Bang Bang Racing was developed and published by Digital Reality. It was released June 6, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes

Many racing titles have graced XBLA lately but none have attempted to confuse the player with a dumbfounded title like Bang Bang Racing–the gameplay possibilities with a title like that can begin at generic demolition or race to NSFW hijinks. Joking aside, when you boost into the experience you’ll quickly discover a competent racer with tight controls and a heap of unlockable content but an excluded multiplayer component that places this title in a distant third.

Here’s what we liked:

Tons of content – While players may be disappointed by the lack of any online multiplayer function, there is plenty of content to keep players around, including split-screen multiplayer, a career mode and championship series. Local multiplayer is your obvious go really fast affair, career mode contains the most robust tracks and unlockable car skins and tougher challenges, and championship places you in a series of standard races. Players will probably flock to career mode first, since it unlocks content that can be used in other modes. Career mode has you perform in standard races, time trials, elimination and at the end of each class a challenging championship game that has you racing in five or six matches consecutively. There are four classes of vehicles, each class containing a handful of cars, but the game has various skins that unlock after you perform specific in-game oddities like beating a race without damaging your health bar. There’s plenty of content available to bring even the most jaded gamer back into action.

Is this R.C. Pro… – BBR looks like an HD R.C. Pro-Am which will send many of us 80’s babies into gleeful nostalgia mode. It retains the isometric camera angle but also gives the option to follow your vehicle more dynamically. We found the classic angle to be a lot less disorienting. Regardless of your play style, the game is gorgeous in its simplicity. Tracks glimmer with explosive color in some truly beautiful vistas. Hopping bystanders with oval heads fill in as spectators while toy-like firetrucks and other whirring vehicles place a sense of urgency and excitement in the player. While in motion, you’ll witness a degree of eye candy like flying seagulls, construction work, and other items that are less of a distraction and more of a joy to see. But watch out for cones, water barrels, oil and explosive barrels that can significantly slow your rig down to a screeching halt.

Here’s what we didn’t like:

The challenge – Digital Reality is known for developing challenging experiences like Sine Mora and BBR follows the same formula. The key to success is a combination of turning techniques and pure luck. Sometimes your adversaries will speed through a course like Spider-Man traversing Manhattan, other times they will lag behind like a tortoise. But they are relentless. Achieving a gold medal requires multiple takes for most races.

Multiplayer – BBR is the type of game that would work perfectly in the online arena. Five friends or strangers could battle for the finish line while dodging obstacles.

Bang Bang Racing is an exceptional title that narrowly misses the finish line and ultimately settles for the pit stop. Beautiful graphics, customizable options, unlocks, plenty of tracks all make for a great experience, but without an online component little incentive exists for players to come back for more after the initial sheen wears off. Despite these issues, this is still a racing title worth owning as long as players are aware of its shortcomings.

Score: Buy it