The Simpsons Skateboarding
The Simpsons Skateboarding is a 2002 skateboarding video game developed by British studio The Code Monkeys, published by Electronic Arts, and distributed by Fox Interactive. It was released for the PlayStation 2 in North America in November 2002, and a month later in Europe.
Springfield has been converted into a skate park for the Annual Skate Tour, full of skate-able objects and landmarks from the television series. Players are able to choose one of the nine characters available to compete for the grand prize. All of the characters' voices were recorded by the actual voice actors from The Simpsons. Each character has over forty unique moves. Players can test their skills in either a two-player head-to-head skate off, or in one of the fast and furious modes: Freeskate, Skate Fest, Trick Contest, and a game of skateboard H-O-R-S-E, unlocking additional characters, locations, and skateboards. Players can also choose to learn all the skateboard moves and tricks before they begin the actual game in the Skillz School mode.
Why It Sucks
- Extremely weak plot. The prize for winning the skateboarding contest is $99, which is a small amount of money. Even the easiest objectives in THPS2 and THPS4 pays more than this.
- Every time you pick a character, you have to wait for that character to finish talking to show his/her stats.
- With almost every challenge, you get rewarded with only $0.10 initially.
- For the first challenge, you get rewarded with $0.99. How are you supposed to buy a Ferrari? Or pay a months rent? Or even get yourself a cheap lunch from your local corner shop?
- Clumsy controls don't fully copy what Tony Hawk's Pro Skater does, making the game extremely frustrating to players used to the controls in that series.
- The worst offenders are the left analog stick used for forwarding movement which just doesn't feel natural nor even comfortable, and the L1/R1 buttons used for spinning which doesn't even work most of the time. Instead of being tight and responsive, the controls just feel slow and sluggish. The physics also don't help the least bit.
- Poor level design that does not take combo potential into consideration. Going back to Tony Hawk, the levels had set pieces that were subtly integrated into their designs and they felt natural as a result; here though, rails and ramps are randomly plastered throughout the map with very few combo opportunities.
- Only a handful of tricks that you can perform; there's no wallride or reverts here to extend your trick combos in any way, for example.
- Grinding is far too easy as the balance meter will stay at the dead center as long as you don't move to the left or right while you're actually on the rail.
- The ollie height is very inconsistent, making even simple flatland tricks hard to pull off.
- Lengthy load times that almost veer into Sonic '06 levels (no pun intended) of long.
- Many unoriginal goals, like getting Ralph's golf ball out of the water.
- Many bugs and glitches such as passing through rails.
- There are no diagonal direction tricks.
- The game's overall tone tries way too hard to be hip and cool, including pluralizing everything with a Z (as Caddicarus said: "Make it more hip")
- Kent Brockman never stops talking. For example, he constantly says the name of every trick you do. Some of his other lines are unfunny (ex. "Somebody get a really big band-aid!")
- The main menu theme is just a ear grating remix of the show's theme song. The rest of the game's music doesn't fare much better, either.
- Very poor graphics that are comparable to an early Dreamcast game, even Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventure, which were on the Dreamcast, looked better than this game.
- Poor lip-syncing.
- Recycled voice clips from The Simpsons: Road Rage.
- As said in WIS #11, You can fall off when doing tricks off a ramp.
- The voice acting is good, backed up by the actual Simpsons cast.
- You can turn Kent Brockman's voice off.
- You can upgrade your character's stats from the Pause menu, something that even Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 and 4 didn't allow you to do.