SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$29.99

DEVELOPER
Electronic Arts

PUBLISHER
Electronic Arts

RELEASE DATE
01/00

Road Rash: Jailbreak Review

By: Dave Mitchell


All right I'll level with you - at its core, all this game involves is you racing around, evading police officers, and beating up rival bikers. Sound stupid? You betcha. But is it fun? Oh yeah. This game is basically an update of the near-classic Road Rash series on the Genesis, with a few changes from the original.


Highs:
Lows:

Jailbreak's graphics are quite good. They're fairly colourful, and more animated-looking than realistic. The bikers themselves look good, as do the tracks, backgrounds, and obstacles. But beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder, as my brother took one look at them and immediately remarked how bad he thought they looked. Well, no matter what you think of the graphics in the actual game, I don't think anyone can dispute the fact that the graphics in the cut scenes suck. They're black and white and rather grainy, and really don't have anything about them that would impress anyone.

The music in the game is really impressive. The tracks feature an eclectic mix of ska, punk, metal, alternative, and industrial, and the songs used are all excellent. You won't find any major artists here, but the no-name bands used all sound great. Good, energetic music is especially effective in a racing game, and this title definitely has it. The sound effects are effective too, capturing every crash and tire screech perfectly. My one complaint in the sound department is that the voices of the bikers are very annoying, mostly due to the fact that they repeat themselves so much. But overall, the sound effects and music are great.

The control in the game is good as well. You should be able to the control within seconds of starting your first race if you've never played before, because the function of the buttons is very well thought out. You can get used to the steering very easily also, which is a welcome change from most racing games. The one negative point of the control is that the game doesn't support the analogue sticks on a dual shock controller, which would make the controls even more precise.

As mentioned previously, the gameplay in this title really couldn't get any simpler - you try to finish first by beating up rival competitors and steering clear of cops. You can get used to the mechanics of this game within seconds. Unfortunately, while the game's overt simplicity makes it very easy to learn, it also makes it terribly repetitive. It is very action-packed, and will definitely keep you entertained for a while, but it will get boring, especially considering it isn't a very long game. One thing that really pissed me off in this game was that the fact that when you get knocked off your bike, you have to go look for it, board it and start racing again. This really slows you down, and definitely hinders your chances of getting a good standing in the race. This is really frustrating, because often one mistake can really screw you up. There are three modes of play in single player, which are the standard mode, The Man, and Time Trial. The standard game and Time Trial are self-explanatory, and The Man has you playing as a cop, trying to hunt down the same gang of criminals you race against in the standard mode. Being able to take the role of the cops is a cool feature, but it wears thin after a while as well. Another gripe is that there are quite slow loading times in the game, which definitely put the brakes on fun for a while.

The two player mode gets quite old quickly. Though there is very little of the graphic degeneration or slowdown that often plagues multi-player racers, which is commendable, it just can't hold your attention for very long. There are a variety of modes for two player, which include one on one (biker Vs biker), cop Vs.. robber, side car co-operative, and side car versus. There are much more modes then are usually included in multiplayer modes of racing games, but they still don't stop the multiplayer from losing its flavor after a short time.

Overall, I have to say that this game is good while it lasts, which isn't a very long time. It is filled with loads of action, and can keep you entertained in the short term with the various one and two player modes, but its certainly more of a sprint than a marathon. I would say Road Rash: Jailbreak, is the perfect rental, because it will keep you entertained for a little while, but I would severely advise against buying this game, because there just isn't enough to hold your interest for more than a few days.

OVERALL
6.5

GRAPHICS
8.0

CONTROL
8.5

MUSIC/FX
8.5

FRUSTRATION
6.0


Second Opinion

By: John Doe

I don't think I'd call myself a Road Rash fan. I've enjoyed a few RR romps over the years, but I've never waited anxiously for the next installment. And this one is more of the same. Graphically the game is decent, and the control is actually pretty good; I didn't find any real lag between button presses and attacks which have hampered previous efforts. Wiping out on your bike was extremely annoying as Dave already mentioned. It takes too much time to get back up on that horse and ride again. The bizarre thing is that wipeouts won't really set you back all that much. I was able to catch up to the pack within seconds, although I'd hunted around for my hog for awhile.

The premise of the Jailbreak is weak at best, simply only to serve as a thinly veiled backdrop for more rehashed racing. I'm getting a little tired of this series, how about you? Rent it.

OVERALL
6.0

GRAPHICS
6.0

CONTROL
7.5

MUSIC/FX
8.0

FRUSTRATION
5.0

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