Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Road Rash - PS1/3DO

Since finding an old shoe box full of PS1 games in the back of a cupboard a few weeks ago, much of my recent gaming time has been spent revisiting forgotten classics.

While games such as Lemmings 3D, Tomb Raider, Jumping Flash, Croc 2, Crash Bandicoot and Kula World have been dusted off, I've spent most of my time with Road Rash.

This mid-Nineties port of the wonderful 3DO version has always been one of my favourite games and it's still entertaining 17 years after it was released.

The madcap dashes through The City, Pacific Coast, Napa Valley, Peninsula and Sierra Nevada might be a bit blockier than you remember but the presentation and racing action still holds up.

Sure, the menus are clunky and unresponsive but what makes Road Rash great is the fact that no two races are ever the same.

Other bikers crash into traffic and pedestrians, a swift truncheon to an opponent's head changes the nature of the race, bumps and corners on the road send the player skidding into the unknown, while the appearance of police at unpredictable times leads to tense moments, as one small mistake will see your hapless biker busted by the boys in blue.

The racing action is wonderfully entertaining, but it's the inclusion of acts such as Monster Magnet, Swervedriver and Paw on the soundtrack which adds a huge amount to the experience. Even now, when I hear Rusty Cage by Soundgarden, I immediately think of the game's opening scene - something I doubt will ever go away.

Road Rash also features a hefty chunk of FMV which, although a little cheesy, still raises a smile, while the art style which punctuates the racing action is quite brilliant with an off-beat sense of humour used in every slide.

Since this release, other Road Rash games have taken to the streets but none have come close to matching the brilliance of this great version, with the sloppy Road Rash: Jail Break being a particular low point in the series.

So while I patiently wait for Skyrim to arrive on Friday, I'll be causing chaos on the roads with my fellow bikers on my battered old PlayStation.

No comments: