Road Rash 3D

a game by Electronic Arts

Platforms: PlaystationPSX

Genre: Racing

See also: Road Rash Games

Overview

Ah yes, the good old days. You know, back when games relied more on gameplay than fancy graphics. One of the best and most original games to hit the streets was Road Rash, a motorcycle racing game with a bit of a twist. The Road Rash series has been well represented across the different platforms since it first launched. The PlayStation version was basically a direct port of the 3DO version and some people were not too happy about it. Everyone wanted something new and fresh from the series but instead got the same game. Well, the time has finally come and now the PlayStation has a brand spanking new version so rashers get ready to rumble.

Road Rash 3D is looking to take the ultra-addicting gameplay of the previous version and bring the game to life with a new 3D environment. The game boasts over 100 miles of interconnected roads that are modeled after actual stretches of roadway. There are now four different distinct types of bikes, new weapons, motion captured riders and gangs that may actually cut you some slack. All of the action that made the others so much fun has been preserved so prepare for some late nights.

Gameplay

I feel that I must confess something up front: I was one of the people who did not care if the PSX version of Road Rash was a direct port or not. I just plain loved the game. Yes, it had problems and the FMV scenes were too long as well as the load times but I did not care. Once the flag dropped and the race started, I was in rash heaven. I did not care about anything else but crossing the finish line ahead of the pack. The point is that all EA had to do was not screw up the gameplay and I would like the game. Good thing they kept it intact.

If you have never checked out Road Rash in the past, let me give you the basics. This is a street motorcycle racing game. The idea is to finish the different courses in the top three and win money. You use this money to purchase new bikes that will help you win more races. What makes the game different is that the racing is full contact and if someone happens to be packing a pipe or 2X4 then so be it. You can use whatever means necessary to get ahead of the pack even if that means rapping a guy with a chain. What makes the game so great is that you don't have to brawl if you don't want to. You can concentrate purely on the racing but I can guarantee you that the first time somebody comes up next to you and takes a swipe at you with a baseball bat, you will try to retaliate. To keep things challenging, you have to outrun the cops and dodge traffic, signs and poles.

When I first heard this game was coming out, I could not wait. I was like a kid before Christmas. Like I said, I love these games so I was psyched for a new version. As we all know, the anticipation usually leads to some sort of let down. You build things up so high in your mind that there is really only one direction the actual event or product can go. I have to admit that this was the case when I first started playing. I was expecting more. The thing is, I don't really know what it was exactly that I was expecting but I just knew I was looking for more. This is the reason we play games longer than just getting an impression because the more I played this game, the more I found myself getting pulled in and addicted like games past. To be quite blunt about it, this game is a hell of a lot of fun and it is definitely worthy of the Road Rash name.

Since this is a different game, there have been some changes made other than just cosmetically. The first change, and the biggest, is that there are now four different types of bikes on the road. In past games, all of the bikes were the same type and looked the same. Now, you can choose from Race Replicas, Sport, Rat or Cruiser bikes. Each of these bikes has a very different look, style and characteristics. For example, the Sports bikes look like Ninja street bikes and they are pretty fast and corner excellently. The Cruisers are Harley looking bikes that have a ton of power but don't corner that well. Having these different bikes changes the game immensely. What I did to keep the game fun was to start out and finish with the same class bike. That means that if I started level one with a Cruiser, I would always purchase another Cruiser when I upgraded my bike. It was really cool because I got the feeling of all the different bikes available and had to learn how to ride them all. Believe me, you can't ride the bikes the same way, you will never make it out of the first turn.

A big part of the game is buying new bikes to help you advance through the game. This was one thing that I was a little disappointed in. Since there are only three different levels, you only have three levels of bikes to purchase. Sure, with four classes the total of bikes is 12 but I really wanted more. I remember trying to save all of my money in the previous version so I could buy the fastest bike and kick the crap out of the rest of the racers. You may win enough money to be able to purchase a level three bike near the end of level two but you will only have a few more races until you qualify for level three. Once you qualify for level three, you are racing against other level three bikes so you are just one in a pack of the same.

Speaking of the different levels, the game is broken up into three different levels. The first level is made up of eight different courses. You have to finish in the top three positions on all of the courses and then you will advance to level two. Each pits you against other racers of the same level. For example, on level two, all of the other rashers have level two bikes. Like I mentioned above, you can save your cash and purchase a level two bike even if you are still on level one. It is pretty tough to make enough money to afford a bike for the next level but if you can pull it off, you will rip through the rest of the level. My only complaint about the levels is that I wish they would have made them a bit shorter. I would have rather had four or five shorter levels than three long levels. That would have meant that you had more bikes to shoot for.

Another big change between this game and the previous versions is that you are broken up into gangs. This was a great idea because instead of the game being every man for himself, it gave you a bit of loyalty to the some of the other bikers. The type of bike you ride determines your gang. For example, if you ride a Cruiser, you are automatically part of the Dewley gang. These are the ponytail-clad bikers that are big into clubs and chains. So if you race a Cruiser, you are part of the gang which means that you will handle clubs and chains a bit better and the rest of the Cruisers will cut you some slack. This added a new dimension to the game. Instead of just pounding the crap out of everybody in sight, I found myself not hitting the other racers in my gang and they would extend the same courtesy to me. Even though this was the case most of the time, there were times that it did not matter if you were in the same gang or not because you were going to get the crap kicked out of you regardless. It was funny because I found myself feeling bad when I had to unleash an ass kicking on one of my own gang members but I did whatever it took to win.

I did have a few complaints with the game. The first complaint is in the controls. Well, actually the analog control was smooth but the standard digital control was very tough to use. Everything in this game is based on drifting, floating and cutting on the corners and the digital pad was just to stiff to achieve this. The only problem is that with the analog controller, the configuration is just plain annoying. What I mean by this is that the left stick is used for steering and the right stick is used for gas and break. If you push down the left stick, it changes the camera view to look behind your bike. If you push down the right stick, it activates one of your nitro bursts. The problem is, when you are racing and you hit a corner at 150 MPH, you slam the stick in the direction of the corner and you jam the right stick down for the brakes. I can't count how many times I accidentally pushed down on one of the sticks causing me to either use a nitro unintentionally or have my view switched to behind me which really screwed up my cornering. Sure, these may be my own fault but I am sure others will do the same. My second complaint is not really a complaint but a warning. This game gets really tough when you hit level three. I cruised through the first two levels in a few hours. When I got to level three, it took me days before I even qualified on one track.

Graphics

This is where the 3D comes into play. They did a great job on the riders and the bikes. They all look realistic. When I ran into a car head-on and I was thrown from my bike, the dude looked so cool with his arms in a slight swimming motion and the bike tumbling along behind me. The backgrounds were adequate but there were times that I would drive off the road and the graphics would tweak for a minute. The different courses were all well thought out and I was impressed with the developers because they always seemed to know where to stick a car, light pole or sign to keep you from ripping through the courses. I think the details could have been a bit sharper (not including the bikes and riders) but they got the job done.

Bottom Line

If you are a former rasher, you should really have a blast. Sure, the gameplay is nothing new but look at it as a positive because a lot of times when the gameplay is messed with, the whole game ends up sucking. The great looking bikes and riders make you feel like you are a part of the action and the addition of different types of bikes really pulled me into the game more. I am not sure what sort of reaction the rest of the gaming press will have on this game but since I am a long time rasher, I really enjoyed it.

Other games by
Electronic Arts

Road Rash 3D Downloads

Road Rash 3D download

Overview

Ah yes, the good old days. You know, back when games relied more on gameplay than fancy graphics. One of the best and most original games to hit the streets was Road Rash, a motorcycle racing game with a bit of a twist. The Road Rash series has been well represented across the different platforms since it first launched. The PlayStation version was basically a direct port of the 3DO version and some people were not too happy about it. Everyone wanted something new and fresh from the series but instead got the same game. Well, the time has finally come and now the PlayStation has a brand spanking new version so rashers get ready to rumble.

Road Rash 3D is looking to take the ultra-addicting gameplay of the previous version and bring the game to life with a new 3D environment. The game boasts over 100 miles of interconnected roads that are modeled after actual stretches of roadway. There are now four different distinct types of bikes, new weapons, motion captured riders and gangs that may actually cut you some slack. All of the action that made the others so much fun has been preserved so prepare for some late nights.

Gameplay

I feel that I must confess something up front: I was one of the people who did not care if the PSX version of Road Rash was a direct port or not. I just plain loved the game. Yes, it had problems and the FMV scenes were too long as well as the load times but I did not care. Once the flag dropped and the race started, I was in rash heaven. I did not care about anything else but crossing the finish line ahead of the pack. The point is that all EA had to do was not screw up the gameplay and I would like the game. Good thing they kept it intact.

If you have never checked out Road Rash in the past, let me give you the basics. This is a street motorcycle racing game. The idea is to finish the different courses in the top three and win money. You use this money to purchase new bikes that will help you win more races. What makes the game different is that the racing is full contact and if someone happens to be packing a pipe or 2X4 then so be it. You can use whatever means necessary to get ahead of the pack even if that means rapping a guy with a chain. What makes the game so great is that you don't have to brawl if you don't want to. You can concentrate purely on the racing but I can guarantee you that the first time somebody comes up next to you and takes a swipe at you with a baseball bat, you will try to retaliate. To keep things challenging, you have to outrun the cops and dodge traffic, signs and poles.

When I first heard this game was coming out, I could not wait. I was like a kid before Christmas. Like I said, I love these games so I was psyched for a new version. As we all know, the anticipation usually leads to some sort of let down. You build things up so high in your mind that there is really only one direction the actual event or product can go. I have to admit that this was the case when I first started playing. I was expecting more. The thing is, I don't really know what it was exactly that I was expecting but I just knew I was looking for more. This is the reason we play games longer than just getting an impression because the more I played this game, the more I found myself getting pulled in and addicted like games past. To be quite blunt about it, this game is a hell of a lot of fun and it is definitely worthy of the Road Rash name.

Since this is a different game, there have been some changes made other than just cosmetically. The first change, and the biggest, is that there are now four different types of bikes on the road. In past games, all of the bikes were the same type and looked the same. Now, you can choose from Race Replicas, Sport, Rat or Cruiser bikes. Each of these bikes has a very different look, style and characteristics. For example, the Sports bikes look like Ninja street bikes and they are pretty fast and corner excellently. The Cruisers are Harley looking bikes that have a ton of power but don't corner that well. Having these different bikes changes the game immensely. What I did to keep the game fun was to start out and finish with the same class bike. That means that if I started level one with a Cruiser, I would always purchase another Cruiser when I upgraded my bike. It was really cool because I got the feeling of all the different bikes available and had to learn how to ride them all. Believe me, you can't ride the bikes the same way, you will never make it out of the first turn.

A big part of the game is buying new bikes to help you advance through the game. This was one thing that I was a little disappointed in. Since there are only three different levels, you only have three levels of bikes to purchase. Sure, with four classes the total of bikes is 12 but I really wanted more. I remember trying to save all of my money in the previous version so I could buy the fastest bike and kick the crap out of the rest of the racers. You may win enough money to be able to purchase a level three bike near the end of level two but you will only have a few more races until you qualify for level three. Once you qualify for level three, you are racing against other level three bikes so you are just one in a pack of the same.

Speaking of the different levels, the game is broken up into three different levels. The first level is made up of eight different courses. You have to finish in the top three positions on all of the courses and then you will advance to level two. Each pits you against other racers of the same level. For example, on level two, all of the other rashers have level two bikes. Like I mentioned above, you can save your cash and purchase a level two bike even if you are still on level one. It is pretty tough to make enough money to afford a bike for the next level but if you can pull it off, you will rip through the rest of the level. My only complaint about the levels is that I wish they would have made them a bit shorter. I would have rather had four or five shorter levels than three long levels. That would have meant that you had more bikes to shoot for.

Another big change between this game and the previous versions is that you are broken up into gangs. This was a great idea because instead of the game being every man for himself, it gave you a bit of loyalty to the some of the other bikers. The type of bike you ride determines your gang. For example, if you ride a Cruiser, you are automatically part of the Dewley gang. These are the ponytail-clad bikers that are big into clubs and chains. So if you race a Cruiser, you are part of the gang which means that you will handle clubs and chains a bit better and the rest of the Cruisers will cut you some slack. This added a new dimension to the game. Instead of just pounding the crap out of everybody in sight, I found myself not hitting the other racers in my gang and they would extend the same courtesy to me. Even though this was the case most of the time, there were times that it did not matter if you were in the same gang or not because you were going to get the crap kicked out of you regardless. It was funny because I found myself feeling bad when I had to unleash an ass kicking on one of my own gang members but I did whatever it took to win.

I did have a few complaints with the game. The first complaint is in the controls. Well, actually the analog control was smooth but the standard digital control was very tough to use. Everything in this game is based on drifting, floating and cutting on the corners and the digital pad was just to stiff to achieve this. The only problem is that with the analog controller, the configuration is just plain annoying. What I mean by this is that the left stick is used for steering and the right stick is used for gas and break. If you push down the left stick, it changes the camera view to look behind your bike. If you push down the right stick, it activates one of your nitro bursts. The problem is, when you are racing and you hit a corner at 150 MPH, you slam the stick in the direction of the corner and you jam the right stick down for the brakes. I can't count how many times I accidentally pushed down on one of the sticks causing me to either use a nitro unintentionally or have my view switched to behind me which really screwed up my cornering. Sure, these may be my own fault but I am sure others will do the same. My second complaint is not really a complaint but a warning. This game gets really tough when you hit level three. I cruised through the first two levels in a few hours. When I got to level three, it took me days before I even qualified on one track.

Graphics

This is where the 3D comes into play. They did a great job on the riders and the bikes. They all look realistic. When I ran into a car head-on and I was thrown from my bike, the dude looked so cool with his arms in a slight swimming motion and the bike tumbling along behind me. The backgrounds were adequate but there were times that I would drive off the road and the graphics would tweak for a minute. The different courses were all well thought out and I was impressed with the developers because they always seemed to know where to stick a car, light pole or sign to keep you from ripping through the courses. I think the details could have been a bit sharper (not including the bikes and riders) but they got the job done.Bottom Line
If you are a former rasher, you should really have a blast. Sure, the gameplay is nothing new but look at it as a positive because a lot of times when the gameplay is messed with, the whole game ends up sucking. The great looking bikes and riders make you feel like you are a part of the action and the addition of different types of bikes really pulled me into the game more. I am not sure what sort of reaction the rest of the gaming press will have on this game but since I am a long time rasher, I really enjoyed it.

reggie posted a review
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