Thursday, July 12, 2012

Retroulette #27: Road Rash II

Ahhhh, another relic of my youth. Or, I think it is. I had one of the Road Rash Games, and they all look exactly the same.

Are my fond memories of this game (unless it wasn't this game) nothing but nostalgia? Or was this game (or, the one I did have) truly badass?

For the uninitiated, Road Rash was a series of illegal street racing games that began on the Sega Genesis. The reason why that was awesome, instead of just nothing, was because that meant you could beat the shit out of people while you were driving. Imagine Pole Position mixed with Mortal Kombat and you have a pretty good idea of what we're dealing with here.

So. First things first.

This is the only logo screen. This is an EA joint, through and through. But this was years before we were supposed to hate them for some reason. Back then, they were just a little guy with big dreams of world domination.

And now, the title screen.

See, this is why I can't get into NASCAR. Driving is boring. Fighting on moving vehicles is awesome.

Man. The music. You can't hear it, but it's pretty.....actually I don't know how I feel about it. The Genesis could produce some pretty awesome chiptunes. The majority, however, sounded like a messy pile of synth drum beats and basslines. This is all of those things.

That is, if you can hear anything over the sound of a man mercilessly beating a trash can.

Anyway, on to the main menu.

The default race is Alaska. Remember that.

As always, I check game options first. There's nothing interesting in there. Passwords, name changing, ...what's this?

Maybe I should? No, no, I mustn't.

Now I'm going to select what track to play. We've got Arizona, Hawaii, Vermont, Tennessee, and Alaska. Well, it's set to Alaska by default, so let's play th-

You sons of bitches! Who the hell do you think I am!? Johnny 'Road Rash' Jones? I don't remember how to play this game! Do you want me to fail?

Of course they do. That's how games were designed back then.

I think I'll start with boring, easy Vermont*, thankyouverymuch.

So let's get this thing started!

Oh man oh man, which button is the gas! - Me
So yeah, I'm not super great at this game. But after pressing every button I'm pretty sure the only controls are Go and Punch. That's fine with me. That's both of the things I wanted to do.

Pretty early on I decide to just button mash the attack button all the time. If anything gets anywhere near me, they get punched. That's a pretty rockin' way to live.

I pass some pretty interesting scenery on my way through the countryside. There's some Moose or some shit, there's people that are bigger than houses, there's signs reminding me not to drink martinis while driving in illegal street races.

Yoou dun tells shme how to drahve. *CRASH*

The road also seems all too happy to remind me the speed limit is 55. But do I look like the kind of person who gives any sort of fucks about that?

In fact, I give -65 fucks.
Another odd thing I notice is this:

 I think, clearly, the only explanation for what you're seeing is one of my rearview mirrors has a special power, and it needs to see Bruce Willis right away.

So, here's a pretty accurate montage of what most of the race looks like.

The action is broken up somewhat by me hitting a sign and flying 50 yards through the air, then sliding another 50 yards on the ground.

"I crashed like 20 minutes ago! Newton, you lying son of a bitch!"
It takes my Power Ranger dude another minute to get back to my bike. He also runs like a retard.

He looks like he's dancing the Charleston and having a seizure at the same time.

"That spaceman from the future sure has some moves, see. Oh... shit. Is he dying?"

Later on in the race, some dumbass named Leslie tries to attack me with a bat. I punch at exactly the same time as he swings at me (remember, I'm punching all the time) and HELL YEAH BABY!

This game is like Mega Man. Fight the bad dudes, and you get their shit.
It's all over now. I'm going to smack the hell out of everything in my path. NOTHING IS SAFE!

So, I finish the race. 7th place, which my guy is pretty excited about for some reason.

Not winning any money is aweeeeesssssooooome!
Some guy named Kakana comes to...congratulate me? Taunt me? I have no idea what this dude is saying.

Like, I can't even tell if this is offensive or not. That guy seems Asian, is this some Charlie Chan bullshit?

Anyway, the next few races go about the same. Until in one race, I grab a bat from some guy and start beating a cop with it.

It does not end well!


This is actually some of the most honest cover art you will ever see. Driving motorcycles and punching dudes. That's what you do in this game.

This is a weird one. On one hand, the game holds up terribly. On the other, I had fun with it anyway. So I guess other than everything about it it's a pretty good game.


* It's only while going through the footage that I realize it started me on Alaska anyway. Apparently EA is pretty sure the hardest level is the perfect place for someone unfamiliar with the game to start


  1. Hey dude, I laughed out loud a couple of times throughout this post. Shit, my colleagues are looking at me now, better look like I'm doing work.


    1. Same here.... dude, this is one of the best sites on the entire internet.

      Kudos, Aru ^_^

  2. So I was looking for a screenshot of a Kakana line, and I found your article.

    While yours was not the Kakana line that I needed, this was a pretty great post for a clunky-but-well-adored video game. Funny read, dude.

    The line/screenshot I was looking for is something equally indistinguishable as taunt or cheer (unless you live in Hawaii, apparently). It went something like: "You one low end ride, Brah! Give one shout! Hana Hou!" I could be conflating two of them together, but that doesn't matter. The takeaway here seems to be: if I street race in Hawaii, I will have no idea if I'm about to be beaten, laughed at, or bought a drink.