have been causing havoc on televisions the world over for more years
than some people would care to remember. Well, I hope you didn't
think it was safe to get back in the water, because the franchise is
getting milked again for its inexplicably remaining final drops of
commercial value. Stifle your groans and sighs, because the Simpsons
will be making their somewhat belated return to video game systems
everywhere with The Simpsons: Road Rage - Crazy Taxi done
Simpsons' style. And from the sound of it? You might be surprised -
it may actually be good.
So why have the
Simpsons and their fellow Springfieldians decided to take to the
streets? Well, beyond the obvious financial considerations (ahem),
it's all due to our friend Mr. Burns (you were expecting something
different?). As if trying to block the sun wasn't bad enough, Mr.
Burns has purchased the Springfield Transit Corporation and
increased fares in an attempt to add to his already Republican-level
wealth. Instead of giving in to the high rates, the proud (or is it
poor?) citizens of Springfield have instead opted for the role of
cabbie, to try to raise enough money to buy back the Springfield
Transit Corporation from his evil corporate clutches. (OK, everyone,
relax, it's only a video game. Everybody knows this bears no
relation to reality, where the entire world kowtows to the financial
fascism of the corporate crunch).
Road Rage will have you driving in five neighborhoods with over
100 popular landmarks of Springfield. The game will include over 25
characters from the cartoon. A nice touch that saves it from the
usual franchised video game crap heap is that characters in the game
will react accordingly to their TV relationships (which should mean
that Homer won't be happy to pick up Ned Flanders). You will start
off only being able to choose members of the Simpsons family, but
more characters can be unlocked as you go. Personally, I'd love to
play as Moe!
several modes of play in Road Rage: Road Rage Mode, Sunday
Driving Mode, Mission Mode, and a head-to-head/split screen mode.
Road Rage Mode is the standard story mode, allowing for 40 to 60
unique passenger deliveries in the game. Sunday Driving Mode is
fairly self-explanatory: you basically get to drive around town at a
rather leisurely pace. (Isn't it bad enough that there are so many
Sunday drivers out on the road? One can only hope the game won't
encourage them!) One feature that beats Crazy Taxi at its own game
is the Two Player Split Screen Mode, where players can complete
against each other for fares and even steal passengers mid-ride!
Cars in Road
Rage will feature wild jumps, powerslides, speed-starts and
2-wheel leans to help reaching your destination faster, not to
mention making your game more fun. To guide you to your destination
is a giant hand to point you in the right direction - in keeping
with the game motif, the hand looks like that of Springfield founder
Jebediah Springfield. (I guess he's not having much luck. First he
loses his head and now his hand!) There are also onscreen meters to
keep you appraised of the amount of time remaining to get your
passengers to their destination, not to mention how much of a fare
Road Rage will be making it's way to the GameCube at launch,
with subsequent releases for both PS2 and Xbox.