The title of this game, Street Trace NYC, suggests you will be doing new and interesting things in New York City. Street Trace? What's that? New York? Sounds cool! Unfortunately, Street Trace does not let you do any cool nor interesting things, and the only recognizable New York landmark was the Statue of Liberty, viewable only in the menu.
A "Street Trace" is like a street race, only on rocket-powered skateboards with guns. You pick a character (read: racial stereotype), and don't worry which one, as colour seems to be the only difference between them. After every round, you use the money you earned to upgrade your eight statistics in preparation for the next race. At the end of your current series of races, your score is tallied, you either win or lose, and your player loses all upgrades. So don't expect any deep RPG elements.
The different gametypes include racing, racing with guns, killing other players, and picking stuff up while killing other players. While this may seem like an attempt at variety, it was in vein, as every gametype feels the same anyways. This is mainly due to the controls, which have you constantly overturning and underturning in an attempt to control the bullet beneath your feet. You will always be running into walls, cars, or other debris put into the game only to piss you off (as the AI players will usually avoid such annoyances with ease). The camera stays directly behind you with no give or grace whatsoever, giving the player a supremely jerky experience. As such, I feel it fair to classify this game as third-person pinball.
That's not to say the game is difficult. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes easy to put all your upgrade money into homing rockets and blast everyone mindlessly. During races, you can mash the 'boost' button straight to victory. While developer Gaia Industries tried to counter this by including two bars which essentially boil down to "ammo" and "gas", these meters are refilled frequently by the power-up scattered throughout each stage, and thus made irrelevant.
The music and sound in this game are completely unremarkable.
I found the graphics reminiscent of Crackdown, in that it is lightly cel-shaded to give it a uniform comic-like style. While these graphics were perfectly serviceable when speeding down the track, the seams become obvious at lower speeds (and you slow down a lot), and many textures are clearly of very low resolution.
The level variety leaves much to be desired. Locations vary from such staples as "warehouse" and "docks", to "abandoned highway" and "coliseum". Although the colour palette is very dark and urban, it is also uniform and boring. Additionally, the abandoned highway level features some pits which are almost impossible to avoid. If anyone says otherwise, they are lying, and you should address that person as "liar".
I was not able to find anyone to play online, which I think is indicative of how terrible Street Trace is. So if you get this game, you will have to convince your friends to purchase it if you want to play over Xbox Live. Personally, if my friend convinced me to buy this game, I would hit him with a baseball bat. I'm not joking.
Ultimately, I can't really give one area where Street Trace NYC is especially terrible, but at the same time, I refuse to grant it any strengths. This game suffers from an extreme lack of polish, and while it may serve as a neat project for grad-school game programmer, Street Trace has no place on Xbox Live Arcade, nor your hard drive.