Retro Monday – “The Simpsons: Road Rage”

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Instead of writing a cold open about “Assassin’s Creed Unity” parity, have this Inside Gaming [Machinima] that talks about the topic beter then I can in 10 lines or less.

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For me, I just want a good game. Frame rate and resolution are secondary to a getting good game.

Title: “The Simpson’s: Road Rage”

Developer: Radical Entertainment

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Released: November 2001

I am a huge fan of “The Simpsons”. The titbit fact that I always pull out is that I was born the same day the first 30 minute episode was broadcast on TV. Although I’m not such a fan that I am will to praise everything they do. This just means that talking about Simpsons games takes hard. Some people will say that I have the controversial opinion on some Simpsons games like “Hit and Run” (I like it… mostly). But then there comes games like “Road Rage, bad on pretty much every level. This is a rare occurrence for me because I’ve played this on console and on GameBoy Advance, back when it was a thing. It’s not great on either.

The plot of the game is that the city’s McDuck buys all the transport things in the town and then replaces them with nuclear buses. The people cry out that they are irradiating people so the townsfolk band together to taxi people around the town. You can play as one of a selection of the townsfolk, the main family and the named regulars like Apu, Krusty, etc, in cars build for them. So Homer in the family sedan, Krusty in a clown car, that sort of thing.

That is the whole game. You taxi people around, earn money, the more money your earn unlocks more cars, characters and levels. The objective is to get to the $1 million mark so the townsfolk can buy back the buses. Or so you can unlock everything.

Calling the game a “Crazy Taxi” knock-off is so close to the knuckle that SEGA sued Fox Interactive (licensor) Electronic Arts (publisher) and Radical Entertainment (developer) saying that it was a knock-off “Crazy Taxi”. I have played very little of “Crazy Taxi” but even I can say that it is a pretty tight copy. You get bonuses for speed, jumping, and doing those sort of stunts. A nice addition is that some people will like speed but not jumping or bumping or some sort of combination. There is also a mission mode when your job is to complete a task. Usually destroy a thing in a time limit, got to somewhere in time limit or taxi people in a time limit. It’s a nice addition but the monitory reward is the same as in the normal mode so there isn’t much need to replay them once you’ve complete them. The are quite a few though so you can have some fun before your done with them.

The vast majority of the time you will just be in normal mode ferrying people around trying to get to the $1 million mark. At that takes a long while and a lot of grinding. Even with the unlockable people, cars and levels, it will get pretty boring pretty quickly.

The graphics of the game are standard as the PS2 goes. Making traditionally 2D characters in 3D can sometimes look off and this time it is kind of ok. Most of the time you only see them form the inside of the car as the camera tails behind so you pretty much only see them from a 2D perspective. I guess the 2D made to look 3D graphic style of the “The Simpsons Game” was quite far away at that point. The physics of the game are also standard, doing what most driving games did at the time.

If you’ve played “Crazy Taxi” then you have played this. I guess Fox must have agreed because the lawsuit I mentioned earlier was settled out of court. “Road Rage” is just a Simpsons skin for a standard type of game. These where dime a dozen at the time but are less prevalent now. If you want to play that style of game and like the Simpsons then this game should be right up your alley. If you just want to try out this style of game, then I’d say try “Crazy Taxi”. It is a lot more stylised of an experience while Road Rage is just another ‘ode to the Simpsons’ style of game. It’s a lot of ‘oh look at this’ and ‘remember this’ in the game rather than trying to forge an identity of its own like “Simpsons Hit and Run” did later. It is fun, but it is a passable experience.

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