|There's nothing finer than coming home after a long skate session and working out all the tension and soreness in the limbs of your body by.... uhhh... whupping somebody's ass! In a video game, that is. We love 'em here at 50-50, and I bet a lot of you out there are into this shit too. Whether you're into killing games, fighting games, puzzles, dancing games, sports, or homosexual kiddie porn, there's a game for you. And many many many productive hours, nights, days, (years?) have been wasted just trying to get to that last screen or level of the game, or just straight up trying to outsmart the computer or your opponent. These hours could have been spent better masturbating, sleeping, watching TV, or better yet, updating a website on a regular basis. Bottom line is, video games are good and getting better, and fortunately for skaters, or better yet for poseurs (who think they are skaters but would rather stay at home playing video games than skate), one of the best video games to come out in recent years has been a skateboarding game.
Which brings us to the focus of this article, skateboarding games. Remember the game in the arcade with the skateboard you stand on, then you grab on these rails to make it move from side to side and push on the tail to make it ollie? Well, that game fucking sucks, and I'm not even going to try to review it here. The worst part about it was it cost too much money, and those people who played it a lot thought it was a good 'simulation' of skateboarding, even though it is really gay. "Skate or Die" came out years before that, and was way better, but kind of hard to control with just a joystick and button. Anyway, back to the point of this article, and that's to review the two current skateboarding games on the market, Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and the Andy MacDonald & MTV Sports Skatebording game
. From now on, I'll just refer to them as THPS2 and Andy Mac's fuckfest, respectively.
I have both games on the Sega Dreamcast, so that's what I compared them on. I've played THPS2 on the Sony Playstation 1 before, but the graphics are a little slow and grainy, just like a lot of other Playstation 1 games. Bottom line, is since they stopped production on the Dreamcast, everybody should go out and buy a Playstation 2 anyway.
First, THPS2. What really can be said? This game pretty much rules! Now on the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, I thought the graphics looked a lot smoother and less pixelated, but the playability of THPS2 can't be beat. Eggplants, No-Complies, Manuals, Nosestalls, 50-50s, and Bluntslides are now all possible, stuff that weren't in the original game. The only tricks I would have liked to see added would be loud tricks where you slam on the tail, like lien to tails, or body jars, something like that. The controls are still very intuitive as well. For example, nosegrind, nosegrab, or any trick you do on the nose, you push up on the controller, for 5-0 grinds and tailgrabs, you push down, kickflips left, heelflips right (well I guess that one makes sense only if you're a regular foot). Good stuff, kudos to whoever thought of that shit. A few new skaters have been added to the growing list of skaters you can chose, like Cab, Koston, Rodney, and Spiderman, but the funniest thing is figuring out what their special moves are, because they all have different ones. The best one is Bob Burnquist's pecker smack, complete with sound effect. Figure that one out. Oh yeah, about the Spiderman thing, we really couldn't figure that shit out either, well, what Spiderman had to do with skateboarding, until we realized that Activision was also putting out a Spiderman game, and put him on there to pump that up marketing-wise. But, the best part of the game is all the spots you can choose: Marseille, New York, Venice, Skatestreet, Philly, etc., which for the most part are pretty good replications of real skatespots. Our favorite skatespot is a secret spot called Skateheaven, where they have replications of skatespots of yesteryear, such as Upland and even, Wallows. Unfortunately, in the 2-player mode, the skatespots become a bit more simplified and less intricate, so you aren't able to hit up all the spots that you can in single player mode. Oh well. 2-player mode has a couple of cool variations to the game, such as Tag and Graffiti, which are great for challenging your friends when your sick of playing just to score points. Focusing on one the negatives, the music to the game is terrible and downright annoying this time around. I remember from playing the original Tony Hawk, that the songs got monotonous after a while, but at least it was groups like The Dead Kennedys, Suicidal, The Vandals, and Primus. This time around it's Papa Roach, Anthrax/Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and a fucked up Naughty by Nature song from 1991. What the fuck? At least the music can be turned down or off, if you like. THPS2 even has a create your own skater/skatepark mode, which helps you customize the game how you like. We had fun in this mode creating a skater that looked like the Gonz, complete with 'fro and cargo pants, try the doubleset handrail that he did in his video part from Blind's Video Days. This game is that good.
On the other hand, Andy Mac's fuckfest is a complete disappointment after playing THPS2. When you first start playing it looks kind of cool, because it has a good selection of skaters such as Danny Way, Rick Howard, Alan Peterson, and Sal Barbier. But, that's where the fun ends. When you actually start playing the game, the skater looks crappy, rigid, and unproportional to his/her surroundings. The skater shrinks and then grows everytime it does a maneuver. All the skaters do ugly stinkbug frontside airs. An annoying crowd boos you everytime you fall. The controls are slow and unresponsive. The skatespots, well you have only two of them to choose from in the beginning, are Murphy's Playhouse and Hovis Plant. The set-up at each park is very sterile and boring, and all the ramps are shamelessly plastered with advertisements from different companies. The skateparks don't, or at least I hope they don't exist in real life. Unlike THPS2, fuckfest also does not have an instant replay function, not as if you'd want one with this game anyway. The music from this game is as bad as THPS2 with less songs. On the bright side, this game does have a four-player mode, which could be fun if you have 4 controllers. You are also able to play a survival mode, which is also fun, where you can throw grenades and different weapons at your opponents while you roll around the park. Other than for this game mode, I'd probably stay away from this game, although it is fun to make Andy Mac's yellow shirt wearing ass fall all over the place to the boos of the crowd.
On a final note, it's obvious a lot of time and effort was taken by skaters to make THPS2 as good as it is, which is why this game blows away any other skateboarding game which had previously come out. Obviously Andy Mac's fuckfest was probably thrown together quickly after the success of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater in an attempt by MTV Sports and THQ to cash in on the extreme sports video game crowd. It is an imitation and unfortunately they didn't put much time and effort into the game to make it enjoyable or even realistic looking, but maybe that wasn't even the point anyway.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2
Andy MacDonald &
MTV Sports Skateboarding
Upland Skatepark brought back to life in THPS2.
Wait... shouldn't the round bowl be on the left?
A weird ironic twist, Officer Dick
Assumes the Position at Wallows.
Andrew Reynolds (midget cheat)
at the Chopper Drop in Hawaii??
We really liked the midget cheat code
combination with Steve Caballero.
The late Kapahulu Skatepark can
be seen in the secret Bails Video.
The Pecker Smack, if you hold down the
buttons long enough Bob humps his board.
Fairly true-to-life rendition of Wallows in its heyday.
Tony Hawk watches the Gonz in 2 player mode.
What the Hell is this? The Andy MacDonald
MTV Sports game really sucked ass.
I don't think Andy Mac was the only one
sleeping when this game was made.
No, I don't think you can change
Andy MacDonald's shirt color.
I like this, here he is humping a PowerBar Banner.