The Simpsons: Road
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Capabilities: Memory Card Compatible
Review Written: March 6, 2002
Crazy Taxi pioneered a brand new genre of games with its unique, pick up and deliver passengers as fast as you can, concept. And as expected with most other new genres, rip offs are soon to follow. The Simpsons: Road Rage, being one of the first. Now being the big Crazy Taxi fan I am, I decided to give Road Rage a try. I didnt have high hopes for this game at all considering all the horrible Simpsons games from the past like Virtual Bart and Simpsons Wrestling. Will the curse finally be gone with this game? Lets get onto the review and find out.
This game gave me a lot of good first impressions of the graphics. The huge cast of characters looks very true to the cartoon show. They also have vehicles that represent their character perfectly. Otto drives a bus, and Homer has his broken down convertible. But as I played on, I noticed plenty of the shortcomings in the graphics like the level designs. There are six courses in the game, and they dont look as great as you thought they would be. In most of the levels, the roads are just way too wide and there is very little traffic and pedestrians blocking your path as in Crazy Taxi. Also, the buildings severely lack in detail. The outside designs of them are fine, but other that a few windows, most of the buildings look a bit generic. But the familiar buildings in Springfield (such as Moes Tavern, the Kwik-e-Mart, etc.) look great and identical to the ones on the television show. The game moves at a great pace, though every so often their will be bits of slowdown to interfere in game play.
All the drivers and passengers have several phrases of voice acting. And they all sound exactly the way they do on the cartoon show. All of them rip and complement you on your good or bad driving. I got a kick out of all their jokes, but after hearing them repeat every so often, it got really annoying. But hey, some voice acting is better than none. The sound effects are some standard stuff with everything sounding the way it should like the squeaking of the tires, and crashing into buildings all sound the way they should.
The controls have a very messed up default setting. Now in Crazy Taxi for the Dreamcast, Sega had it where the L and R triggers were used for acceleration and brake. That worked well, and I loved that control set up. You would think the developers at Radical would take advantage of the X-Box controller having an identical trigger set up to the Dreamcast controller and assign the same buttons. But instead they decide to have the A and B buttons do that. And guess what? It doesnt work at all. It is the most uncomfortable set up Ive had to go through in a while. You also have the options of having the analog sticks being used as acceleration and brakes, but that set up is just as bad as the first, since everyone is use to having the analog sticks for steering.
There are three main modes of play for Road Rage. The first is the Sunday Drive mode, which is your basic practice mode. Where you drive around on one of the six courses for fun, and its great for getting to learn the placement of all the buildings in the levels. The next mode is the Mission Mode, where you have ten missions for you to beat. The missions range from getting someone to a place in a certain time limit, or participating in a race. These are fun to play through, but most of them can be beaten in no time. And once you beat them, why play through them again? The final mode is Road Rage, which is the main mode of play. It is similar to the arcade mode in Crazy Taxi. In it you have an overall time limit, and you pick up and deliver as many passengers as you can, earning big tips for fast runs.
The ten missions in the game are fun to play through and a nice extra, but they only take about a total of an hour to beat. At least we get a two-player mode thrown in here for us to tinker with. This way we can go against a friend in a weird version of tag. Road Rage is all right to play through, and youll find yourself playing it a bit in order to unlock all the hidden levels and drivers.
+: Huge cast of your favorite Simpsons characters as drivers, two player mode, lots of stuff to unlock
-: Missions can be beaten in no time, Course design is weak, Horrible control set up
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 6.1
Replay Value: 5.0
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 6
The Simpsons Road Rage is an all right game, but nothing compared to Crazy Taxi. However, this is definitely a step up from the latest Simpsons title, Simpsons Wrestling. Fans of the show are gonna eat this title up, but if youre also a fan of Crazy Taxi, then I suggest renting before you decide to buy.
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