Burnout 3: Takedown

Cover Art - Burnout 3 Takedown
From the Publisher:

Grab the wheel and hold on as you battle and takedown the competition with the most spectacular crashes this side of Hollywood. Seatbelts not included.
Platforms PlayStation 2
Developer Criterion Software
Publisher Electronic Arts
Player Count 1 with online multiplayer available
HomePage https://www.ea.com/en-au/games/burnout/burnout-takedown

Game Review

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Journal Entries

September 12th, 2022

I have never been huge on driving games. There have been notable exceptions, like the first Need for Speed and Daytona USA years ago. Mario Kart since the Wii. But between all those, there is only one series that regularly pulled me back. And my love of the series started with Burnout 3. Traditional racing simulation with real-world physics? Not for me. Arcade racing where knocking opponents off the track gives you a bonus? I’m in!

When I had the idea to start streaming/making videos on retro games I enjoy, I had one series in mind to start. I started on Burnout 3, but I have a few of the early games. My idea was to play a bit of each, and talk about the new features and changes made as the series progressed.

What I wanted to sort out was a Switch-like retro experience for this though. And I know have this working in a way that I can live with. I have intensively ‘tested’ Burnout 3 over the last couple of weeks. No dodging I have been playing this week!

20220912 - Burnout 3 - The Win 3 isnt perfect but I have been having a ball with it
The GPD Win 3 isn’t perfect, but it’s the best balance so far

Stream/video-wise, one of the best parts of Burnout is working against me. I have tried a few ways to work around it, but nothing is reliable enough to make me comfortable to stream. That aspect? Licensed music. Burnout has always had an amazing soundtrack, even to someone like me that enjoys old music.

But the licensed music means I can’t play it on the internet and not be in copyright breach. And according to YouTube, every song in Burnout 3 is claimable.😕 But that’s something I need to finish working out.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been enjoying the different events on the Burnout World Tour. For a few minutes break during the day, I can play a few Crash Junctions. Each junction is only a few seconds of actual driving, then letting things play out in the background. It’s quick, simple, and satisfying to watch vehicles flying in all directions!

20220912 - Burnout 3 - Crash Junctions are way too much fun
Cause as many accidents as possible. Let’s see Gran Turismo let you ‘Steer’ mid-air!

Actual racing in Burnout 3 comes in five varieties as well. There are traditional races, where you need to come first to win. Elimination events are my second favourite ‘race’. In Elimination, each lap the player in last place blows up – a definitive loss! Grand Prix is a set of usually 3 normal races, with points awarded each race for an overall winner. And finally, Burning Lap is doing one lap as fast as possible.

Then there is my favourite race in Burnout 3 – Road Rage. You don’t win by coming first, but instead by knocking your opponents off the road. I swear some people on the highway think this is how you are supposed to drive and terrifies me. But in Burnout 3? It can be a heap of fun!

20220912 - Burnout 3 - Why just overtake
Overtake? Sure. Knock them off the road is a bigger lead though!

I am pretty close to ‘completing’ Burnout 3 in less than 20 hours. I don’t have my original memory card, but I am pretty sure it took me close to 80 hours to get gold in every event. Even then, there are special trophies and types of eliminations to aim for as well. If they ever bought back Burnout 3 with trophy support, I would definitely aim for the Platinum. As long as there aren’t any multiplayer trophies.

As mentioned, I want to do some dedicated pieces and stream Burnout 3. Well, if I can come up with a way around the music I am happy with I will. But until then, expect to hear a bit more about the various Burnout games come October onwards.

20220912 - Burnout 3 - Progress
13 Gold medals to go

There is a lot of Burnout left for me to play, not just Burnout 3. Who knows, I may even Complete Burnout 3 before PAX!

September 19th, 2022

I didn’t get to play as much Burnout 3 as I hoped last week, but I did manage to make some progress. I have earned a few more gold medals, and completed an entire area of challenges! I am making my way through Burnout 3 for I think the third time.

It’s been fun, but I am in the final ‘gotta work for it’ section of events. My number one nemesis – the US Circuit Racer, or as I call it, the F1 car. My Burnout 3 memories of completion are hazy because of this vehicle. I am pretty sure I completed it, but I am never 100% sure.

20220919 - Burnout 3 - The US Circuit Racer is a challenge all on its own
The US Circuit Racer is a challenge on it’s own, let alone in a race!

This car does not turn. It flies in a straight line at a ridiculous speed. But it also catches on to everything. If you don’t crash because you almost touched a wall, you stop completely. You can drift to a degree, but if you don’t learn when to speed up you will start spinning around. You almost need to relearn Burnout 3 physics to race this car properly.

I did do a few stand-alone Crash junctions though as stress relief, which was nice. It’s fun being able to cause some mayhem without paying attention to everything around me. There are also the Burnout 3 Road Rage events, that I will need to start concentrating on. Why? Because I need to take down 2,000 opponents. Can’t do that in Crash!

20220919 - Burnout 3 - Oh no I need to drive into lots of other cars for fun
Oh no I have to crash another 1000+ cars for a digital tropy, oh my!

Once I have all of the event gold medals, I am going to work on grinding away on the Burnout 3 trophies and collectibles. This will take a bit of time, but that’s the beauty of having Burnout 3 handheld. I am in a spot where I can fire it up, spend a coffee break playing a race or two, and then put it away.

I don’t need to complete Burnout 3 for anything other than nostalgia reasons. I will say that last week I did miss Crash Junctions from Burnout Paradise. I could fire up Paradise and go through the single player, but the emphasis on online puts me off trying to Platinum it.

The Crash mode used there first started in Burnout Revenge though. It might be time to play one of the Burnout games I missed…

20220919 - Burnout 3 - Progress going well
Another 4 hours for what looks like a little progress, but progress in any event

September 26th, 2022

I am creeping towards finishing all the Burnout 3 events. I only have two events to complete. My biggest ‘win’ for Burnout 3 this week was finishing the Burning Lap in the US Circuit Racer.

This particular even took me the better part of 20 tries. Burning Laps are solo races where you finish a single lap in the quickest time. Do it underneath the first time, get a gold medal – the standard I consider an event finished.

Monday was a particularly frustrating day for me. Trying Burnout 3 on my lunch break seemed like a good idea, and I started on the Burning Lap to give it a go. And I missed out on the gold medal by 0.23 seconds. So guess what I stopped playing for a couple of days?

20220926 - Burnout 3 - Grand Prix Preview Lap finally beaten
When this get this close, the adrenaline spike is real

That said, I did fire up Burnout 3 later in the week. A quick Road Rage was exactly what I felt like, and 40ish more takedowns later I felt pretty good. I had 15 minutes to kill before a meeting, and grabbing a coffee only takes 5. So I tried the Burning Lap again. The difference this time is I beat the gold medal time by almost a second!

It doesn’t sound like much, but a win is a win! At this stage of Burnout 3, you can’t afford a crash to make the times. I did crash once early in the lap but managed to somehow make up the time. I didn’t think I would this time with the crash, but the satisfaction of seeing that medal was real. It was the lift I needed to let me finish my day.

20220926 - Burnout 3 - Almost complete
Coming close to finishing all the events

It might be a bit before I tackle the last two races. The next event is a Grand Prix in the US Circuit Racer, so that’s a dedicated twenty to thirty minutes. Also, I will probably be playing on the GPD Win 3.

The smaller screen and Burnout 3 races don’t always mesh. It’s not that the Win 3 can’t play the game. Everything is moving so fast and you cut things so fine the 5.5″ screen is a slight handicap.

It’s possible, and I will give playing a race or two a shot, but Burnout 3 may be put down for a while. Better backup that save just in case!