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Road Rash – Genesis

road rash cover

Platform: Sega Genesis

Developer: Electronic Arts

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Release Date (NA): 1991

Genre: Racing, sport, motorcycle racing, action racing

Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10


Road Rash was one of those games that we all remember as a kid and probably remember thinking it was badass.  But does anybody remember why?  Road Rash saw its debut on the Sega Genesis and would later be ported to other systems.  The cover art of the game says everything you need to know:  Motorcycle racing where you try to grab the other biker?  Okay, maybe the cover art doesn’t clearly define the game.  So I’ll help out.

Road Rash is a motorcycle racing game where players compete in illegal road races punching,kicking, bashing, clubbing, and navigating their way from 15th place to 1st place.  Getting in 1st place is no easy feat but the reward is worth the effort.  Each race, the player must finish in the top 4 races to advance to the next one.  With each win, the player will earn a certain amount of money (the purse increases deeper into the game) to purchase new bikes, upgrades, or to repair their bikes.  If you run out of money and can’t physically race, then it’s a game over.

roadrash cart

Road Rash is very similar to Sega’s Hang-On but is also very unique in its own way.  The game engine and control scheme is surprisingly fluid and easy to control, although overcorrecting can become an issue at times in the game.  The roads are very visible and easy to see and separate from the grass and background.  The music is your run-of-the-mill early 90s “extreme” sport music, with some righteous guitar solos and heavy drum tracks.

As the player advances further into the game they will notice the A.I. increases, which is very unique considering the limitations of the Sega Genesis and technology in the early 90s.  The other bikers become considerably more aggressive, a bit smarter, and a bit faster.  But your bike will also be faster because you’re spending your money the right way, right?


Road Rash is a little bit of a deeper experience than I was expecting.  I hadn’t played this game since I was a kid, so I didn’t remember the bike upgrades or the many obstacles one must face in any race.  Some of the obstacles one faces are oil spills on the road, other bikers trying to kick you, police men on bikes trying to pull you over, cars going in either direction, intersections (yikes! These are road rash introtough to slow down for), and generally anything NOT on the road (trees, signs, houses, etc).  I didn’t struggle to win nearly as much as I thought.  I made it pretty far in the game until my cat jumped on my Sega Genesis and it froze. Damn cats.

Road Rash does provide “save” opportunities by giving passwords that you can use to pick the game back up at a later date.  I love any game with save features and loathe almost any game without.  So you might be asking yourself “why the hell would I play Road Rash now considering all of the other motorcycle, dirt bike, car racing games available post-Sega Genesis?”  The answer is clear… You don’t really have to.  Road Rash doesn’t provide a brand new life-changing experience that will lead you to enlightenment or make you crave to put that password in when you get home from work tonight so you can beat the game.  It does however provide a solid racing experience with some fun moments that were semi-revolutionary for its time.

EA has been making quality games for quite some time now.  In Road Rash they created a better-than-average racing game that fully utilizes the player throughout the entire race.  Almost all other racing games offer ONLY the option of turning left or right.  Road Rash offers precision turning on narrow roads, cars on both sides of the road, ways to attack your opponent and take them down, roadrash5some semi-useful side-view mirrors on the left and right, and not to mention the great 16-bit graphics and quality sound.  One of the major downfalls of this game is some contact issues when you’re perfectly lined up to punch someone and you throw a punch only to miss entirely.  Another drawback is the limited track selection.  There are only 5 tracks to race on and you end up racing the same ones quite often if you’re trying to beat the game.

Road Rash might be showing its age, but at any age it’s a fun game for some quality motorcycle racin’ and some fightin’.  I say: give this game a shot and maybe you’ll enjoy it.  Don’t blow out your wallet for it though, as it can often be found at bargain prices in the $3 to $8 range (with $8 being a little steep in my opinion).

Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Submitted by NerdBerry


Written by Nerdberry


Nerdberry here. It’s about time I updated this badboy (been a loooong time). I’m currently loving time on my Xbox 360, as I destroy aliens left and right through the Gears of War games (man these games are good).

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for retro-gaming! My wife and I just bought a house (December, 2015) and we have a baby due ANY DAY NOW (my mini-nerdette-berry is 1 day late as of December 10th), so I haven’t fully unpacked the hundreds of cartridges that I own.



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