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Road Rash Jailbreak

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Released: 2000

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Electronic Arts

Submitted by: Steven Bryson

Road Rash was one of my favourite games on the Mega Drive,a perfect blend of seat of your pants racing and crunching violence.It had awesome graphics,a good sensation of speed and most importantly excellent gameplay.Upon purchasing Road Rash Jailbreak for my Playstation I sat down and prepared for a 32-bit update to one of my favourite franchises.If the original was 16-bit and this was 32-bit that means double the fun right?

No.

I can only imagine that the programming of this title involved a large orangutan wandering into the EA offices and mashing buttons on any computer equipment that was lying around,such is the terrifying ineptitude which appears to have been present when this game was "created".

The player assumes the role of one of two rival biker gangs;the Kaffe Boys who ride sports bikes and are adept at kung-fu,and the DeSade mob who ride cruisers and are adept at hitting people over the head with sharp things.Once you choose your side it's off to compete in a series of races culminating in you proving your Rasher credentials by freeing your buddy Spaz from jail.All this is tied together with the use of some bargain basements video cut scenes scattered throughout the game.

The graphics are the first thing you will notice as you head out on the road.The original Playstation isn't exactly known for tremendous in game graphics but here it is fair to say more care could have been taken in the presentation.While the bike and rider is somewhat passable the enviroments are plagued by razor sharp edges,an annoying invisible wall a few feet off the track and buildings that look like they've been designed by a Dutchman.All in all it isn't a good look.

Gameplay is decent though,your rider able to punch,kick and swing his weapon (ooer!) around using the shoulder buttons.There are also nitros and a wheelie move you can pull off to jump over cars.Its all pretty basic but suits the game well.The handling can be a bit troublesome at times as your rider is always trying to straighten up while you are cornering.The option to play with an arcade or simulation bike at least provides a bit of variety in this area.Music throughout the game is provided by "up-and-coming bands" but none of it is too memorable.

All in all this is a bit of a missed opportunity for the franchise and we are yet to see a version of Road Rash that betters the Mega Drive originals.Here's hoping EA resurrect the series and this time give it the respect it deserves.