14 skateboarding games forgotten by time

Skate 2 drops into disc trays everywhere this week, and it's feeling the love from critics everywhere. But even if EA’s latest board game can topple Metacritic’s servers with terabytes of 9s and 10s, it's still got to feel like a partial victory. You see, the road to King of Sk8 is paved with broken decks, shattered expectations, and no less than five unnecessary Tony Hawk titles.

Above: Making excellence look easy… because it is in this case

With even the aforementioned Birdman taking an extended vacation for the first time in nine years, Skate 2 has the luxury of being a cream of little to no crop. Not for lack of trying, though. We’ve got twenty years of bails and failz to reflect on, and it’s high time we paid tribute to the substandard skaters that failed to heelflip into our hearts.

Spreading the title into two words is about the only attempt made to prolong the thrills in this Atari 2600 game. The entire game consists of a single level where you carve a path to school in under ten minutes by jumping over obstacles and crouching through tubes. Kinda like Pitfall, if instead of recovering treasure Harry’s goal had been to defeat tardiness and avoid public transit.

Above: Skating’s roots were less extreme than you remember

And looky there. Years before Tony Hawk wore itself thin with annual shovelings, Activision offshoot Absolute trotted out a pseudo-sequel a scant year later. Don’t get too excited. Even with the bump up to the 7800 it would appear the skateboard was present to avoid the tedium of designing four frames of walking animation. The game takes place entirely indoors, as our jams clad sk8r boi has taken a job at a factory shutting off all the factory equipment by “ollieing” over switches. Remember, he didn’t sell out - he bought in.

Above: Conserving energy is the greatest trick of all

Though published under Konami’s Ultra moniker, EA’s first stab at a skate game still holds a special place in the hearts of gamers. Freestyle let you trick for points, while two unique downhill modes allowed players to either race against the clock… or get their asses kicked by another opponent. However, the vert ramp challenges were damn near impossible to control and the Pool Joust mode can be easily recreated by taping two Q-tips to some spinning tops and unleashing them into a cereal bowl.

Above: Choose wisely… a lot of these events suck

The game marks the first time developers acknowledged Regular and Goofy foot stance, as well as the inaugural appearance of Rodney, the skate shop guru whose likeness narrowly averted the gaze of the Mr Dangerfield’s attorneys.

Above: With all due respect

Even though this sequel dropped the multi-event format (as well as the titular exclamation point), you could argue that it better encapsulates the experience of being a young skateboarder. After all, how many of us actually padded up and competed in events or raced in a downhill obstacle course?

Above: Featuring collectible cassette tapes, french fries, tacos, and everything else synonymous with skate culture 

We’re willing to bet most of you spent more time throwing firecrackers and hassling mall security, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Skate or Die 2’s sidescrolling quest for a giant half pipe, set during a hasty prohibition in the aftermath of unspeakable puppy murder.

Above: Ripped from the headlines

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  • Gahmah - January 21, 2009 12:04 a.m.

    Threextreem? and the word test for today of all days is DEMOCRACY PROVES, hahaha!
  • Gahmah - January 21, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    and hey, betcha trust company's gonna show up in the next podcast and reference the previous one it popped up in, be bashed by some poop jokes and excessive use of the NEW fart button, but I'll still giggle and laugh late that friday night from exhaustion and pain from trying to to get better times on mirror's edge time trails... so, so, so addictive.
  • TheWebSwinger - January 21, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    " less than five unnecessary Tony Hawk titles." Hah! Says Chris Antista, the guy who plays every single Tony Hawk game. Ever.
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - January 21, 2009 1:52 a.m.

    Not Proving Ground!
  • crossed23 - January 21, 2009 2:15 a.m.

    Got to give it to you guys for pulling for Grind Session, when we finally put down Tony Hawk 2 in our dorm we played the crap out of Grind Session, great and very overlooked game.
  • twishart - January 21, 2009 2:43 a.m.

    720 was really weird. I kept going back to it though, I'm not really sure why-AUUUGHHHH THE FUCKING BEES
  • Ban - January 21, 2009 3:13 a.m.

    I remember wanting to break my control in half when i played Simpson's Skateboarding
  • JoeMasturbaby - January 21, 2009 3:53 a.m.

    Wasn't* (sorry)
  • Tasty_Pasta - January 21, 2009 4:07 a.m.

    Oh God I hate Evolution Skateboarding.
  • theworldonfire - January 21, 2009 4:16 a.m.

    Metal Trucks Loosened: Concrete Eater haha, this was awesome, for some reason I loved 2Extreme, but that was back in the days when anything I played was the best game EVER. Except mischief makers...I hated that game.
  • Corsair89 - January 21, 2009 4:18 a.m.

    Oh God, Simpsons Skateborading was terrible. At the time, I was immencely obsessed with the Simpsons and thought that anything to do with them was great... until the Simpsons Skateboarding.
  • ELpork - January 21, 2009 4:40 a.m.

    OMG!!! I remember 720!!!
  • JimmySmurf - January 21, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    You totally forgot to mention the abomination that was Yanya Caballista: City Skater (The game you controlled by snapping a little skateboard onto your PS2 analog sticks...) Favourite line from the article: "Bro Vs Tazer 99"
  • Ravenbom - January 21, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    hmm, now I want to play skate or die again. But I think its better I don't, so I'll at least have the fond memories still.
  • ssj4raditz - January 21, 2009 8:38 p.m.

    Man, I remember playing both Skate or Die and California Games on the good ol' Commodore 64!
  • barrage7667 - January 21, 2009 8:44 p.m.

    i remember 4 of them WOO!
  • chaz09 - January 21, 2009 11:03 p.m.

    haha i thought i was the only person who sucked my ass off in 720
  • SheetSandwich - January 24, 2009 11:56 p.m.

    These games should have been left in the quality gutter you found them in! I remember these, and I wish I didn't.
  • doomdoomdoom - January 25, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    From my point of view the only good skate is skate or skate 2 all the others are ripping each other off The Easter Bunny hates you!!!
  • Bootsiuv - January 29, 2009 4:31 a.m.

    LMAO at T&C Surf and board or whatever the hell it is... I totally forgot that, not only did I own that game around 89', I also ENJOYED it. Aaaah, simpler 8-bit times.

Showing 1-20 of 37 comments

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