The Simpsons Road Rage
Genre Sport -> Racing
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher Electronic Arts
Date 2002-03-22
Publisher Electronic Arts
The first thing that leaps out at you when you pick up Simpsons Road Rage is Crazy Taxi--it's an unashamed copy of the Sega hit and is relatively unchanged for the Xbox version. The premise is simple: drive around Springfield picking up characters from the popular TV show and depositing them at their requested destination for cash. The graphics are colourful, yet not overly detailed--but then that's in keeping with the cartoon style of the show. This keeps the action at a nice and frenetic pace. The levels are pretty big, with a multitude of flash jumps and short cuts for show-offs; most of the scenery is destructible too, and that can add to the game's satisfaction. All of the locales are recognisable, from Moe's Bar to Grandpa Simpson's retirement home. The main element of the game is the aforementioned Crazy Taxi-esque "Road Rage" mode. There are also Sunday Drive, multiplayer and mission modes. Sunday Drive allows you to pootle around the various levels at leisure for both sightseeing and tactical route-planning reasons; this is the best way to find those sneaky short cuts and hidden areas. Story mode adds a little extra sparkle to the game, with a set series of missions to complete--for example, Homer's skived off work for the afternoon and you, as Bart, have to sneak your dad past the evil Mr Burns and back into work. As with most racing games, you're rewarded for reaching set point totals and completing the missions, but the difference with Simpsons Road Rage is that you get to choose your reward, be it unlocking one of the secret characters, like Groundskeeper Willie and his tractor, or opening extra maps, like the Springfield nuclear power plant. The real high point of Simpsons Road Rage, though, is the sound. No Homer-a-likes here--each character has their own real voice from the show, the one-liners aren't too repetitive and do lend themselves to the type of situation that the characters find themselves in, and some of the lines are laugh-out-loud funny. All in all, recommended for fans of the show, Crazy Taxi nuts and those gamers who are partial to unpretentious pick-up-and-play gaming. --Laurent S Hall
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