Monday, October 12, 2009

Hitting cops in the face with chains is still fun.

Intrepid readers of this blog may remember my quest to reclaim part of my childhood via the Sega Megadrive. If not, check it:

Last week, I said 'peace two fingers' to the annoying RF cable and got myself an AV cable specifically designed for the Megadrive 2 from a dude on Ebay. Much easier in every way, I just had to plug the red, white and yellow plugs into the AV outlets and away I went. Everything worked fine. I grabbed the nearest cartridge and fired it up. 

Nothing. A black screen. Then something in my far-reaching memory banks triggered and I yanked the cartridge out of the console and blew on it a couple of times. It's an early-nineties magic trick that still works to this day. I then fell into a wonderful world of blast processing and 16 bit action. 

This is Road Rash 2. Basically, you're a motorbike rider who makes money racing motorbikes so you can buy more awesome motorbikes. Every other rider is out to get you. Whether it be via fist, foot, baton or chain, the 12 other people in every race (and the police) want you dead. This is the key thing that makes Road Rash so enjoyable. The technology of the Megadrive doesn't present the riders as anything but blank avatars that look exactly the same. But thanks to a mechanic that displays the closest rider's name on the screen somehow gives them more personality than any pointless backstory could.

That's you in the red. You can put your own name in the field where it says 'Neil'. Apart from that, this screenshot is pretty much a snapshot of a race I had a couple of days ago. That's Natasha on the left. I fed that bitch some serious chain.

There's so much crazy depth that still surprises the hell out of me with this game. When somebody knocks you off your bike, you have complete control over your rider on foot. Running back to your overturned bike could have been a simple automated animation but it adds another layer when you have to avoid other bikes and speeding cars to get back in the race. 

The fact that this game even has a bike shop is amazing. Looking through the catalogue and seeing the red Diablo for $30,000 is something I remember doing when I was sixteen. I never bought the thing back then. That discrepancy is about to be rectified. 

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