Review by BClarke
"If you haven't already played CRAZY TAXI, buy that instead."
Simpsons ROAD RAGE (GameCube) 7/10
Pros: It's a CRAZY TAXI clone with great voices for Simpsons fans and 6 playfields.
Cons: It's still just a CRAZY TAXI clone with simpler graphics and less challenge.
The Bottom Line: If you haven't played CRAZY TAXI, buy that instead.
I love Sega's CRAZY TAXI, and also am a fan of the long-running Simpsons cartoon show on TV. You'd think that a CRAZY TAXI clone using the Simpsons characters and situations would be great - but I really have to knock off a couple of points for originality.
Have you ever seen the 'Halloween' Simpsons episode where Homer crosses from the ''land of 2D'' into the 3D universe? Imagine if all the character and buildings in the cartoon town of Sprignfield went through the same transformation: in a nutshell, that's the look of ROAD RAGE. I've read some criticisms that the graphics are too bland, but I think they look presentable and cartoonish.
The graphics are decent, though no better than a top-notch N64 or PS1 game; they certainly don't showcase the power of the GameCube. The problem is that the GameCube is capable of more, and that power isn't being shown.
Perhaps the biggest flaw is the use of pre-rendered cutscenes featuring ''Mister Burns'' chiding you for your quality of gameplay. Frankly, these cutscenes look *terrible* - they actually look more chunky and poorly animated than the live videogame!
ROAD RAGE uses the actual voices, sound effects, and music from the cartoon show. Some of the voices make humourous comments, and although repetitive, this is probably a highlight of the game for Simpsons fans.
If you have played CRAZY TAXI, then you've played the Simpsons ROAD RAGE. You can use either the left analog or the D-pad for steering (the joystick felt much better to me). The buttons for accelerate, reverse, and brake are slightly different, but just take a couple of minutes to get used to. I've read that some folks find the controls awkward, but I have no problem with them at all. The cars vary wildly in their handling abilities and speed, so if you don't like one car, just select another (there are 17 to choose from). And while CRAZY TAXI had a measly two city maps, Simpsons has six, giving you more to explore.
One major flaw in ROAD RAGE is the load time. Everytime you start a game, you have to sit and wait through a load screen that lasts a good 15 seconds or so. This can be very annoying if you mess up and have a short game, though I find that on the 'easy' setting I can usually get a good five or ten minutes of playtime per round.
The sound effects and voices are the best part of the game. The actual gameplay is very (and some might say too) similar to CRAZY TAXI. The graphics are actually a bit of a step backwards from CRAZY TAXI, so overall I would rate ROAD RAGE as about a 7 out of 10.
If you haven't already ''played out'' CRAZY TAXI, I would recommend that instead; otherwise try renting ROAD RAGE before you buy.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/17/02, Updated 01/17/02
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