Road Trip: Arcade Edition - PS2 - Preview
E3 2002 - Hands-on Preview
Conspiracy Entertainment has a way with combining solid gameplay, plenty of eye candy, and creative and fun elements into one title. Their latest racer, the cartoony Road Trip, is no exception and should provide hours of entertainment for the younger audience. Heck, at 26 years old, even I want a copy of this game.
The first thing you’ll notice about Road Trip is the graphics. The cartoonish quality gives Conspiracy the license to include just about anything they want without fear of sacrificing realism. Each car is stylish, colorful, and, well, adorable. These aren’t cars the Andretti family would tear up a course with, but rather vehicles Roger Rabbit would die for. Complementing the cars are courses in all kinds of settings from snowy mountaintops to arid deserts, each detailed with their own unique scenery.
Road Trip, thankfully not based on the Tom Green flick of the same name, is a blend of racing, RPG, and adventures genres where mini-quests need to be solved, cars need to be upgraded, and locals (cars) need to be talked to. The racing aspect of the game features several races, each with different courses and landscapes. Winning races yields cash prizes, which can be used to upgrade your car, like an RPG. Engines can be replaced, tires can be swapped, and paint jobs can be altered. This customizing is a major selling point of the game. Create a dragster or a mini-van, the choice is up to you. The enormous map (and I mean enormous!) takes racers all over the world with mini-quests to conquer. Cars talk to each other as adventurers would in standard adventure games, yielding information vital to success.
There are plenty of extras in the game as well. For the kid in all of us, more than 100 stamps are collectable, and are all viewable in a handy-dandy stamp book. See something you like? Take a snapshot and collect those as well. Need extra cash? Have a company put an advertisement on your car and be a traveling billboard! But the coolest extra has to be the mini-games included. Cars can join a soccer game, playing on a lush green field in a colossal stadium and moving the ball with their fenders. Cars can also try their luck with a game of roulette, where they are the ball spinning their way to cool, hard cash.
Road Trip, developed by Takara and published by Conspiracy Entertainment, should be available in July for the Playstation 2.