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Blur - Video Game Review

Text By Carter Jung

For: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Publisher: Activision

www.blurgame.com

Rating: 4.5/5

Back in the day, and I mean way deep in the past, games used to come in cartridge format, holding precious few MBs of amusement. During this golden-cartridge-era, few brands competed for dominance but one would reign supreme, Nintendo. Starting from 8-bit and going up to 16, what the iPhone is to cellular technology today pales in comparison to what the SNES had on gaming during the ‘90s. From Mode 7 to its four regular plus two shoulder buttons, the SNES had all the dope games. But of all the iconic titles to come from the console, there was one game that I obsessed over: Super Mario Kart.

For starters, it involved driving. Yes, you were a bobbleheaded character from the Super Mario franchise, but it was four-wheeled kart nonetheless. Second, it had a robust multiplayer mode back before the Internet forced you to play in virtual rooms with 12-year-old boys who have yet to learn about the Civil Rights movement, let alone the term “PC”. Punk lil’ bastards -- but I digress. Lastly, what Super Mario Kart had going for it was its cool power ups -- heat seeking turtle shell missiles, enemy-shrinking lightning attacks, mushrooms disguised as nitrous, and so on. The formula worked well. So well in fact, Nintendo released a version (or two) for every goddamn console they have ever produced. I think I own six iterations of the game. But what was once fun and cute got campy and tired with age—one can only play as Princess for so long. The problem was there was no other option. Car games on the whole grew more realistic, trading physics for fun. That is no longer the case.

From screenshots, Blur might look like Activision’s take on a racing game. It has the obligatory licensed sports cars (50) and exotic locations from throughout the world, but that’s where it ends. Sure, it has the four-player splitscreen and 20-player online modes, and its graphics are as crisp as a drycleaned shirt, but what it has that separates it from the pack are the power-ups. From speed boosts, mines, homing missiles, bullet-like projectiles, shields, lightning, to a localized shock attack, power-ups act as defensive and offensive measures to work your opponents while you race around the track. While the physics engine on Blur won’t win any realism awards, that’s not why you’d buy this game. Go cop Forza or wait for GT5. But if you want something to do with your buddies before you go out and hit the town, Blur is perfect. It’s really fun, really easy to get into, and a throwback (in the best possible way) to Super Mario Kart--only with cool cars.

UPDATE: Just checked out their website (www.blurgame.com) and their video is motherf’in hilarious.

By Carter Jung
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