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Die Feuerstühle aus "Super Hang On" oder "No Second Prize" mögen ja sehr realistisch und auch ganz nett sein, aber was ein wahrer Verkehrsrowdy ist, der braucht härteren Stoff...

Road rash Und genau den hat Electronic Arts geliefert – zunächst für's Mega Drive, und jetzt kommen eben auch wir in den Genuß von Prügeleien auf Rädern. Im Grunde geht es schlicht darum, ein illegales Motorradrennen zu bestreiten, wobei es jedoch mit fahrerischem Können allein nicht getan ist: Wer hier ans große Preisgeld kommen will, muß mit allen erlaubten und unerlaubten Tricks arbeiten und während der Fahrt Tritte oder Schläge austeilen und auch einstecken können. Freilich gückt die Polizei da nicht tatenlos zu, daß den maximal zwei menschlichen Piloten (nacheinander) oft genug ein Blaulicht an den Fersen klebt.

Was sich hier so rabiat liest, spielt sich dennoch realistisch: Im Rückspiegel lassen sich herannahende Fahrzeuge gut erkennen, Berge und Hügel versperren die Sich auf Gegenverkehr und Kreuzungen und sobald man mal ins Straßenbeiwerk rumpelt, muß das herabgeschleuderte Fahrersprite erst wieder zum Motorrad laufen. Schön auch, daß man sich neue Bikes kaufen kann, weniger schön, daß insgesamt bloß fünf verschiedene Landschaften geboten werden. Da diese gleich zu Beginn anwählbar sind und sich die Paßwortgesicherten Level ansonsten bloß im Schwierigkeitsgrad unterscheiden, hält sich die Abwechslung halt arg in Grenzen.

Immerhin läßt die Grafik kaum einen Unterschied zur Originalversion erkennen, und der 3D-Effekt kommt trotz leichten Ruckelns gut rüber. Steuerung, Musik- und Soundbegleitung gehen ebenfalls in Ordnung, bloß die ständige Nachladerei nervt. Na, denn wünschen wir mal gute Fahrt und 'nen harten Schlag! (rl)

Amiga Joker, December 1992, p.96



Amiga Joker
1 MB

Road rash logo

Following on from John Madden, Electronic Arts are continuing with their Megadrive to Amiga conversions with their smash-hit bike-race game, Road Rash.

Whereas most motorcycle games are played in the spirit of sportmanship on nice safe tracks, this game gets down and dirty on the back roads of the USA as the competitors do whatever they can to win. No holds are barred as the competitors punch, kick, and barge their way to the finish lines, and the glory of being the fastest in the world.

Rather than have the usual bunch of nebulas riders, EA have added a cast of characters as your opponents. They're on hand to give you friendly advice, or gossip, before each race. For instance, one might tell you who's going to be armed in the next race, or who they think you should avoid. Sometimes they just come out with really sarcastic comments about your previous races, which gives you a good excuse to run them off the road.

Should you alienate any of them by, for instance, ramming them off the road, they won't be so friendly next time you meet. Some, like Helldog, aren't concerned with the happenings of the other riders, so there's no point in being friendly, just cause him as many problems as possible. A downed opponent is practically out of the race as it takes quite a while for them to remount and accelerate to full speed. There's one rider in particular, Viper, who regularly takes first place. It pays to flatten this guy as he'll overtake you at the earliest opportunity.

The game is divided into a number of increasingly difficult stages, which are in turn separated into five races. They take place by beaches, through desert country and woodlands, which is reflected in the change of terrain. Each course is between four and six miles long. An odometer in the centre of the speedometer shows how much distance you've covered, which is handy for deciding when to make a last minute dash to the line. The finish is always situated in a small town, where there's a crowd of Road Rash groupies on hand to greet the winners. After that you're told how much money you've won, who finished in the top three and you're given a chance to buy a new bike.

Road Rash Because one of the keys to winning the game is beating your opponents in the literal sense, there are a few extra features on the screen display. By the tachometer is your stamina bar and opposite that is your nearest opponents. When a rider is hit their bar decreases – if it goes all the way down they're stunned and fall off their bike. They do recover quickly, though, and come back looking for revenge, so it's best to make sure a rider goes down when you hit them.

The roads themselves are loaded with hazards. Bends and hills conceal other vehicles, and taking a hill at speed will leave you hanging in mid-air. There are also plenty of road-side obstacles such as houses, trees and even cows which prevent you from cutting corners and overtaking on the verges.

A difficult opponent will do their best not to let you pass. In times like these you have to resort to violence. The easiest way is to pull alongside another bike and tap the fire button which will unleash a punch or a kick. For a better effect, accelerate then pull sideways into them. This usually results in the victim being forced off the road and off their bike. Some of the participants have come prepared with clubs. Being hit with one will dismount you immediately, so keep an eye out for them. When someone raises a club at you, hit fire and try to disarm them. If it works you get the club which lets you make mincemeat out of the other racers.

Should you come off your bike as the result of a blow or hitting a roadside object, you then control the rider who has to be guided back to his fallen bike. The other riders aren't very sympathetic to dismounted racers and will often go out of their way to run them over. This really does slow you down as it tends to bounce you further away from your bike. Getting hit by an oncoming car has the additional effect of stunning your rider, so you need to be really careful on busy roads.

As well as looking after yourself, you need to take good care of your bike. A damage meter in the centre of the dashboard shows just what condition it is in, If it takes a pounding the gauge goes down. If it empties completely you're going to be sitting on so much scrap metal. If that's the case you've got a long walk to the finish line, and a very expensive repair bill, which will mean game over if you don't have the cash to cover it.

There are a great many dirty tricks you can use. Although a bike isn't as wide as a car, you can still use your rear-view mirror to pin-point any opponent who's gaining and steer into their path. Another pleasant trick is to bump someone into the path of an on-coming vehicle. It's guaranteed to prevent them catching up with you.

Road Rash The local police don't take kindly to this kind of high-speed racing going on in their backyards, and turn up in the hope of bagging themselves a rider. Like the racers, the police have individual characteristics. O' Leary, for instance, is a rookie who drives r4eal slow and is easy to get past, while O' Shea is an ex-Road Rasher who'll unleash his night-stick at the first opportunity. Getting caught by any cop means race over. The easiest way to avoid a run-in with the law is to speed on past them, alternatively you can try and ram them off the road. This is tricky as they ride big, heavy bikes which are quite resilient to an impact from a light-weight Japanese speed machine. The only way they can catch you is if you pull level with them at the same speed. Getting caught entails an instant jail sentence and the end of your career as a Road Rash demon.

Apart from the glory aspect of winning a race, there is also the financial reward. Although you earn a decent amount if you finish first, second or third, pranging your bike will eat into this as repairs have to made at the end of every round. In addition, it also pays to be careful and save your cash, as there are better bikes you have to buy to compete in the later races.

As it takes a long time to build up a significant amount of winnings there is a password continue system which lets you carry on exactly as you were. In addition, any races where you performed dismally can be re-run. The only way you can complete a level is by finishing at least fourth in all five races, which isn't too difficult to begin with, but soon becomes tough on the later levels. As the game progresses and the competition becomes tougher, most riders resort to violence to give themselves a helping hand to the finish line.

Road Rash is a fun alternative to normal race games. The graphics are good throughout and there are some really nice touches, such as cross-roads which come complete with traffic. There are also plenty of hills which hide on-coming cars, so it pays to watch what the rider in front is doing.

The only criticism I can level at Road Rash is that it is a little slow. While immensely playable, it doesn't deliver the feeling of charging down a road at 120mph. As a fan of the Megadrive version (which is already well over a year old) I was hoping Electronic Arts would do a bit more with this. Road Rash 2 on the Megadrive is nearing completion, and has such extra features as more weapons, including a vicious chain, improved bikes and more characters. It would have been nice to see some of these features included, or perhaps a few original ideas, rather than this just being a straight conversion. That said it's still very playable and nicely violent. Not the best race game available, but still a nice change from the usual sporting lot.

CU Amiga, November 1992, p.p.67-68

There are several fictional high-performance bikes in the game. Each has its own characteristics. While the bike you start with is good for the first few races, you are going to need a Japanese super rocket to stand a chance in the later races.

Noticeably faster than the Shurikan. What it gains in speed it loses in road handling, you'll have to take corners early and very carefully.

This monster bike is the best in the game. It's fast, handles well and has awesome acceleration. It also has a huge price-tag.

Fast and very dangerous. This bike can pull massive speeds, but it steers like a brick, so be prepared for several accidents or pile-ups.

When placed head-to-head, there is very little between the Megadrive and Amiga versions of Road Rash. The only noticeable feature is that the Megadrive game is slightly faster, otherwise it's fair to say they're identical.

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December '92
In house


Violent fun. Could do with being a little faster