Way back in late 2010, Doritos brought out their second free game Doritos Crash Course to the XBLA. The title used XBox avatars as characters in a Wipe-Out / MXC style obstacle course. Luckily, the Doritos name was only present in the title and it never became a hit you over the head advertising ploy. There weren’t any Doritos speed boosts or Cool Ranch extra lives. And it ended up being pretty fun, despite only having three sets of courses that all looked pretty similar.
Doritos Crash Course 2 brings back the fun gameplay of the original with four distinctly different environments, a new unlockable progress system and support for Avatar FameStar. While the environments do a great job of adding visual variety, it’s the system of unlocking new content that gives Doritos Crash Course 2 an original feel. Instead of just progressing in order through levels, players unlock medals and stars that they use to purchase new levels. Getting certain placement against AI opponents earns a player more medals while taking various paths through a level allows access to different stars.
Of course, as with other free-to-play titles, Doritos Crash Course 2 has microtransactions as an option for players who don’t want to wait and unlock levels but with courses being reasonably sized, it isn’t a stretch to play through multiple times to earn more unlocks rather than paying for them. And because it is presented by Doritos as an obvious marketing tool, I don’t feel guilty never paying for any component of the game. In other games like League of Legends, I totally think people should purchase at least something with microtransactions to support the developer if they continue to enjoy the game. But let’s be honest, Doritos Crash Course 2 is a paid advertisement from Doritos so I don’t feel like I owe them anything in return aside from possibly purchasing actual Doritos.
The one disappointing aspect of Doritos Crash Course 2 is that the multiplayer doesn’t allow you to unlock any of the game’s levels. All the stars and medals are earned in single player so if you want to have them available to you to play with a friend in multiplayer, you need to do it in single player first because (as I said) I don’t see the benefit to purchasing them.
One part of the game that is upsetting though is the required online connection, even for single player. I understand being online to be a part of leaderboards but there is no reason why a game can require me to be online during a single player match that isn’t effected by the online component. Especially if a connection is lost during the game, all of that previous race’s progress is lost too. So if you have an iffy wireless connection, play with caution.
But, as always, it’s really hard to complain about something when it is free. If you have some time to kill and a stable connection, check out Doritos Crash Course 2 on XBLA. Make sure to unlock all the levels too before I come over since my Time Warner internet sometimes gets in the way of that.