"This game is "driving" me crazy!!!"

If we ever need a good Simpsons game right before the deadline of 2003, this game could be relatively close. I mean, it's a Simpsons game, what could possibly go wrong with it?

And then, here's my answer: Almost everything. For the past 10 years or so before the making of this game, the Simpsons had to star in (I'm very sorry to say this) very horrible games that have a handful of glitches, the opening theme songs for those titles were badly composed, and the gameplay was timid and boring.

But why was I talking about all those games instead of this one? It's because The Simpsons Road Rage for the GameCube reminds me of the Video Game past of The Simpsons rather so greatly, whenether I play this game for longer than 10 minutes. And at 30 minutes, the boringness starts to kick in.

But enough about the past. Let's just get to the game already!! (I couldn't agree more Bart). The Simpsons Road Rage is all about driving around the city, collecting passengers and delivering them to their destinations before the time runs out. It has a story in it, but it's only there at the two ends of the game, met together by gameplay. But it wasn't that bad, either. Mr. Burns, that evil devil himself, has bought the entire Springfield Transit System, made them radioactive, and jacked up the prices. (Lets out evil laugh) The Springfieldians' response is to set up their own transit system so they could buy it back.

The gameplay is simple: drive around town and deliver passengers to their destinations before the time runs out. The cars you choose to drive in are sometimes slippery. Since accelerating is easy to use, the brakes work too well and trying to stop at the correct area is very hard to do. And I think that my driver has to stop eating greasy burritos while driving if I want to earn a lot more moola fast.

Another problem with this game is that the radio doesn't have good tunes in it. Now don't get me wrong here, I loved those tunes that play around in the Simpsons world for just about five minutes. But after that, the music is annoying to listen to a lot. But I can still mute it anytime I wanted to, which was a good thing.

The voice acting really did a great job with the voices, especially Homer. He's still funny to listen to, but I don't think swearing out loud a moderate amount of times will get us anywhere. I also liked the humor of Chief Wiggum, Marge, and Ned Flanders. But my real complaint about the voices is that they could get out of sync at times, often pairing a bad kid up with a good adult. And you'll know they'll say okay after their request, which I thought was way wrong. But that doesn't happen a lot, which is cool.

The graphics for this game isn't that bad. The characters are rendered okay-ish, the buildings look alright, and the menus look spectacular.

But let's get back to the gameplay. Your passengers can list anywhere within the playfield limit and you can take them there before the time runs out. I loved them when they're nice, but I really hated it that they were very rude when you deliver them late. That really made me cry a little, which is bad.

But don't worry. If you don't want to go over the pressure of delivering people for money, there's always the Sunday Drive. It's cruising Springfield at your own leisure. For beginners, this option might be a good warm-up for them as they have an unlimited amount of time to experience and master the controls and choose their favorite cars to drive up against Monty Burns' army of terror.

Mission Mode is a place where you can complete objectives such as sneaking back to the Power Plant and destroying statues before it's too late. The missions were well represented and really gave me a break from just delivering passengers. But the camera for the last level really bugged me because it made the level unnecessarily hard and frustrating, which is very horrible. But overall, Mission Mode might be your favorite when playing this game.

The multiplayer was not that bad, either. You and another player will have to find the passenger and is required to deliver him or her to the location. This continues for a couple of rounds or so, and after that, the person with the highest score wins. The controls were responsive for this mode, and the whole mode itself was very good and well rewarding to play. But trying to find the passenger in this mode quickly got boring and really didn't feel like it was supposed to be in the game at all.

You can pretty much get to your goal in less than 5 hours. And besides playing the levels again in an unchanged world, there's no real incentive in ever playing this game again.

Presentation: Make a Crazy Taxi sequel and replace the craziness with The Simpsons.
Graphics: Not that bad overall, but the characters could have looked better.
Music: A small cast of tunes quickly made them annoying to listen to.
Voice Acting: Very good. But there's that occasional problem of some of the words being out of sync.
Controls: Driving feels slippery and loose. Acceleration and braking is responsive, but aiming at the correct spot is the part where this game needs to work on.
Gameplay: It's the same as Crazy Taxi, only with Simpsons characters. Witty one-liners actually made somewhat boring gameplay interesting. I loved Mission Mode and Sunday Drive the best. But six locations could only keep the game from overflowing for only so long...
Replayability: If you love driving around the world of Springfield, that's the only ticket of ever wanting to play this game after beating it.

Final Verdict: Rent. It was a really short game. And the car controls could have been a bit better. But with hilarious voice acting and a still fresh-but semi-boring gameplay, this game might be a good choice if you love racing and, of course, the original Crazy Taxi. But like I said before, this game is best off rented.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/22/10

Game Release: The Simpsons: Road Rage (US, 12/17/01)

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