D'oh! I think we all know where that comes from. That's right; we're reviewing a Simpsons game. It's Simpsons Road Rage for Game Boy Advance. Being a fan of The Simpsons, I couldn't resist trying out this game. Not having a Playstation 2, Gamecube or Xbox prevented me to try Simpsons Road Rage before. It was just a matter of time before it came to the Game Boy Advance and I could try this title. At least I thought it would be funny?
After no intro movie, the casual Press Start menu appeared. Nothing special there, just a simple logo and some of the characters from the game. After pressing start you arrive at the main menu which contains the game modes and the explanation of the game modes when highlighted. I decided to start a Sunday Drive (free ride) first to see how capable the game is. After choosing my favorite character I started off in Springfield. If I had to describe my first impression of the game in one word it would be: messy. The graphics are very blocky and there's no limitation in drawing distance so you can see everything. Normally this would be a good thing but not in Simpsons Road Rage. Seeing everything prevents you from seeing where you have to go, where a road stops or even where obstacles are. When making jumps if you speed over a hill too fast there is no way you can see where you are going to land or even where the road is. This results in failure of missions and taxi jobs.
I was very pleased to hear the Simpsons theme song at the main menu, but the experience quickly soured with dull music in the main game. The music has nothing to do with the Simpsons whatsoever and is very repetitive. The music doesn't change when your time is running out or if you pick up a passenger, it just stays the same all the time. Playing this game with dull music really wears on you. Sound effects are nothing worth mentioning; Just a plain *boink* every one in a while, but nothing special.
After 5 minutes of Sunday Drive and exploring the city of Springfield it was time to play some Road Rage. I must say that those 5 minutes in Sunday Drive appeared not to be enough as I got lost the very first minute, partially because of the chunky graphics. After playing Road Rage mode for 20 minutes I got bored and started doing a Mission. It seems that Willy lost his newspapers and I had to recover 12 of them. This sounded easier than it was, because after 4 newspapers I had myself going on the highway on the side of the map and was totally lost. It took me 30 minutes to finally get used to the graphics and game, but it was still not much fun. Bumping other cars doesn't bring any damage to your car. You just simply hop over them, barely slowing down. Sometimes you even go straight through other cars which made me wonder why they put in other cars in the first place. It also doesn't matter what kind of car you hit; there are police cars and ambulances in the game but hitting them is not any different than hitting a normal vehicle. After 40 minutes of playing I gave up and turned off the Game Boy Advance. The game disappoints me in every way that it can disappoint me.
This is the only part of the game that is slightly fun. After telling a friend of mine that I had the game he came over to try the multiplayer. The multiplayer of Simpsons Road Rage is actually quite fun. You have to pick up passengers and bring them to their destination as usual, but you compete with each other. Each time there is only one passenger and the one that brings him to his destination first gets the cash. You're probably thinking that if you pick him up first you win, but think again; if you bump your fellow player the passenger hops from their car to yours and vice versa. So it's literary a race and you have to bump each other to get the passenger which is quite fun. The reason why I like this feature in the game is that Crazy Taxi was lacking a multiplayer option and this might be the only reason to actually purchase Simpsons Road Rage.
Simpsons Road Rage was a huge disappointment in general. If you buy this game, you will enjoy the multiplayer part of the game. But other than that, I doubt that this game has got what it takes to make it big.