You know you love them. For the past 11 years, The Simpsons have been the number one watched TV cartoon in the world. Bart, Homer, Lisa, Marge, Maggie, Barney, Flanders, Moe, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner, Krusty and etc, have all become synonymous with this cartoon show. The yellow-colored, big-eyed cartoon characters have been cast in many games, dating all the way back to the early 90s. With the exception of the Simpsons arcade game, few, if any, of the games were any good. Just a few months ago Activision released the very first Simpsons game on the Playstation, and sadly enough it wasn't a great one at all. It was a mindless fighting game that was mysteriously subtitled "Wrestling." It's a shame that one of TV's most respected shows is getting such a lousy deal in the gaming industry. Perhaps, the family and their friends have finally been given a break. Electronic Arts has secured The Simpsons license to publish Fox Interactive's "The Simpsons Road Rage."
Visually, the game looks fantastic! It's three-dimensional cartoon world really makes the game's settings look like the actual Springfield's. I've seen videos of the game in action and the result is fabulous. The city of Springfield is superbly crafted with polygons all over. In-fact, Fox Interactive has taken the level of detail to an all new perspective by giving the game's city the 'Full Monty' treatment. Throughout the 12 neighborhoods of the city the gamer will come across over 100 Simpsons landmarks that have, at one time or another or continuously, been displayed on the cartoon. Everything moves with a hitch; the frame rate is incredibly consistent and zooms at a crisp 60 frames per second. Of course, traffic will be present on the road so there will be obstacles to watch out for. Overall, The Simpsons Road Rage is a very nice looking game that blends two-dimensional characters on a three-dimensional environment.
'Road Rage' has a story to it, one that would easily tie in and happen in the world of The Simpsons. Mr. Burns has purchased Springfield's transit department and has jacked up the prices of cab fare all across the city. In anger and retaliation, the residents of Springfield vow to end Mr. Burn's ownership by boycotting cabs, and using their own cars as taxis to raise the money and buy the transit department back. So here come The Simpsons, along with Chief Wiggum, Otto, Flanders, Apu, Willy and even Barney in his Plow King truck, to save the day. There are a total of 22 controllable characters in the game, all with their own vehicle. Just take a look at the screenshots and you'll see what I mean. The environments are 120% Simpsons authentic; heck Moe's Tavern even has that instrument shop next to it. I guarantee you, the detail is all there! By now if you haven't heard, Road Rage is essentially Crazy Taxi with Simpsons characters and Simpsons scenery. The premise is relatively the same, but the Road Rage title is story driven, unlike Sega's arcade game. Throughout the adventure your skills will be put to test, as there are over 60 different citizens of Springfield to cab around. A lot of bonuses will be present as well, in addition to rewards such as secret characters. Those who enjoyed Crazy Taxi, but felt it's lackluster replay value kept it from being an amazing game, owe it to themselves to purchase The Simpsons Road Rage. This is going to be a blockbuster title with excellent gameplay. Looks like a great package to me!