Because it worked so well when Bart fought Space Mutants and the World, why the hell not flesh it out into a full blown Simpsons Skateboarding game? Nevermind that Bart hadn’t really picked up a board (outside of the opening credits) since the early nineties. The public demanded more Homer and Co in 2002 and the wrestling rip-off shit the bed, a GTA clone was a year away, and Fox Interactive was in desperate need of another genre to steal and reskin in yellow overbites.
Above: Yeah… this definitely should’ve happened
The Simpsons took to three dimensional shredage like a lymphatic cat to water. Grotesque level design and character models were barely edged out by the piss-poor skate mechanics (featuring dynamic trick commentary from Kent Brockman!) in terms of Xtreme Awful. It also had the distinction of being a frontrunner for the worst game of that year... which it also failed to achieve. D’oh! Track it down if you’re feeling masochistic.
Above: That’s what we used to think
If you need the best example of just how big Tony Hawk series was earlier this decade, look no further than the fact that this game exists. Why anybody imagined people would want to grind rails and perform Christ Airs with characters from The Lion King, Tarzan and Toy Story is beyond comprehension. Nevertheless, Disney convinced Activision to come onboard, and they brought along their Tony Hawk 4 engine to help pull off a previously unthinkable 1080 backflip of synergistic stupidity.
Above: Are they hurting Simba?!
The only thing more bizarre than seeing young Simba bustin’ a handplant on a skateboard made of tree bark, is seeing him do it to a soundtrack angst metal like TRUSTcompany or Lil’ Romeo (also an unlockable character?!) Oddly enough, the game received favorable reviews in spite of dumbed-down single-button manuals and obstacle based trick variants, yet somehow couldn’t muster enough kiddie appeal to merit a sequel - which kinda sucks.
Above: Some things can’t go to Extremes
Now that the concept is already burned into our brains, there’s no reason we should have to go to the grave without witnessing Geppetto performing lip tricks while listening to Insane Clown Posse. It’s our right as Americans!
Above: LET’S MOVE ON
In 2002, Konami looked out upon an endless horizon of Tony Hawk me-toos, disregarded the probability of success, and defiantly bellowed “Gimme Some!” Starring only a “who’s this?” roster of stars like Rick McCrank, Danny Way, and Kerry Getz, Konami wasn’t quite foolhardy enough to head into battle armed with only a B-squad of Tony Hawk leftovers. Their ace in the hole? Solid Snake himself appears as a playable character, albeit in a form no one wanted to see, wrapped in a game nobody asked for.
Above: “I’m too high to care if love can bloom on the battlefield! Weeee!”
The proposed “Evolution” proved to be anything but, with an enhanced sticker editor standing tall as the sole redeeming feature that would in any way improve over the dominant Tony Hawk series, then in its fourth stage of refinement.
If you really care enough to experience this failed experiment, you’re probably better off picking up Metal Gear Solid: Substance on PS2. Here you may enjoy an identical skate minigame featuring a playable Snake and Raiden, using the same engine. This way you can entertain your morbid curiosity and still own a decent game when all is said and done. You’re welcome.
Above: Metal Trucks Loosened
Now, for the brave few who made it this far, it’s probably about time you go pick up Skate 2, dontcha think?
Jan 20, 2009
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