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GBA Review - 'The Simpsons: Road Rage'

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Sept. 4, 2003 @ 1:02 a.m. PDT

Pick up characters standing on the road side and carry them to their destination. Drive to a destination within a time limit. If you reach the destination faster than the customer request, you will get a tip. The faster you are, the bigger the tips are! Train your driving techniques, find shortcuts and every possibility to drive faster and get more tips! Our resident Simpsons fan was all over this game, read more to find out what he thought ...

Genre: Driving
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Altron
Release Date: July 2, 2003

Today, we will take a look at Simpsons Road Rage for the Game Boy Advance. I have played the console version of this game and I must say that it does tend to get old fast. I never was a fan of the crazy taxi games, but I played nonetheless because it was the Simpsons. So let’s get this over with. Oh! For the gamers without a GBA SP, you have my sympathies. No backlighting == suck!

The game has remained unchanged in making the port to the handheld. The menus are the same, the story is the same, and special side missions are the same. Did they add anything new? As with the console version, you must acquire points to unlock new characters, maps, and special items. I am at a loss for words here since there have been no additions to the game, but for those of you who don’t have a clue, I will elaborate a bit. You are basically a taxi driver who must cruise around Springfield, looking for passengers and deliver them to special locations. You are timed, and each passenger has a different route that needs to be taken, and these can range from really short to really really long. There is some story behind the game like Burns owns all the taxis or something, and you must save the town or something, but I was really too bored with the game to care. Each character has his/her own preference as to how they want their experience to be. So you can tailor your driving skills to in order to get more points, but again I was too bored to care.

The graphics have taken a major hit. The town is no longer visible, and many of the landmarks are obscure and lackluster. The town is flat and looks all pixelated. Going down ramps or dips in the road can get annoying because you are pretty much blind until you make your descent on the slope. This the GBA so despite the low graphics, they are pretty good in terms of the GBA's capabilities. There is a small feeling of “3D,” but as to be expected, it is nothing like the console version. All things considered, the graphics are all right.

The audio portion has also taken a major hit. One of the redeeming features of the console version was the commentary given by your passenger. For the console versions, the actual television series actors once again lent their voice talents to the game. In the GBA version of the Simpsons Road Rage, that is completely gone, and instead, it is limited to facial expressions and text boxes. For the most part, the effects have been left alone, as well as the music but polyphonic tunes can only do so much.

I am cutting this review short because all of the stuff worth talking about have either been downgraded or stripped from the game. I don’t want to continue the bash fest any longer. Perhaps I am biased because I have played the console version and miss all of the goodies that have been removed during the porting process. So be it. Everybody has an opinion, right??

As far as the controls go, A is to go, B is to stop. The directional pad is used to move, and the L and R toggle the power sliding feature. Not much here, I know. One final annoyance before I end this. My biggest beef is the way they chose to save your game. It is the most awful option EVER! Instead of a save point, you are given a 10 picture password after each successful completion of a mission, and you must enter this password to get back to your current game with your already-unlocked goodies. This only happens if you turn it off, which I am sad to say you do all the time. After about 20 minutes, I had about 20 passwords and I was running out of paper and couldn’t remember them all. Ok... Ok... I am done, time to end it… and… END!

Score : 4.5/10

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