A forerunner of such violent games as the Grand Theft Auto series, Road Rash is a rousingly good combat racing motorcycle game that encourages players to punch, kick, and club their opponents off the twisting, turning tracks.
You'd better come wearing your tough-guy boots if you hope to win this race. Extreme arcade racing has never been so rough, as you'll have to kick, beat, punch, and maul your opponents with chains, clubs, sticks, and other brutal weaponry. Of course, your opponents can and will fight back, sometimes going so far as to put you on a hit list for later group pummeling.
Not only that, you've got to watch out for the fuzz! The cops are out in full force setting up road blocks, chasing you on motorcycles, and hauling you off to jail if you're unfortunate enough to take a spill in front an officer. Pick your racer (the gamut runs from punks to jocks), and then head off to Der Panzer Klub, where you can talk to fellow riders, sign up for a race, or purchase a new ride.
You can choose between rat bikes, sport bikes, and super bikes, but you'll need to win plenty of races to earn enough cash for an upgrade.
Paced admirably by a hard driving soundtrack, the game strikes a nice balance between hitting and racing, and the controls are smooth and easy to use. Players can win money for bike upgrades by winning (or simply placing in) races on five different courses: Sierra Nevada, Pacific Coast, Redwood Forest, Palm Desert, and Grass Valley. The frame rate could use a boost to make the scrolling a bit smoother, but the players and bikes look good, there's ample roadside and background detail (including cows, trees, mountains, and slippery sand), and the game itself remains a pleasure long after the newness has worn off.
Road Rash features:
* Five unique tracks
* Variety of motorcycles, obstacles, weapons, and upgrades
* 25 minutes of video
* Music by Soundgarden