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Crash Course 2

As an Xbox 360 gamer, I love when random free games hit the Xbox Live Arcade marketplace. Well, with the exception of Yaris, which was horrible, even at no cost to the consumer. But, the latest to hit is actually a sequel to another free game from not too long ago. Crash Course 2 is yet another attempt at console free-to-play gaming, and while it’s worth picking up to kill a few minutes, it’s just not right this second.

After sitting down with this on it’s launch day yesterday, it became clear that we’re facing another Happy Wars underestimation. Sadly, the game can only be played when you’re connected to the on-line servers. The problem is that there’s always a problem connecting. Granted the longest it took me was maybe one minute, but then I would either be kicked out at the title screen, during a race, or while sitting in the lobby waiting to play on-line, which I haven’t been able to do yet. Thankfully, when it kicks out after a race, no matter how early, everything is saved, and that’s a good thing due to the token system they implimented.

Crash Course 2 has you completing tasks and grabbing stars you use to unlock new courses. In order to get to the next course, you have to pay with stars, or stars with circle around them. I haven’t figured out what those are yet though, and I get the feeling either earning all stars in a course, or buying them with Microsoft Points in the store. Either way, you can use these stars for other things like effects for your avatar such as baby face to distract opponents, special powers, and other various things you can use in single player races, as well as on-line matches. On top of that there’s the Avatar achievement system, which is ridiculous, and ends up affecting the standard achievements with having to wear a specific costume you unlock in it during a race.

Each race also has special tasks for you to complete, which will keep you busy as well. So far they’ve been pretty easy, the hardest being to keep the silver place competitor in the screen the whole time. I know that doesn’t sound bad, but that avatar constantly faded out of vision, and I could only follow it thanks to the slight blut molecules that floated around it and still were kind of visible.

It’s obvious they intend to keep this one updated, and even day one they tease more obstacle courses, showing that they are “coming soon.” at the bottom of the list. So, as of right now, no, this isn’t an effective way to kill five minutes. Until the connection issues are resolved, probably not enough servers to host so many gamers, this is going to be a touchy title you’ll need to have more time and patience for. But, once the issue is resolved, then yes, this is a good way to kill five minutes if you have them to spare, and it’ll help boost your achievement score if you’re a junky like me. Plus, it’s just a free Xbox Live Arcade game that isn’t Yaris 2! That alone should be enough of a reason to eventually check this one out.

Digital review copy of this release provided by free Xbox Live Arcade download.