Game Over Online ~ MTV Skateboarding

GameOver Game Reviews - MTV Skateboarding (c) THQ, Reviewed by - Prolix

Game & Publisher MTV Skateboarding (c) THQ
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium II-233, 32MB Ram, 220MB HDD, 3D Accelerator, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 50%
Date Published Tuesday, September 26th, 2000 at 08:57 PM

Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

It's funny to think that just a couple of years ago hardly anyone knew what a darkslide was or even a kickflip. However, with the advent of one of the best games ever, Tony Hawk's Pro-skateboarder, these trick names became common fare even among people who had never skateboarded before. Unfortunately, there is a downside to Tony Hawk's success: clones. In some aspects, clones can be a good thing because they provide more of the same action, but the chances are a clone doesn't even come close to competing with its predecessor.

When I hear the acronym "MTV", nausea usually overcomes me with images of the Backstreet Boys and N'sync. Because I don't like MTV, I didn't expect much from MTV Skateboarding: Featuring Andy "I have too much chest hair" McDonald and I was right not to. The game features an array of game modes, which include: freeplay, lifestyle, high score, MTV hunt, survival, and stunt. In addition to a unique amount of gameplay modes, the game also features a lot of highly talented lesser-known skaters, such as: Rob Dyrdeck, Brian Howard, Rick Howard, Keith Hufnagel, Scott Johnston, Josh Kalis, and Stevie Williams. At least MTV tries to give some recognition to the skaters who aren't always in the media spotlight, or maybe they just couldn't use Tony or The Cab because of copyright reasons.

The one thing that the Playstation version of Tony Hawk lacked was crisp graphics. So naturally you would expect the designers behind MTV Skateboarding to spice up the game with some great eye candy. However, they opted for the "half-assed" approach. The graphics within the parks themselves are good, but the skaters and the text leave a lot to be desired. Throughout the courses, all kinds of high-res sponsor logos dot the ramps, like Volcom, Dub Brand Weather Gear, Chocolate, and El Wood, which really adds to the skatepark feel. The player models themselves are extremely ugly and seem small compared to the ramps. One thing that did strike mw was the actual skateboard itself. The flip tricks look much better in MTV Skateboarding than Tony Hawk one or two. Despite this, the graphics leave a whole lot to be desired.

A year or two ago, I purchased a Gravis USB Gamepad Pro because it is an almost an exact copy of the Playstation controller. Because I had this controller, I was confident even before I played the game, that skateboarding on my computer would not be a problem. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. MTV Skateboarding does not appear to fully support gamepads, which is funny because on the control screen it has an image of my gamepad. With no gamepad, I was stuck using the keyboard. The keyboard was not designed with skateboarding in mind; therefore doing complex trick combinations is almost impossible. Every time I played this game, I felt frustrated I was being forced to use a keyboard instead of my gamepad, it ruined what fun I might have had.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, MTV Skateboarding features a lot of unique tricks you won't find in Tony Hawk title. Despite new tricks, MTV Skateboarding tends to get boring after a while. Unlocking new parks isn't that hard, but in comparison to Tony Hawk 2, there isn't enough of them. It would have been nice to see a lot of real world modeled skateparks as well, not just made up ones. The stunt mode is rather stupid as well, you move from location to location doing stuff most real skaters wouldn't possibly do in real life. The MTV Hunt mode is boring as well, you skate around collecting MTV logos and when you fall you drop the logos you picked up, sounds like a blast, huh?

On a positive note, MTV Skateboarding features a decent soundtrack that will please anyone who is into rock and roll. Bands such as Pennywise, Snapcase, and the Deftones help to plow through the skateparks. The sound effects for the skateboard are average, they sound somewhat realistic, but they do leave a lot to be desired.

Initially I was happy to see a skateboarding game on the PC but after closer inspection, I was discouraged that clones were making their way to the PC. This game should be passed up by everyone. Why? Because Tony Hawk 2 should arrive for the PC anytime now and MTV Skateboarding is child's play compared to Tony Hawk 2.


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