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The Simpsons: Road Rage (PlayStation 2) artwork

The Simpsons: Road Rage (PlayStation 2) review

"Let Homer drive you to your destination Crazy Taxi style"

Its been a long time since I played a good Simpsons game. Since Konami's Arcade game in fact. Through the decades there have been countless games about the titular animated family but not many would scratch the surface in entertainment and replay ability value. Then here comes Road Rage, a "clone" of Sega’s Crazy Taxi with more variety and a whole lot of said entertainment and replay ability value that you could shake a yak at.

Montgomery Burns, Springfield's richest man and greedy power hungry tyrant decides to open his own line of public transportation introducing nuclear powered buses which brim with radiation for any who decides to ride them. Seeing an opportunity Homer Simpson (and by extension, the rest of his family among many other characters) decides to open up his own taxi business to compete with Burns' bus line. This before Uber was ever introduced to the world mind you. Right after the prologue scene the game starts and gives you a choice of who you would like to use to start the misadventure. At the beginning we got the entire cast of The Simpsons family sans Maggie, with dozens more to be unlocked as you earn more money during game play. Each character has their own stylized vehicle along with its own advantages and disadvantages. Bart's rocket car for instance its speedier than most, but very fragile as it tends to speed out of control more often when colliding with other cars or objects, while Groundskeeper Willie's tractor is slow but highly sturdy. Lisa gets to drive an electric car. Figures.

You get to pick a different location within the fictional city of Springfield, depending on how many you unlock to use them. Before the game begins Burns would toss a biting quip your way, cursing you for ever defying his latest scheme. You get to pick up the cast of the animated series as passengers including The Simpsons themselves, which would exchange dialogue depending on who you are using as a driver. The controls are the most user friendly you could use on any racing game, assigning three of the four buttons on the PS2 controller to drive, go in reverse, and brake. The control is highly responsive and seldom ever fails to react to commands. During your assigned drive you get to receive bonuses depending on avoiding traffic and destroying property. Most of the environment within the game can be dealt with ease, never slowing your course down too much in fact. You also have to deal with Burn's buses which will often crash with you and block the way in purpose. The faster you get characters to their destination, the higher the bonus you receive after each drop. If the timer goes out then its game over.

The setting and models in game are colorful and detailed, as much as you would expect from a game based on an animated series. Many locations mirror that of the series and quotes spoken from each character are performed by the original voice cast from the show. There are some however which aren't said from original cast and its noticeable, but otherwise doesn't affect game play in any way whatsoever. The music, while not giving that Danny Elfman vibe, plays its part during your gaming session.

Besides the standard mode of play, there's also Sunday Drive mode which lets you play the game at your leisure without earning any in game cash and Mission which pits you on different scenarios in order to complete them. However the only way to unlock more characters and locations to play is by earning money during its standard Road Rage mode which is probably the best mode on which you would have the most fun playing through.

At the end of the game Krusty grades your performance and Burns shows his disdain for playing the game. Its the little things that makes Road Rage a joy to play and come back to play some more.
Quite frankly The Simpsons Road Rage is a gem to own and play until your eyes feel like falling form their sockets. The replay ability is quite high and never gets boring. It leaves me thinking why more games featuring the iconic animated family wasn't as fun as this one but then again, I am sure some might believe other past games were indeed as fun to play, just not in my opinion.

Give it a spin sometime and woohoo your way to success in defeating the malevolent plans of Mr. Burns.

CptRetroBlue's avatar
Community review by CptRetroBlue (January 12, 2019)

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