After Virtuoso left such a bitter taste in my mouth, I had serious doubts that I would ever find a 3DO game worthy of any amount of time. Thank heaven I found Road Rash when I did. This is essentially the same game as the Saturn version, which is an excellent 32-bit port of a classic.
What's to know about this game? Race alongside 14 other racers, punching and kicking, and sometimes crowbar-ing, your way to victory. The courses vary in terms of appearance, but they really all feel the same. This isn't a problem, though, as the all feel very well done.
There are basically two modes of play; the full version of the game, where you pick your racer and bike, earn money in races, and save up to buy better parts and better bikes. Or, there's a stripped-down version, where you just race. This is the best version if you just want to "get your race on" like I know you do!
Graphically, this is nothing to crow about. Very little, if anything, has improved since the 16-bit version. The colors might be a little sharper, but the racers are just as pixilated as they are in the deep recesses of your memory. Kind of like how Alucard saw the 8-bit Richter in Symphony of the Night. Yeah, it's just like that.
The gameplay is what's important, and this one's got a winning formula. I literally played this thing from start to finish; I didn't stop until there was nothing left to see. It is a hell of a good time!
The music in these 32-bit versions is somewhat of an anomaly. There are several licensed songs by bands you may remember from the early 90's, but none of which are represented in the actual game. The licensed music resides in the option screens, and cheesy live-action cut-scenes. The in-game music is all the same boring midi garbage that wasn't very appealing in the earlier versions. Why you would pay to use real bands only for your option menus makes no sense, but that's the road they took.
My only real complaint about this game lies in the stripped-down mode. If you should "wreck" i.e.: lose all of your health, you lose all qualifications for the level you are on. That is ridiculous! An awfully harsh penalty for wrecking one time!
That not withstanding, this is one of the best 3DO games I've had the privilege of purchasing and playing. I also believe this review contains the most hyphenated words I've used in a review thus far. A winning combination!