Road Rash: Jailbreak Review
Many of you know that the Road Rash series originated on the Sega Genesis. EA chose the Genesis over the SNES at the time because Sega was slightly more popular. After the systems farewell, EA decided to release a RR game for PC, they did just that and in my opinion so far Road Rash PC has been the best RR out of the series. A short time later Road Rash was released on the PSX, fans bought the game with no hesitation and while I don't remember the way it turned out I personally enjoyed it as much as the PC version. Then Road Rash 3D came along, I thought it was going to make me happy again, but instead I received a very poor game from EA. Road Rash 3D had no 2 player split screen option, horrible visuals and horrifying gameplay. Well it has been 2-3 years since the dreaded RR3D, has EA made any big changes to the series? Find out.
The one thing that plagued RR3D so much was its terrible looking textures. Everything looked like blocks especially the riders. The bikes had no smooth touch-ups whatsoever and they were as blocky as the riders. Backgrounds were pretty standard but the environments were atrocious. EA has definitely learned their lesson because, RR: Jailbreak is one of the nicest looking bike racers I have seen. To start off with, each player is super detailed, every rider is flowing with high visual depth that makes him/her stand out. As for the bikes, EA put in a lot of detail and even made the suspension lift up when you hit the brakes and I must say that they put some effort into making the suspension look pretty nice. The bikes are very smooth and have no signs of polygonal clipping, although you could say that this is the best-looking Road Rash ever (yes even compared to the N64 one) it still isn't fair to fully except that because the older Road Rash games were on systems that were far too weak compared to the machines we have now. But anyways on to the games backgrounds and frame rate, RRJ has very nice looking environments definitely exceeding RR3D's, and as for the frame rate I'll comment by saying that the frame rate tends to jerk from time to time but that only happens when there are a bunch of characters on the screen.
For the past 10+ years in the RR series what have we all been doing? Picking gangs, racing, earning cash, beating the snot out of people and repeat. Well all of that is now back but it is way better than before, RRJ features a Five O Mode where you are the chaser and you are set to pull over some fugitives. You pick your fugitive and each fugitive has his or her own traits and levels, so choose wisely. The fun is definitely all there, the game not only has great one player gameplay but it also features a four player mode via two way split screen. It isn't like the other battlers where you have 4 screens on one screen, in RRJ you sit in a bike that has a reserve seat to the side. The person in the reserve seat is the attacker and the person in the drivers seat is the driver (duh!). That aspect of the game is very fun especially of you have friends over.
Not mentioned is the fact that the game uses fictional bikes, but the it has many of them. To start off wit, you have 12 bikes and 9 courses to race on, all of these courses are not looped they are continuous. RRJ offers a ton of modes, it has about 5 multiplayer modes, and the Jailbreak mode, which is the main part of the game. Your gangs associate, Spaz has been locked up, and now it is up to you to break him out of jail and hence the subtitled name Jailbreak. You go thorough different areas, ride on different t ranks and you get rewarded with Cash and Rash Cash which are usually upgrades or weapons. That's about it for the gameplay section, everything is fine 'n dandy here.
The sound is something that keeps you pumped through out the whole game. The soundtrack consists of miscellaneous artists and is also in Rock genre to fit the games biker setting. The grunts and taunts sound very good, and that is basically all there is left to say about the sound. Good soundtrack, great clarity and that's all folks.
Control is a very crucial matter in any game. RR3D had terrible control, but RRJ has some very tight control physics. The bike physics are not realistic, so for those of you looking for a little simulation should turn away. Road Rash Jailbreak has moves that can be pulled off just like the previous RRs in order to see them all you should peek into the manual. The only time you will have trouble in Jailbreak is when you are a beginner in the game and you have chosen a rank that is beyond your limits. You will have trouble steering but after a while it all comes down to you, so don't worry about it.
So in the end EA proves the skeptics wrong and releases an excellent game. They have improved the game by making it more stimulating, with the addition of multiplayer modes and so much more. I am definitely hailing EA for this one, this really is a great way to start off the New Year. For any RR fan you should go and pick up Road Rash: Jailbreak, or if you can't wait just go and order online.