You’ve probably never heard of Mantis Burn Racing, and I was the same when I went into this review. So it’s nice to be a little surprised as I expected a standard rally-type racer, but instead got a Micro Machines/MotorStorm RC-esque top-down racer. These types of games used to be very common in the 2D era, and even during the original PlayStation’s reign, but in recent years that has stopped being the case. So it’s nice to see one of these games back on the market, but does Mantis Burn Racing do anything new? Well, not really, but it’s a great example of what these racers are and used to be.
Mantis Burn Racing differs from Micro Machines and MotorStorm RC in that these races take place in normal stages. The view is slightly angled, although this is a top down racer, and you use R2 to accelerate and can recharge your boost by doing successful drifts around corners. You can then use this boost using the X button in a Burnout-style boost. The difficulty curve is not too steep, but the initial levels feel impossible to lose as the controls are quite responsive.
The main meat of this game is in the relatively lengthy career mode. You can progress through Rookie, Pro and Veteran careers, which will give you new cars to use. The more you progress, the more upgrades you can do on your vehicles. Rookie mode is very easy to win, but it gets a lot more difficult as you go in to Pro and Veteran as the AI starts to play a lot better. In order to progress in the career mode, you earn “gears”. Each event has up to 6 gears available, which you get for
your position in the race and performing specific challenges.
The career mode is made up of various types of races. There is a standard race, time-trial, 2 race leagues, sprint, knockout, accumulator, and 3 race leagues. The race leagues are essentially a set of races where you gain a position based on the points you receive in all the races. There is also split-screen multiplayer available for up to 4 players which is a nice addition, but also online play, although that is quite buggy at the moment. There is a lot of replay value available here which is nice to see.
Mantis Burn Racing looks quite good, but it’s car models are quite simple in comparison to most games. This isn’t really an issue in a race, but on the menu screen the slightly simple models are a little disappointing. With that said, it does look good for the price, and the environments look great, although the areas surrounding tracks are a little bland. The sound effects are spot on, but I personally found the sound track quite irritating. Despite the bugs in the online mode, Mantis Burn Racing is a great little jump-in-jump-out game.
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game.
- Replay Value