In a Perfect world...
Scoring the aforementioned Gold medal in combination with an Awesome rating will give you the Perfect ranking on the level... yes, I know it's a little confusing. While many of the challenges won't take more than a couple of tries to achieve perfection, there are at least 1 or 2 events in each level that will likely cause you to punch a hole in the wall to get there. Sometimes 20 or more runs will be needed. To add insult to injury, getting Perfect ratings on all events in a level will unlock an Achievement... .of pitifully small point amounts, especially on the earlier levels. That ain't much for what can be several hours of gameplay, and the effort required to do so is immensely more than much larger point totals in other games for much simpler things.
To a franchise outsider, the fundamentals of the races might be confusing at first. Here you are, tearing down the streets of Rome or Tokyo, and you smash headlong into a commuter bus. The vehicle comes apart at the seams (beautifully, I might add), with tires, quarterpanels, and glass flying through the air surrounded by sparks and flame. Oh well, guess there'll need to be a restart... except within a few moments your car reappears, good as new, just a few seconds behind the other rivals. If only the laws of physics could be broken so easily in real life, our daily commutes on the highway would be much better.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer
The multiplayer on Xbox Live is blisteringly good and thankfully offers a couple of nuances not seen in the existing console versions. You can hate your friends even more now, thanks to a Rivalry system put in place that keeps track of and displays at the start races of how many times other racers have taken you out (or vice-versa). For those with skills, it's a great way to be reminded that you've been kicking your buddy's ass all night. For those at the other end of the scale, it's slightly less welcome. At the start of each race, you are reminded of how you've owned (or been owned by) the people you've been running with, and this definitely serves to increase the trash-talking and hard feelings. Sadly, there's no matchmaking when it comes to ranked games, so there will be times when you'll be pitted against players who are vastly superior and will likely cause you to cast curses upon them and their families.
Luckily, the online community in Revenge bucks the trend of those for many other games. For the most part, the people that I've met on Live are a heck of a lot friendlier, more relaxed, and a lot less serious than those in, say, Fight Night Round 3 or *shudder* Halo 2. Perhaps it's the arcadey vibe of the game – whatever the reason, based upon a truly positive experience, I have much less trepidation about venturing out into the wilds of the Xbox Live world in Revenge than most other titles out there.
There is really nothing to truly dislike about Revenge. It's solid, shiny, ambitious, and lengthy. The difficulty of selected events will be punishing at times, but with practice and heaps of persistence any challenge will be overcome. The multiplayer can be intense to the point of hyperventilation, while the sounds and visuals will immerse you deep into the aura of the game.
It's just that, if you've played the 6-month old Xbox or PS2 version, you've seen this all before. If money is not really an issue, or Xbox Live Achievements inspire you to re-accomplish a lot of things you've already done, then by all means pick up Revenge. However, with the post-launch 360 library being added to with quality games on a weekly basis, your time, money, and concentration may likely be better served elsewhere.