Fast & Furious Showdown Review


Fast & Furious Showdown is one of those games that is easy to forget about. I didn’t even know it existed until I was on Ebay looking for the new game and came across it. That said, this should not be mixed up to say that it isn’t a high intensity title. The racing is solid and while the game is short enough, there is a tough level or two that should take you some tries. Ultimately it’s a good racing game that is hindered by its short length.

The game takes place before film 6 where the heroes had their big team up with Hobbs. So the campaign follows the introduction of his new partner who is trying to learn about Hobb’s objectives and enemies. To do this, the heroes basically talk about how great Dom and his crew are as well as Shaw and the villains. As they continue defeating us in each encounter, the partner gradually sees why Hobbs wants to recruit Dom and his gang since Shaw is unbeatable otherwise.

As for the gameplay, it’s your standard racing game for the most part, but throw in a bit of Need for Speed type combat as well. After all, either the cops or the villains will always be trying to stop you depending on what side you’re playing as. So you have to move as fast as possible and always stay one step ahead. For the traditional driving levels, the gameplay is on point and you feel like you’re going rather fast. The toughest levels are when you have to win through drifting which is not a mechanic I use a whole lot in any title.

Then you have the double driver levels where one person jumps to the top of the car and blasts away at the others while someone drives. I would always switch myself back into the driver’s seat because I’m not the biggest FPS fan. Additionally, I found the A.I. to be a pretty bad driver in most instances so driving on my own was the best bet. Otherwise you’re just crashing all the time and at times it also feels like you’re just moving really slowly which was kind of odd. I don’t see how that would have an effect on anything as long as the A.I.is holding down the accelerator.

There is one level where the obstacle feels a bit odd though. That’s when there are these little bombs on the ground and the shockwave feels like it’s a whole lot bigger than the animation. It doesn’t matter where you are, the bomb will ultimately catch you. I thought this was a bit much and died numerous times but I suppose I eventually got out of there which is the important thing. That’s the only time I let the A.I. drive so I could snipe as many bombs as possible.

There are also some quick time events where you have to jump on a truck once in a while. I like quick time event type scenarios but this one does feel like there is no true purpose to even have it here. It’s a small instance once in a blue moon for something that will not actually affect the level since it usually ends at that point. I’ll give the game credit for coming up with new modes and all but I think you could have done more with it. Imagine quick time events for some hand to hand fights among the main characters? Now that would have been pretty awesome.

As for the graphics, well they’re fairly standard stuff. Not as good as you’d find in one of the big AAA titles but I would say they are good enough not to be called bad. So they’re fairly passable and better than what you would find in the Madden cinematic moments. The soundtrack is more on the bad side. It’s going for an EA kind of feel with a lot of modern lyrical songs but most of them definitely felt more annoying than good. They’re loud and all but the lyrics don’t work so well and I wouldn’t count this as a net positive.

In terms of replay value, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything here. No extra levels or big collectibles to grab at all. I suppose that means you will purely be here to re-experience the story levels again but the thing to note is that you cannot skip the cutscenes. So that will present a bit of an issue I imagine. There may have been some kind of challenge mode so hopefully that will help but for the most part this is definitely the kind of game that you play for the story and after that you’ll likely leave it around. The story’s around 4-5 hours so it’s good enough if you find this for a small price. For full pricing it would not have been worth it though.

Overall, Fast & Furious Showdown is a fun title. I’m always up for a good racing game and the combat part is also nice since it expands on the concept a bit. What’s more thrilling than trying to turn the corner as someone is blasting as you right? The A.I. uses a lot of rubber banding though so they tend to catch up to you no matter how far ahead you are. Definitely makes it difficult to truly get away without defeating them so you always need to be on the attack. It should have had more of an in depth story mode and more replay value though. I look forward to seeing how the new version plays out one of these days and if it’s able to improve on these areas. If it does then I think we will have a true winner on our hands.

Overall 7/10

Fast & Furious Review


It’s time to continue to the Fast and the Furious series. This time we’re going away from Tokyo and back to the main plot with Dom. You’ll get your share of explosive race scenes here and a pretty good story. The film still holds itself back a bit with its reliance on fanservice but you will get some hype rock songs to keep you in the mix. I don’t think it quite tops Tokyo Drift’s soundtrack but that one still has one of the more iconic film end songs.

The movie starts out with Dom and the gang stealing some more gold as they take down a truck. He feels like it’s all getting a little too dangerous though and decides to put some distance between himself and the rest of the family. Things are quiet for a while but then his friend Letty is murdered by a gang lord. Everyone warns Dom that he shouldn’t pursue this since the guy is an incredibly infamous villain but that’s not going to stop him. You don’t mess with family after all.

Then you have the other main character Brian who has been put back on the task force. He has not had the best track record as of late so this might be his last shot. He barely captures someone after an extended chase scene but he gets some clues. At the same time as Dom, Brian finds out about a big race that is about to happen. The winner gets to transport some of the goods which means that it is the perfect time to find the gang lord. Only one person can win the race though so this is going to get close.

The movie does a good job of contrasting each of the characters’ theme music. In Tokyo Drift the main character had an electronic theme that fit in with the neon atmosphere of Tokyo. Here Dom always gets a fast paced Spanish song and Brian gets an intense rock tune. They’ve all got different ways of handling their business after all even if there are a good amount of similarities. The soundtrack is definitely on point and reaches the intense levels you would expect here.

Fast & Furious doesn’t hold back with the special effects either. It looks good throughout with a lot of fun cars involved. The action scenes are good and the pacing is on point so the film doesn’t drag out. If anything you just wish it could be longer at times since it’s all over in the blink of an eye. The first race doesn’t even happen til almost halfway into the film. It’s cool for setting up the action that is about to happen but it also means that you can’t expect too many different races. The climax has a lot of action though. There’s a lot you can do with cars and that’s really the appeal of these films. Whenever Dom uses the nitro I’m reminded of the various racing games for Gamecube.

On the flip side, as always the movie does tend to dwell on its own fanservice issues a little too much. The characters inevitably go to night clubs and such where everyone is acting really sketchy. One of the villains certainly has a pretty cringe worthy setup going for him before Brian brings in the cops. I could do without those scenes so we could focus more on the action. None of the romances are particularly impressive here either and could really be cut out without any issues.

As for the main characters, I still prefer Dom to Brian. Dom really gets the job done and feels like an experienced veteran when it comes to racing. While Brian did appear to have the edge in the race, Dom always makes up for this with his own creativity on the track. As he is in revenge mode a lot here, you can expect a lot of intense scenes with him breaking into places and taking people down. He’s certainly a strong fighter.

Brian is still a good character too though. He is pretty torn at the moment with his friends and also with upholding the law. His agency looks a lot less reasonable here though as they jump in before he gives the signal and one guy in particular was trying to give him a hard time. Brian didn’t let that slide though and I liked how he landed a pretty good combo right away. He’s no pushover.

Then you have some of the supporting characters like Mia who is still pretty upset at Brian for his choices when they first met. The guy did lead off with a lot of lies and deception so you can see why there would be some sore feelings there. She seems like a good character and will hopefully get to do more soon. Letty doesn’t get to appear for very long before things get dicey for her but she was not someone who would back down from a tough mission. She did her best to the end.

None of the villains are particularly memorable though. You have the guy who took out Letty and he acts as evil and petty as possible. There’s just nothing really making him stand out from any other gangster. You know that he is doomed the moment he messed with Dom’s family. There’s Gisele who seems rather high up in the villain ranks but she doesn’t really get to race here. Hopefully that’ll change soon.

Overall, Fast & Furious is a fun way to bring the cast back. I’d like the films to really start focusing more on the races and less on the nightclub kind of scenes. Once it does that I think we’ll be off to the races so to speak. I do think it beats the first two films in the series though. Does it beat Tokyo Drift? That’s a pretty close one but ultimately I would give it the narrow edge. Due in part to the end stinger but I also liked how much influence it took from the Need for Speed series. Dom is definitely a better main character than the last guy though. We’ll see how the series continues from here because I’m really looking forward to seeing when the series goes really off the rails with the stunts and everything.

Overall 4/10