I’ve never been one for racing games that weren’t goofy cart-racers like Mario Kart or Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing. I’ve never been a big fan of anything even moderately realistic, not because I think realistic is bad, but because it’s just not my thing. I was excited to try out Baja: Edge of Control HD because I’ve heard that the original was good, and an HD remake must be even better! Now, Baja: Edge of Control HD is good, it’s a good, fun game, with slightly updated visuals compared to the original. What I do find a little weird though, is that the whole game isn’t updated visually, the loading screens especially are ugly, and the menus don’t really look updated. Maybe that’s just nitpicking though, so let’s talk about the actual game itself.
The basic feel of Edge of Control is fun as hell, your cars are customizable so be as bouncy or not bouncy as you’d like. Of course, if you don’t know a lot about cars, some of it is a little confusing, but once you figure out that higher numbers are more bouncy, and lower numbers make you bottom out, it’s not so bad. Pretty much every single track is fun to play on, and even though there seems to be quite a few of them, a lot of them feel same-y. I don’t expect to see anything ridiculous though, since it’s a Baja game, it’s not like you can race anywhere that isn’t a bunch of mounds of dirt, it’s kind of the point. The only thing that you can do on the tracks is damage other cars, get damaged, and repair yourself (if need-be), and it’s fine, I enjoy it. The races are quick, and with evenly matched opponents, they’re fun jaunts as you bump your mates about sand dunes and mud pits.
That all being said, this is a game from 2008, and it definitely feels like it, especially in the music. I mean, I didn’t expect them to make a whole new soundtrack or anything, but I really forgot how bleh music was back then. I prefer to turn the music down in the game honestly, it’s more fun hearing the vehicles bumping and crashing around. The graphics, though they’re updated, don’t look anywhere near as good as any driving sim from the current console generation. If you’re getting this because you played the original and wanted a shiny new version of the game, don’t buy this, just keep playing the copy you’ve had for potentially nine years. There’s nothing that amazing about the game in this day and age, and there’s one thing that kills me about this game that I just can’t ignore. So, this game has “over 150 cars”, but that’s complete and totally bullshit, because it’s got about 1/8th of that, and then a bunch of re-skins for those cars. I mean, you only need one car from each class, and there’s 7 classes, I think.
I would highly recommend this game to anyone who typically has friends over a lot and they all like playing racing games. It’s really accessible, it’s only $29.99, and it’s a hoot to play if you’ve never experienced it before! However, if you already have the original version, and you’re not a ridiculously die-hard fan, don’t bother buying this, there’s just no point.
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