So after performing some housekeeping on my PS3 (didja know that you can assign downloaded games an "Album", and then select "Group by Album" - so now my purchased games are in a separate folder) I downloaded the multiplayer demo of Blur.
First, big kudos to Activision for releasing a multiplayer demo which actually allows you to play as if you bought the game (up to level 10 at least). That's right - no timing out on the last lap or limited play time. You can really get a good feel for what this game is all about.
And the game is Mario Kart, but with realistic graphics and licensed cars. And although I downloaded the GT5 demo, I have little interest in realistic racing. So for me Blur is cool 'cause it's an arcade racer and I don't need to do much more than hold down the accelerator for most of the race. Sim racers may still be able to beat me around the track by finding the perfect line, but they can't outrace my homing missile.
Yep, there are weapons to be used. And they even have Mario Kart equivalents. Shunt (homing missile) = Red Shell (but can be fired backwards to block an attacking Shunt; Shock = Blue Shell, except it just puts a bunch of damage areas in front of the lead cars; Mine = Fake Item, which can also be fired forward; Nitro = Mushroom which can also be used as a mega brake; Bolt = Green Shell and just as tough to aim with, although you get three. There's also Shield and Repair items and Barge which pushes nearby cars away and can be used to block Shunts. Finally, as an added bonus, you can carry three weapons at once. (In fact, my only complaint so far is the most recently picked up weapon isn't automatically selected.)
Racing (even if finish last) gets you fans, fans get you to the next level, and levels unlock new cars, mods (special abilities) and tracks. So even if you aren't the greatest racers, you can still get ahead. The online process is also fairly painless. Once you're assigned to a group (note: I've never had success being the host) each race takes 5-10 minutes. And once the leader finishes, a countdown begins to the race ending. Then awards are assigned and the next track is voted on and the race starts after another countdown.
Will I buy it? Maybe... But I'm having fun playing the demo!