Review by Fastkilr
" Taxying is taxing."
Upon release the release of Road Rage, The Simpsons had 13 seasons of jokes to build upon, and to come up with a Crazy Taxi clone that generally works better than the original formula. Get ready to make some crazy money, and rack up cab-fairs as you swing about Springfield in your new ride. With such variety spotted over my beloved Gamecube already, these third party treats are always a welcome surprise. Whenever I can obtain a game that's more original than its inspiration, I jump at the chance. What's strange about RR is that its heart is in the right place, and the game's as smooth as can be.
Without any inviting new concepts included in the game whatsoever, Electronic Arts feeds directly off of the brains over at Sega that created the innovative-yet-tiring Crazy Taxi games. Ripping The Simpsons to the tune of Crazy Taxi may have been the perfect idea, paying homage to the series in a frantic yet satisfying game that allows for quality. In the cartoon-inspired world of Springfield, you're set in a taxi-circulation system that's attempting to discount Mr. Burn's attempts to use nuclear radiating buses as the society's main form of transit. To overcome the certain monopoly that these buses are set to achieve, you'll have to utilize all your skills as a cabbie, and hop aboard one of the more crazy rides available on the Gamecube.
Never before has such madness been contained to such a tiny disc. The familiar tone that can be picked up from regular viewings of the Television show may improve your understanding of what's really going on here. After running the 007, and Lord of the Rings franchises into the ground, EA's attempt to revitalize The Simpsons within the gaming world is both smart and successful. An earlier title for the Gamecube, Road Rage touts astounding gameplay that would have you believe you're truly in control of a cartoon. A trippy little adventure that will surely leave you on the floor laughing, there's levels aplenty (they are quite big), and the variety of racers is also kind.
When thrown into the fray, you'll realize at once that taxying characters from one point to another won't be the easiest of tasks. Your progress in the game depends on the fairs you collect through the levels. Collect a high number, and you can eventually begin unlocking levels and characters. What's better is setting your Gamecube clock to a holiday, and viewing the characters in all their warm, jolly spirit. What the game's missing (more depth, something to do other than collecting fairs), it attempts to fix in a short mission-based mode, that contains only a set of objectives. While these are already made easy, if you're having trouble with them you can skip to the next mission after several failures, rendering progression almost useless. Whatever you're doing in Springfield, this game may be either a one night stand, or it could span a couple nights, but don't expect a long-term relationship.
While a lot of attitude has been acquired from the still-running cartoon alone, Road Rage packs some of the most fun to look at visuals that I've seen lately. Everything's fitting into its own mood, and as an early-release Gamecube game, all of our characters represent themselves perhaps even more fairly than the show's ever done. What's better than the graphics are the comments your passengers will pass by. While they are extremely funny, you will feel it getting repetitive within an hour of play. The same expressions will be used for different situations, and it can get very tiring to be bad mouthed while trying to taxi a character. Extremely funny, but not enough variety.
Crazy Taxi in disguise, Road Rage might be, but it still remains one of the Most. Capable. Simpsons. Games. Ever. Short and addictive, Road Rage will last you no longer than ten hours. Even after you've gotten through the game, there's still a short-ended multi-player mode that features nothing in any rewarding nature, but is still passable. What is overall most impressive, Road Rage falls short of being one of the more excellent Gamecube games due to its lack of originality, and length.
8/10: Personality and all, this Crazy Taxi copy-cat is more successful in being faithful to the series than it is in providing high-quality gameplay.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/09/04, Updated 07/25/05
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