Review by DarkNightwing
"Well it's fun... but it's a wannabe clone"
Simpsons Road Rage is a step above the Simpsons console games of the past.
But the prior games have all been garbage, I mean Simpsons wrestling?!?! Bart vs. the Space Mutants?!?! What is this junk? Road Rage also follows the trend of big time corporate cash-ins and small video game labels to make a decent amount of money off of an accordingly entertaining game.
The graphics are probably the highest point of the game so I'll start there. Most of the buildings and cars are just normal resolution texture models, but your car is cel-shaded. This is a pretty neat effect but it's a crying shame that the rest of the game's graphics are just bland low polygon count models. The framerate sticks at 30 for the most part but there are a few rare occassions where you can get it to dip.
The controls are easy enough: 'A' accelerates, 'B' brakes, 'X' throws you into reverse. The simplicity of the controls is a must for this game, the emphasis isn't so much on the actual driving as it is the ''mayhem'' you cause.
That's not to say you can actually cause ''mayhem'' because you are very very limited. Simpsons Road Rage is at its best a clone of the popular Sega game Crazy Taxi. Now many companies have spawned off their own rip offs of the original, but Simpsons Road Rage isn't done too well. There are collision problems, not collision detection problems, when you collide with a building at just the wrong angle you'll come to a complete halt instead of spinning out. You thought you found a nice ramp? There's probably an invisible barrier stopping you from getting any air. None of the levels offer anything dramatically different or even terribly exciting. The biggest twist in the gameplay is when you're driving on the side of a dam.... that'd be pretty cool if there was danger that your car would roll over, but don't worry every car you can select is virtually immune to rolling over.
In the end you're going to be playing this game's single player mode over and over again just so you can hear Reverend Lovejoy chanting various ironic phrases in his ''Book Burning'' van, or Chief Wiggum making the Springfield PD look even worse than it already did. The voice clips are hilarious, but sometimes the disc is too busy loading the level (even in game, although the loading screen is the longest I've seen on Gamecube) so there can be a 10 second delay between when you hear the voice and when the person was supposed to say it, it gets awful lame really fast.
If you are a hardcore Crazy Taxi fan, this is worth checking out for the Simpsons characters. But if you like any real depth to a game, and you're used to Gamecube's nearly non-existent load times, you're going to have to learn to deal with the 20-30 second load times that Road Rage shoves down your throat.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/06/02, Updated 06/07/03
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