects of the original that it forgets to question if there was anything wrong with them in the first place.

By Jason Lauritzen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
The polygon counts are impressive, but most of the textures have a polyurethane sheen, resulting in an overly glossy look.
2.4
Control
Responsiveness isn't there: vehicles either get stuck in weird spots or control in a very disorderly manner.
3.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The disco and funk tracks channel a decent '70s vibe. However, the sound effects are another story. There are missing sounds (like when you car flips over) and sometimes particular effects get stuck, resulting in a never-ending loop.
2.5
Play Value
Single-player – even with its four modes – is minimal and really just a training ground for the multiplayer. Multiplayer could be fun if it weren't hampered by the lackluster controls and if there were plenty of people to play with – trouble is there aren't.
2.7
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Cool vehicles: Choose from eight gorgeous, highly-varied supercharged 㣪s vehicles, each rendered using advanced metallic shaders with more than 10,000 polygons.
  • Custom options: Play as different Vigilante 8 personas, choose the color of your car and trick out your vehicle with special weapons.
  • Weapons: Use six standard weapon pick-ups with three advanced attacks each. Try both the "classic" (combo) and "casual" (charge-up) input methods.
  • Battle arenas: Experience five newly designed, highly interactive arenas, using Bezier patch technology for maximum surface smoothness. Discover collectible power-ups, salvage points, and artifacts, and thrill to the spectacular destructive and pyrotechnic effects.
  • Single and multiplayer: Play the single player modes against sophisticated bot A.I., including the Quest story mode, or play with friends in local split-screen modes with up to four players, and online multiplayer with up to eight players in a variety of versus and co-op configuration possibilities.
  • Extras: Leaderboards, achievements, extra downloadable content, and more are available for the game!


  • Screenshots / Images
    Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge Vigilante 8: Arcade screenshot - click to enlarge

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