Dark Black



MTV Sports: Skateboarding Review

By: John Doe

Does the world need another skateboard video game? How much different or closer to perfection can a game get than Tony Hawk, the standard of skateboarding excellence? Well maybe I shouldn't start off with such a pessimistic attitude; maybe this game features a skateboarder in a plaid shirt.


If the only difference between MTV Sports and Tony Hawk was a rider in a plaid shirt then MTV Sports would have every reason to be proud, but it's painfully obvious that they couldn't even come close to imitating the Hawk's legendary gameplay. MTV Sports: Skateboarding Featuring Andy McDonald is a tiresome grind. This game is about as responsive as a chronic alcoholic sleeping off a three-day bender. The controls are stiff and confining. You are at the mercy of the trick detection software which determines indiscriminately if your maneuvers will be correctly executed or not. The big problem with this detection system is that it appears to be random and no matter how I tried to narrow my moves down to elicit the same response, I was never able to exactly recreate the same combinations. In fact, it was near impossible to recreate individual moves such as ollies, handplants and rail riding. Any sense of "freestyle" comes from the thought that you can just open the console and take this game out, free now to choose a game that will bring you hours of pleasure.

Following the tradition, (or blatantly copying) of previously related games, you will find a wide variety of items to unlock including boards, hidden levels, clothes and obstacles. There is also the inclusion of a Lifestyle mode in which you work your way from dork to ultimate dork by fulfilling a variety of tasks and garnering points for their successful completion. The points are awarded you by a panel of judges, once again proving that the machine is in charge with its arbitrary imposition on your gameplay.

"But the graphics are great, aren't they?" Yes Billy, they aren't. Sorry to tell you folks but as far as the graphic department goes, one has to wonder if Darkblack employed a graphic department for this project of just downloaded images off the net. I'm not kidding, some of these images are just unacceptable. The backgrounds and textures are fuzzy and lack detail. The animation of the tricks is just standard preprogrammed visual responses to the moves that the computer decides to let you make. The animation looks all right but it's uninspiring because it's so stock.

One exciting addition, albeit an unintentional one, is the ability to play as Casper the Ghost; a glitch where you can pass your character through inanimate object such as walls, barricades and other obstacle.

The music is decent, at least, with tracks from Pennywise and Cypress Hill. The sound effects are nothing to get exciting about so if you grow weary of the soundtrack you can just turn the volume down on the TV and crank out some Wagner on your DVD. That's an improbable situation however, it's unlikely you would tire of anything before the actual gameplay itself.

Don't even rent this one. Just go over to someone's place who mistakenly purchased this metallic turd and make fun of it. Just don't rub it in too hard; they feel bad enough as it is even though they will attempt to put on a brave front as declare that it's not a bad game at all. Sure. We've all been there. Let them have their little psychological refuge. You don't need it, you're not out $40. Thanks to me.






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