Burnout CRASH!, the top-down arcade spin-off of the celebrated destructive racing series, is well on its way to crossing the finish line. Announced in July and originally slated generically for the Fall, EA and Criterion have now given the game a solid release date — and it’s soon! Burnout CRASH! will debut on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade September 20, 2011.

With it’s Lobster Monsters and UFOs, Burnout: CRASH! is clearly a departure for the series. Fortunately, CRASH!’s player-friendly $9.99/800 MS price point should encourage curious gamers to give it a shot. If that doesn’t do the trick, the game will also make use of the Autolog feature pioneered in Criterion’s Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and will include a Kinect-exclusive partly battle mode.

Along with the release date, a fresh batch of Burnout CRASH! screenshots have hit the web, making clear once again just how much wackiness Criterion is packing into its downloadable debut. Check them out below.

So, the Pizza of Fortune, huh? Alright then.

As our first look at Burnout CRASH! gameplay footage made clear, the game does indeed build on the beloved Crash Mode that has graced nearly every previous Burnout, save the open world focusedBurnout Paradise. But will longtime fans, who bemoaned the lack of Crash Mode in Paradise, embrace this goofy, cartoony re-imagining of Burnout’s defining mode?

In addition to the Lobster Monsters and the Pizza of Fortune, the game is packed with sound effects straight out of Saturday morning — all the better to court the casual audience that has largely ignored Burnouts past. Kinect support (remember, it’s coming to FORZA Motorsport 4, as well) also positions the game as casual-friendly affair.

Still, Burnout — in all its glass-shattering, metal-twisting glory — has always enjoyed support from the hardcore end of the gaming spectrum. If CRASH! can bring the casual audience into the fold, all the better. Perhaps that way, we’ll finally get an all new, retail Burnout release, complete with a proper Crash Mode (hey, a guy can dream).

Burnout fans, what do you think of CRASH!? Is it too cartoony, or is this just the right formula for bringing Crash Mode to the masses? Let us know in the comments below.

Burnout CRASH! releases September 20, 2011, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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Source: Kotaku, Joystiq