Im going to try to
write this review without once bringing up Tony Hawkooops. I didnt
mean to do that, but its done, and now that its out there I guess that
I have to deal with it. The original Tony Hawk was a game that comes
around once in a decade. Theres really been nothing like it except, of
course, for all of those games that have been copying it. One of the
biggest surprises of the Tony Hawk franchise was how well it translated
to the Gameboy Advance. I never would have thought the game could have
been so completely entertaining on the handheld system. To bring it back
to the actual game Im reviewing, you really just have to think Tony
Hawk only cuter. Thats not necessarily a bad thing.
Its not a bad
game. Critics are often accused of damning with faint praise, but
sometimes thats all that you can do. Theres really nothing about this
game that sets it apart from all of the other Tony Hawk clones already
on the market. If perhaps I had some affinity for the characters, then
maybe there might be a little more interest. On the other hand, if The
Simpsons Road Rage taught us anything it was that we would still rather
play a good version of Crazy Taxi with innocuous characters than a poor
version with some of our favorites.
With a skateboarding
game it really comes down to two thingsthe controls and your ability to
see whats going on around the park so you can plan your moves and
combos. And on both counts, the game lives up to its potential. Graphics
are actually not all that critical to the genre (Personally I dont
think that theyre all that critical to any genre). However, the
graphics are clean and clear. The level design isnt quite as
imaginative as I would have liked, but itll do in a pinch. The game
also features a very thorough tutorial to get you up to speed on the
There is something
that I do feel I need to mention about this game. There is no blood. Im
sure youre saying to yourself, Of course not. Why would you need blood
in a game like this? I have to admit that the absence of blood whenever
I wiped out was a little jarring. Ive become so used to cringing with
every wipe out when the blood spilt on the pavement. It hurt when I
wasnt able to pull off a serious combo, and that potential for pain
made the victories all the more sweet. I dont cotton to gory games, but
I did actually miss the blood.
Ive never heard of this franchise before, but judging from the artwork
and character design it seems to be a skater version of the Rugrats.
Sometimes I worry that as I get older I am getting more and more out of
touch with contemporary pop culture. Anyhow, Im sure there are fans of
these guys, and for those fans, this will be a highly entertaining romp.
If you just need a break from one of the many Tony Hawk games available
for the Game Boy, this might just meet your need.
Jason Frank (11/20/2003)
Fun, if derivative, gameplay