What happens when you mix skateboards and the PlayStation 2?
You get some of the most beloved skateboarding games ever created.
Okay, so what happens when you mix the Simpsons and the PlayStation 2?
You get a childhood favourite that can trigger a rush of nostalgia, almost instantly.
Alright, so what happens when you mix the Simpsons and skateboards?
You get one of the most iconic characters ever put to television
and some of the most classic moments of the entire series.
Now, what happens…
when you mix the Simpsons,
and the PlayStation 2?
Well, you should get arrested for creating what is quite possibly the worst video game I have ever played.
The Simpsons Skateboarding is
and I don’t need no GameSpot or IGN score to tell me that .
I remember being a little kid,
seeing this game in GAME
(GAME’s the name of the game shop in the UGame..K.)
I remember seeing this thing and being like,
“No way! There’s another Simpsons game on the PS2?
How did I not know about this?”
So he picks up the game.
I remember getting home, slapping that thing in my PS2
and just having an absolutely horrible time.
Now you gotta understand, I got this game when I was quite young, maybe seven or eight years old.
So I hadn’t yet developed the ability to identify when a piece of entertainment was of poor quality, you know,
so I’d be playing the game and I wouldn’t be enjoying myself.
But instead of coming to the conclusion that the game itself was bad,
I thought there was something wrong with ME.
I’d be getting bored and frustrated with it and would give up off after, like, half an hour, thinking,
“Man, I really just don’t get it, do I?”
Then, I’d pick it up a month later thinking hopefully I’d get it this time,
But no. Same thing.
After half an hour. I’d be like, “nope.”
Maybe in a few years when I’m older, I’ll finally like it.
And it’s funny because…
Okay, there were three games that came out on the PS2 originally.
You had Road Rage in 2001,
Skateboarding in 2002,
and then Hit and Run in 2003.
But I played The Simpsons Hit and Run first ,followed by Road Rage and then The Simpsons: Skateboarding.
So to me, the games only got worse, but if you were to play the games in the order they actually came out
The graph would look more like
Wait, what the fu-
Oh, oh, this one’s actually alright.
But, you know, enough trash talking.
What specifically about the game is so bad?
Now, the Simpsons theme is a classic, and I’m all for any kind of reimagining of it.
You know, I’ve heard the jazz version. I love that.
I’ve heard the Renaissance version. That’s pretty good.
Hell, I’ve even heard the Australian version, and that is a bop.
But when you decide to take such a widely recognised tune and turn it into this:
That’s how I know I’m in for a bad time,
and I haven’t even pressed Start yet.
Once you do start the game, you get to play as any member of the Simpsons family.
Apart from Maggie, that is.
To be honest. I don’t know why they keep leaving her out of these games.
She’s shown herself to be pretty capable in the past.
Although upon second thoughts, it probably wouldn’t be such a good idea for this game
to portray a baby face-planting on the pavement, so never mind.
One thing I really wanted to know was
why all these characters decided to pick up skateboarding in the first place.
You know, if the game was just Bart, then it would have made a lot more sense.
But no, you’ve got Homer,
you’ve got Nelson,
Krusty the Clown, what?
And there’s absolutely no explanation given within the game as to what’s going on.
I mean, at least the Simpsons Road Rage made an attempt with the cutscene at the start
to explain why all the characters decided to become taxi drivers.
All you get with this game is a little blurb on the back of the box art.
“The annual skate tour has come to Springfield, but
Bart, Homer, Otto and other Simpsons characters have their eyes on the
MEGA BUCKS PRIZE!
Doesn’t Homer have a job?
“Learn your moves in Skillz School or just jump in and grind, grab, and kickflip through Springfield!”
And that’s all the info we’re given here.
Fine. I guess not every game needs an airtight context for what’s going on.
This one can just be a fun Tony Hawk crossover, no further explanation required.
What does require further explanation, however, is why on Earth Homer Simpson
has crinkle-cut chips for legs?
Why does this grown man have bendy straws…
Why is this guy looking like SpongeBob SquarePants when he went to prom?
I know I criticised the last game for having a 2D paper cutout audience,
something which, admittedly, The Simpsons: Skateboarding has actually managed to do better
But that is literally the only thing “The Simpsons: Skateboarding” has managed to do better.
The 3D modelling in this game is just poor.
Not only does Homer have those questionable knees.
His eyes look like they’re trying to escape from his face.
His head is too big for his body.
In fact, it seems like his head is an entirely separate entity from his body.
This man looks like a character straight out of Spore.
This game came out a year after Road Rage.
How did it get worse?
And granted, the games weren’t developed by the same companies,
but damn, son!
I wouldn’t have minded if the Code Monkeys took some notes on this one.
So we’ve established that all the characters in this game look ugly as hell.
Okay, whatever, you spend most of the game looking at them from behind anyway, so it’s not a big deal.
One thing you do spend a significant amount of the game looking at, however, is the environment.
And what I’ll say is the arenas where you complete the Skillz School challenges,
for the most part, aren’t so bad.
They’re just enclosed areas with ramps and crowds in the background.
However, once you go to the Free Roam maps in the Skate Fest game mode,
that’s when the lack of effort really starts to show.
The majority of the buildings are just unrecognisable boxes,
which is such a shame, because the town of Springfield has so many notable landmarks.
It looks more like the creators of this game made a generic map, put ramps all over the place,
and then plastered it with billboards of Simpsons characters.
“Lurning is fun”.
Listen, I get the joke.
He spelt “learning” wrong.
It’s actually not a bad joke, but why does Principal Skinner need to be on a billboard
promoting literally the only Elementary School in the entire town,
on not just one,
but multiple billboards!
“Krusty Burger: Springfield’s favorite meat-flavored sandwich”
I think that’s pretty funny, a nice little Easter egg for anyone who takes a moment to read what it says…
…except it becomes less of an Easter egg when you put the exact same billboard
if one of the only things you’re gonna do to make this game feel like it takes place in Springfield
is put billboards of Simpsons characters all over the place,
the least you could do is make sure each billboard is different.
So the characters are ugly and the environments are ugly, but maybe the gameplay will come to save the day?
The game handles like crap and even if you manage to pull off a combo of pretty cool-looking tricks,
you never really feel satisfied.
But we’re jumping ahead of ourselves
because that’s assuming you’ll even be able to perform any sort of impressive trick in the first place,
which brings us to the Skillz School.
This is the game mode where you learn to do certain tricks
while Principal Skinner chastises you in the background.
[Skinner]: You don’t have a future.
And for each lesson you complete, you’re awarded with 10 cents,
which is enough to add two extra skill points to any skill of your choosing for your selected character.
the skill points don’t transfer over and neither does your balance,
so once you start practising with a character
you’re pretty much forced to stick with them unless you want to start over from scratch.
Now Homer is not good at jumping.
He’s got a few skills that he is pretty good at, but jumping is not one of them.
Marge, on the other hand, can do jumps fairly well,
and will now demonstrate a classic skateboarding trick: the kickflip.
The reason Marge is able to perform this trick so effortlessly is because
her jump stat is high enough to do so.
The jump stat for Homer on the other hand is pretty much as low as it can possibly get,
meaning he can’t lift his board high enough to perform the trick.
And so if he tries, this will happen.
Even completing every challenge that does not require the kickflip
and then putting the extra skill points into jumps,
will still not make his jump stat high enough to be able to perform the kickflip.
So you might as well just play with a character that can perform the kickflip from the get-go.
If you can just increase all of a character’s skills by playing through the game and completing challenges,
then what’s the point of giving the characters different base stats in the first place?
If there’s no benefit to playing as a character other than the one
you’ve already invested time into and increased the skill levels of,
then why would anyone want to switch characters?
When I was playing this game for this video, I spent the majority of my time playing as Lisa,
and through doing so, I was able to earn a high enough balance to considerably increase her skill levels.
So why would I then be like, “No, I don’t like progress.
I’m going to start again from the beginning as Bart?”
You unlock new characters as you play through the game, but again,
there’s no benefit to playing as these newly unlocked characters because you’ll be right back to square one,
and you’ll have to put up with the annoying commentary of Principal Skinner all over again.
[Skinner]: You should be in the special class.
But that’s not the only aspect of the gameplay that sucks.
The objectives in this game are basically all the same.
Go and get that item from up there,
then go and get that item from up there,
then go and get that item from up there ,
and some of these items took me like an hour a piece to collect.
And once you’ve collected all the items in a stage, you unlock a new skateboard…
which you have to go and get…
FROM UP THERE!!
This game essentially just becomes a Collectathon where each item requires
you try the same thing over and over and over again until you eventually reach it.
The Simpsons: Skateboarding does not only fail as a licensed game.
It does not only fail as a skateboarding game,
but it fails as a game in general.
The only emotions you can hope to feel whilst playing this are frustration and dissatisfaction.
Let’s just say there’s a reason why this game appears on the Wikipedia page
for the worst-received video games of all time.
Along with the Simpsons Wrestling, which well, I guess that’s a video for another day.
In conclusion, I wish I did not spend nearly as much time playing this game as I did
only to unlock this stupid damn flower-patterned skateboard.
It seems the younger me had the right idea after all.
I’m sure the Simpsons didn’t mind though,
because their name alone would be enough for this game to have made a profit anyway,
whilst the studio that developed this game would later shut down.
Well, that’s all for this video.
Let me know, have you played this game?
What did you think of it when you were younger? And what do you think of it now?
Maybe you still love this game.
Hey, nostalgia can be a powerful thing.
Be sure to stay tuned to the channel,
because in the next Simpsons video, we will hopefully be taking a look at a game
that doesn’t make my soul want to separate from my body.
Anyway, that’s all for me. I hope you enjoyed.
Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next video!
RIP LISA SIMPSON