Ghost Rider - hands on

The end of each fiery melee ends with a finisher, activated by the circle button. Each type of enemy meets a unique end, from the already-mentioned pile driver to a flippy gymnastic curb stomp. As unabashed Ghost Rider fans, we can't recall any time when the Rider could pull off such feats of agility, but hey, it does make the beatdowns look cool.

As you plow through wave after wave of endless demons, your Vengeance combo meter will rise. But, unlike most other beat 'em ups, Ghost Rider forces you to mix up your attacks. You can't just execute the same killer combo over and over, because many demons have a shield around them that can only be broken when your meter has soared high enough.

After pumping points into the Rider for new combos, you can also enhance your Hellfire shotgun and break-apart chain. All that's left to mention is the Retribution meter, a rage mode that kills everything on the screen. While raging, the Rider can unleash his ultimate attack, the Penance Stare. What's a Penance Stare? It's a fiery-eyed facedown that makes the victim feel all the pain he has inflicted over the years, all at once. As demons, these guys have probably caused a lot of trouble over the years - they turn into powder with one quick glance. That's hot.

And, as anyone would expect, Rider does feature some driving levels. When your motorcycle's got fire wheels, you can't exactly ignore that, can you? These levels put you on a straightforward track, attacking enemies with your chain and projectile attacks. The racing isn't particularly smooth or exciting, but there are some daredevilish tricks that make the game go slo-mo and let you bask in the awesomeness. For example, you can slide under obstacles with the bike, crushing any lesser demons on the other side in an inferno of hellfire-soaked chrome.