Bang Bang Racing review for XBLA, PSN, PC

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Also On: PSN, PC
Publisher: Digital Reality
Developer: Playbox
Medium: Digital Download
Players: 1 – 4
Online: No

At first glance at the screen shots of Bang Bang Racing my mind wandered to the glory days of old school 2D/3D top down racers like Super Off Road and Ivan ?Iron Man? Stewart?s Off Road Racing. So giddy with excitement I downloaded the game and to my wonder and amazement fell deep into the dank spaces of depression, and this was just at the lackluster presentation the intro delivered?if you can call it that. The lifeless title screen moved onto bland menus, throwback sound effects, and forgettable butt rock music. I knew that at this point there was no turning back and I was in for an awfully bumpy ride.

Don?t get me wrong, it?s not like I was expecting the next Need for Speed here, but for 10 bucks and with downloadable racing games not exactly being in short supply, I was hoping for a lot more than what the dynamic duo of Playbox and Digital Reality have put together with Bang Bang Racing. Heck for the money they are asking for I would have at least cracked somewhat of a grin if they would have used the ?Bang Bang? song from Kill Bill. What I was not expecting was a game that has even less going for it than a free downloadable flash game if I am to be so blunt. Alas, what you see is really all you get and that really isn?t a whole lot with Bang Bang Racing.

Visually the game is mind numbingly dull with repetitive textures, a small list of penny racer rip off look alike cars, only 9 tracks, an archaic looking digital time keeper, and a camera that has an odd ?floaty? feeling too it that it can actually give one nausea after a few laps. The design of each track really never diversifies enough and each level feels painfully familiar and that, my friends, becomes very tiresome quickly.

Sure, the game finds a little bit of boost during the later levels of the painfully short campaign as they toss in obstacles like oil drums and exploding barrels, but it becomes disheartening when you?ve saved up your nitrous only to find out it does very little to help you. It is without a doubt the dreaded rubber band A.I. that will catch you no matter how much better your personal lap time is or how many short cuts you find and master, and it is the dagger in the proverbial heart that kills any good racing game, let alone a clunker like this.

Even if I could sucker someone to join me online to at least mock this title in a grand ol? 4 on 4 trek, Bang Bang Racing sadly only offers local multiplayer action. Yes, it?s the year 2012 and developers still think that people want to huddle around their TV or that friends come over and visit?it?s all about the online baby, get a clue!

While it may seem like I?m being harsh on a game that costs as much as lunch at your favorite burrito shack, I can?t help but feel this game does absolutely nothing to draw anyone in, especially where there are other racers that do it better at the same price or cheaper with more replay value and heaven forbid some kind of online interaction. The game would have at least scored many points higher if they included weapons so I can vent my frustration on the cheap A.I. but as it is, this is about as bad as bad can get when it comes to ways to spend your money or points on a downloadable title. Much like the A.I. cars did to me at the finish line oh so cheaply, I recommend you pass as well.

Grade: D+