Road Trip


Review by Chris Sabga



Graphics: 7

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9

"It's great for the price."

That irritating bit of text is included in most reviews of budget titles - and it usually indicates that the game isn't worth much more than the $10 or $20 listed on the sticker. Conspiracy Games' Road Trip for PS2 is a rare exception though: It's a $15 title that would genuinely be a great buy at $50. In fact, it's one of the best PS2 games I've ever played - ranking right up there with masterpieces like ICO.

Road Trip is about a group of super-deformed automobiles who actually talk, live in their own homes, and of course race. Regular racing games have bored me for the longest while, but luckily, the races here are so well-executed that I've managed to rediscover my love for a genre I once thought had passed me by. For example, the second race has you zooming through an actual ninja temple. The words "fun" and "innovative" don't quite do the experience justice. How about "pure exhilarating joy"? Speeding around a track is only a minor part of the proceedings though: You can explore different towns, talk to other cars, go on dangerous quests, play outrageous mini-games, and search for hidden items. However, what really makes the game special is its level of customization: There are dozens of parts to buy and collect for every area of your car (including outlandish items like propellers and water skis), you can paint your body and wheels any color you want, and there are over a hundred different body types (mostly based on real vehicles). If all of that sounds too complicated for you, don't worry - even if you can't differentiate an engine from a trunk, you'll have no problems at all souping up your hot rod.

The graphics and sounds won't tax your PS2's processors too much, but the bright and colorful visuals are easy on the eyes, lively, and a perfect fit for this kind of game. There is very little to find fault with in this department. However, what you see in Road Trip isn't nearly as important as what you feel - and there's no better feeling in the world than the giddy, childlike pleasure that comes with discovering (and playing) a wonderful, magical, amazing game like this. I have a tendency to get bored with most of today's games rather quickly, but I've been playing Road Trip nonstop for many months now - and even after all this time, I still can't get enough of it. There's nothing else quite like it on PS2.

- Misc. info: Road Trip is the American version of Japan's Choro Q HG 2 (the Choro Q series is all the rage in the Land of the Rising Sun). Its race-only prequel, Choro Q HG, was released in the U.S. for the PS2 as Gadget Racers, and another PS2 Choro Q game made it to the States as Seek & Destroy.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:59 PM