Burnin’ Rubber, also known as Bump ‘n’ Jump, is a top-down racing combat game that can still provide excitement almost 30 years after its initial release. The PlayStation minis version of Burnin’ Rubber is a straight port of the 1982 arcade original however, with no modern emulation features and it could be considered overpriced at $3.99 for all but die hard fans.
The action in Burnin’ Rubber takes place on 32 courses categorized by the four seasons. The goal is to reach the end of the course while smashing as many opponent vehicles as possible by sending them into walls or landing on them with a jump. Read More...
Along the way you will find obstacles like narrow bridges and rivers that must be avoided, usually by jumping. In order to make your car jump you must be travelling at 100 MPH or higher. Every time you land a jump your speed decreases by about 20 MPH.
A distinct audio and visual cue warns you of impending danger, giving you a few seconds to try and build enough speed to make dangerous leaps. Burnin’ Rubber could be considered a difficult game and at times it can be frustrating because of “cheap” opponents.
There are a number of opponent vehicle types including heavy, tank-like ones and those that drop boulder-like objects in your path. Each opponent has a different weight to it, meaning some are easier to smash into walls than others.
The physics are quite bouncy, but they are consistent, making it easier to get a feel for how opponent vehicles will react when you hit them and more importantly, how your car will behave.
Unfortunately, Burnin’ Rubber offers little in the way of modern emulation options or improvements. The lack of an auto save feature means your high scores can be lost easily. There are some simple difficulty and starting lives options to toggle.
There are no graphical filter options, however Burnin’ Rubber does look crisp on both the PSP and on a TV and features a bright colour palette. There is also a cabinet view that can be toggled on and off to your liking. Disappointingly, I found that the game would often drop frames or slow down when action got hectic.
The sound is typical of an arcade game from this era, meaning audio is minimal. An upbeat theme plays faintly in the background and thankfully the car sounds are not grating.
Control is quite simple. Your analog control or d-pad steers while a solitary button is used to trigger the jump mechanic.
While I was a huge fan of Burnin’ Rubber in arcades and spent hundreds of quarters on it at my local Laundromat, I found the $3.99 price tag a bit hard to swallow given the lack of modernization this port received, though I still consider it a great game and one of the best racers of the era. Unlike most PlayStation minis titles, you can also enjoy Burnin' Rubber with a friend thanks to the inclusion of hotseat multiplayer.
+ Fast and Intense Racing
+ Crisp Graphics with Cabinet View
+ Audiovisual Cues Warn of Danger
- No Auto Save or Graphics Filters
- Noticable Slowdown
Game Forward Score: 3/5
Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward
Burnin’ Rubber (PlayStation Network) Quick Facts:
Release Date: June 22, 2010
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)