If you asked someone what game makes them most nostalgic for the nineties, they'd probably tell you some great game that came out in the nineties, like Streets of Rage 2 or Chrono Trigger. While these are both amazing games that were released in the nineties, they are not games that contain the essence of the nineties. The one game that does this better than any other is Road Rash for the Playstation. Playing this game is roughly equivalent to taking a shot of apathy and shooting up a hit of grunge. The only game that is anywhere near this nineties is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
When you start off a game with an FMV that has “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden playing, you know you're in for a good time. The next thing you'll notice is the absurdly long load times whenever you do anything. And I mean anything. That includes moving your cursor between items on the menus. I didn't understand this for years, but I recently found out that the Playstation version is a port of a 3DO game. I remember playing the game on PC in my 5th grade classroom and it had the same problem. In retrospect it was probably inappropriate to have the game on computer at school, but I guess I lucked out and had a cool teacher.
|Uhh. . .|
The game is just so goddamn nineties it hurts. The weird art style, the character designs, the vernacular, the music, and the “add violence to game genre X” formula. I can't really complain about that formula in this case because it turned out to be a fun game. Just like the first three games for the Genesis, it's a solid motorcycle racing game with the plus of attacking and the minus of hardware limitations. The great nineties music that is in the menus is absent during races, I assume because it needed to load the level from the CD and couldn't handle doing the higher quality music at the same time.
Road Rash is a lot of fun. There isn't much you can do in video games that is more exciting than kicking another racer into oncoming traffic or a wall. It's pretty fun using nitro to boost right into a pedestrian and using them as a ramp, as well. I played this game a ton when I was younger, as you may have noticed from what is left of the case. Sadly, this was the last Road Rash game that wasn't garbage.