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Q4 2002



- Voices of Real Simpsonís Characters

- Okay controls



- Slow gameplay

- Terrible graphics

- Repetitive dialogue

- Slow gameplay bring down the solid controls

- Only two multiplayer game modes

- Objectives to similar in each level

- High level of Frustration

- Terrible load times and too many loading screens



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The Simpsons Skateboarding

Score: 3.6 / 10


Over the last decade or so, The Simpsonís have been one of the most successful TV shows of all time and the longest running animated series. Sadly, the same canít be said for the games, which have been a perfect example of terrible use of a license and it continues with Simpsons Skateboarding (SS). (Thankfully enough the games havenít damaged the reputation of the television show.)


simpsons-skateboarding-1.jpg (41944 bytes)          simpsons-skateboarding-2.jpg (37665 bytes)


With the Simpsonís license the developers have the ability to use the voices of the Simpsonís characters as well as the environments. This is perhaps the area where SS shines. The rest of the game drips down the drain because of poor execution and little to no experience with extreme games.


The game features a basic storyline in which Springfield is having a skateboarding contest and Homer, Bart and Otto decide to enroll to win the grand prize of $99.00. There are about nine missions (and nine playable characters), which take you around Springfield to carry out different objectives. Some of the objectives include spelling out letters and beating certain scores after hitting certain clocks found throughout the level. The game also includes skills school, which allows players to become accustomed to the Simpsonís environment and learn the basic controls and tricks. Each level has its own skills school and each level has six skill challenges. There is also a timed skills mode where you attempt to get as many trick points as possible within a given amount of time. The game also includes a two player multiplayer mode, which includes H-O-R-S-E and timed trick mode. The multiplayer mode is very basic and only contains two modes which are not fun, nor entertaining.





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The game seems like a cheap rip off of THPS (Tony Hawkís Pro Skater) and lacks the depth of THPS.


To start, the game speed is very slow and the only way gain speed is to ollie, which causes you to spend too much time ollying. THPS was a game for advanced extreme sports fans and SS is the same way except with a greater frustration factor. Grinding in SS is set up poorly and the ollying meter seems to be too sensitive at certain points. The amount of tricks you can do does 


not compare to the amount present in other skateboarding games and the lack of speed makes it difficult to perform excellent combos. The Skatefest mode adds even more frustration, as some of the objectives are difficult to carry out such as spelling words by hitting letters within a certain amount of time. Another big problem with SS is how each levelís objectives are identical with the exception of the first objective.


The graphics are not a pretty picture. The character textures badly need work and the environments seem identical to one another. Luckily the frame rate is solid and lighting is not bad but overall the graphics are not what you would expect from a Playstation 2 game.


And also a drag are the terrible load times.


The controls are done well but the lack of speed really kills. The controls arenít too sensitive and are very similar to THPS 4. The simple tricks are easy to execute, but the lackluster gameplay doesnít make combos any easier. The right analog stick does allow you to control the camera but not for a full 360 degree rotation. The right analog stick isnít necessary as the camera work is done well.


simpsons-skateboarding-3.jpg (31996 bytes)          simpsons-skateboarding-4.jpg (48769 bytes)


The best feature is the use of actual Simpsonís character voices, but the dialogue gets repetitive and old quickly and fails to be funny. Each level is commentated by different characters, which include Principal Skinner and Kent Brockman. The commentating adds more anger as you wipe out and the commentators use various put-downs. The Simpsonís theme song is not originally used but a newer version is presented which is terrible. Even the intro video doesnít show any sign of the Simpsonís theme song.


Overall even die-hard fans of the Simpsonís may not enjoy this game and fans of extreme sports games should skip this game and not look back. The Simpsonís Skateboarding lacks the depth that other extreme sports game present and problems in each aspect of the game bring it down even further. Hopefully the next installment of any Simpsonís game will eradicate all these problems.


- Siddharth Masand

(January 20, 2003)

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