Articles, Blog

MTV Skateboarding Review for PlayStation

MTV Skateboarding Review for PlayStation


MTV Skateboarding featuring Andy MacDonald
is a game that I really wanted to like. I was excited to play it because it’s brand
new to me. I never had it around the time it came out
in 2000. I saw footage of it back in the day, and it
looked really authentic and realistic. How does a 540 benihana into a one-footed
smith grind sound? Well, it sounds impossible, unless the smith
grind is fakie. The trick selection is what really drew me
into this game. You can do casper flips, pressure flips, back
foot flips, font foot impossibles, underflips, and a few other ‘exotic’ flip tricks like
that. The animation is really good and accurate
too, except the weird little run your character does when you get on your board. It looks like they accidentally motion captured
Andy Mac while he was urgently shuffling to the bathroom between takes. The game is missing some of the basic tricks,
like inward heelflips and varial kickflips, but I think it’s a good trade off. I remember arguing with kids in school about
what tricks were worth learning in real life – and it all came down to whether it was in
the Tony Hawk games. If a trick was in the game, it was “official”. If not, it was “fake”, as if skateboarding
has rules. But Andy Mac has some cool stuff in it, and
I think skateboarding in general would be a lot different these days if this game took
off instead of Tony Hawk. But that would require the game to be any
good. And it’s not. The first thing you’ll notice is the controls. When you release the ollie button, your skater
will start the animation of bending his knees and then ollieing, which adds a handful of
frames’ worth of delay. Doing a grind is nearly impossible until you
get used to that. And you’ll find that it really isn’t worth
it anyway. You balance by using the spin buttons, which
is unintuitive and leads to unnecessary bails. If you do a spin trick into a grind and hold
the spin button a little too long, you’ll bail the grind instantly. And if you are still balancing when you grind
off the end of the rail, you’ll spin just enough to land sideways and bail. Of course, you shouldn’t be doing spin tricks
anyway. They don’t count on street unless you do
them with a grab or flip trick. 360 ollies are apparently so easy that they’re
literally worthless. There are also flatland and freestyle tricks,
like manuals, primo slides, and caspers. But  these are so awkward and weird that
you’ll never do them. To do a primo slide, you have to hit right
and triangle right as you land. The timing has to be perfect, and throughout
playing the whole game, I never got a feeling for it. But it’s not like Tony Hawk where stringing
together combos really matters anyway. They just did the bare minimum to make it
work so they could write about it on the box. All this leaves is the grabs. And this game loves them. Yeah, it’s got Andy MacDonald, a vert skater,
on the cover, so it makes sense that it’s going to be more about ramps and grabs, but
it’s ridiculous. The only real way to get points in this game
is to get as much speed as possible and do the highest grab you can, holding it and spinning
the whole way. You can get ten thousand points from a crazy
flip-in flip-out grind combo, or you can get seventy thousand from a single grab 900, which
is a whole lot easier as long as you can get into the flow of vert skating in the game. Speed is really important, which is fair from
a realism standpoint. Every wall you hit, you build more and more
speed. That means that if you just barely pulled
around a 540 this time, on your next air you’ll over rotate because you went just a little
bit higher. The spin controls are really touchy too, so
you can find yourself bailing over and over until you start to get a feel for it. It doesn’t help that, just like Street Sk8er
2, it counts the rotations wrong! About half the time, it’ll rob you of half
a rotation. 720s will count as 540s, 900s as 720s. For being so singularly focused on vert, you’d
think they’d get this right. Let’s get into the career, or lifestyle,
mode. There is a really good list of pro skaters
in this game, including Rob Dyrdek! It’s really cool to see him before he blew
up, especially since he was already working with MTV, where he later launched his media
empire. So you pick out your favorite skater and — no,
wait. You have to pick one of these generic skaters
to play the career mode with. It’s not really the end of the world, but
it’s a strange choice. The lifestyle mode is basically a series of
competitions, with a photoshoot thrown in from time to time. The loading screen treats you to a picture
of a nice young lady and some advice about the upcoming level. Who is she supposed to be? She isn’t dressed like a judge in the competition
or anything. I thought maybe she was your talent agent,
but it’s not always the same person. She’s just there for eye candy I guess. The advice tells you what score you’ll need
to get in order to win the competition. This is both impossibly helpful – who could
know what the other competitors’ scores would be? – and totally useless. There’s no indication of what your current
score is while you’re playing, so you just get to the end of the timer and hope for the
best. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t the score right there on the bottom
of the screen? Nope, those are your points, which don’t
really mean anything.You’re also being scored on how many times you’ve bailed and the
variety of tricks you did. The judges critique you at the end, but who
knows how the formula actually works in the game. So what this means is that you can beat the
high score, and still fail a level. Or you can get fewer points than your last
attempt, but still end up with a higher judged score. I guess it’s less realistic to know your
judged score during your run, but your friend can tell the future already anyway. Sometimes, you’ll get a chance to be in
the newspaper during one of the competitions! No, not a local skate ‘zine or a Transworld
or Thrasher type magazine, but your local newspaper. When this happens, you have to collect photographer
icons throughout the level. It’s kind of weak. They could have had a guy sitting there, and
required you to at least land a trick in front of him. But it mixes things up a little bit, and requires
you to actually explore the level, which is nice. There are a ton of levels in this game, 16
in the standard lifestyle mode, and some of them are really big and interesting. But unless it’s a photoshoot level, all
you have to do is find a halfpipe or a bowl and do grab tricks over and over until you
run out of time. You’ll win really easily, but it gets incredibly
boring, and it’s a waste of time. If they balanced the gameplay a little bit
and fixed some of the control issues, this could have been a great game. Here’s a quick look at the last few levels
of the game. The third to last is the hardest one. You have to collect 8 icons, and navigate
around in this awkward skatepark. Here’s the strategy for beating it. Try to collect the icons as fast as you can
and don’t worry about score. It’s going to be tough because of the aforementioned
control issues, but there are a ton of icons and you only need eight of them. When you get enough, just find this section
and do the normal vert stuff. You only need about a minute to get enough
points. This level is followed up by the easiest level
in the game. It’s just a halfpipe, with no icons to collect. It would be hard to not beat this first try. To crank up the difficulty, they raised the
halfpipe 10 feet off the ground, so if you accidentally air out of it, you have to go
up a ramp to get back. I wonder why they haven’t done this in the
x games yet. That wastes a little time, but it’s still
really easy. The last level is just a regular level like
all the rest of them. It starts with a cool roll-in, but that’s
all that’s special about it. When you beat it, you get this screen. I unlocked a character, a board, and a secret
moon level. Skating the moon is kind of cool, but there
isn’t much going on. Lots of empty, barren space and a single halfpipe. What else do you unlock? I don’t know. I’m not willing to play through it again. But for the sake of thoroughness, I tried
the MTV icon collecting mode. In this mode, you actually get to play as
one of the pros in the game, finally. You collect MTV icons and parts of a board
to unlock new decks. If you fall, you drop a couple of the icons
you already got and you have to go get them again. Just like the photoshoot levels, there are
more icons than you actually need, so it isn’t an impossible task. But it is impossible to find any enjoyment
doing this. It’s absolutely miserable. The last mode I was willing to try was the
stunt mode, and I was shocked to find that it’s actually a lot of fun. It sets you up with a series of Evel Knievel-style
jumps and courses that you have to do perfectly in order to continue. There’s a score limit, which isn’t that
high, but it’s high enough that you have to at least give it some thought. They actually created a lot of new assets
for this mode, and it’s got a lot going for it. Of course, the control gets in the way of
this too. A lot of times, I carefully cleared all the
gaps and hit the rails perfectly, then tried to do a grab trick for some points and it
just didn’t count, and I failed, even though it felt like it wasn’t my fault. But the courses are very short, and it starts
you over immediately when you fall. So there isn’t much of a penalty when things
don’t go your way. Stunt mode is a fun idea wasted on a terrible
skate engine. Beating it will unlock another generic level
and skater. Speaking of the engine, you’re going to
run into some glitches. You can get stuck in walls, you can stop dead
when you touch an obstacle, you can bail tricks in mid-air and then still land them… It’s kind of a mess. MTV Skateboarding featuring Andy MacDonald
has a couple of good ideas, but it desperately needed a couple more months in the oven before
release. It could have changed skateboarding forever
like the Tony Hawk series did, but instead, it is doomed to languish forgotten in discount
bins. Have you ever played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments. More videos are coming soon! Thanks for watching.

64 comments

I played that a lot on the Dreamcast! the controls were very "sticky" unfortunately… thx for the review anyway!

So happy to see you are reviewing all of these PS1 Skating games. Seems like we have very similar taste coming from a skate background. Which one is your favorite?

ha! nice man I are you also goin to do snowboard/bmx and other extreme sports games? cant wait what your verdict is on EA skate

hey man I really enjoyed this, and man, I KNEW you reminded me of AVGN, I just KNEW IT!, but you're totally diff. I bet if you did a lot of swearing it'd be hard to tell the difference, but I like your style, make more vids!

I forgot how bad this game was, but back then skateboarding games were still "new" and if you hate tony hawks pro skater like I did you were constantly trying to find a better game. thank goodness we eventually got games like skate

Such a fun game this was. I spent countless hours in it back in the days. One thing tho, I think the game does actually feature both inward heel and varial kickflips? I just have this vague memory of always pulling a varial kickflip when I wanted to do something else…

I had this for the Dreamcast and convinced myself it was "fun." I played it soo much that when I rage quit the game forever, I went back to Tony Hawk 2 and I'm not even kidding…. I couldn't play THPS2. MTV Skate had broken me and it was like I had never held a game controller before. I was so use to the awkward MTV Skateboarding controls, I had to learn how to play all over again.

Also, cool channel! I owned most of the late 90's / early 2000's skateboarding games including the good ones and the not soo good ones. Grind Session, Street Sk8er & Street Sk8er 2, MTV Skateboarding, Espn X games Skateboarding… all that junk. Fun was had though. Thrasher Skate and Destroy was my favorite until EA's Skate games came out.

This is the most SHITTY CRAPPY skating game for the Playstation! Just go play street Sk8ter, Grind Session and Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

I still own my copy on Dreamcast. I recall revisiting the game over n over trying to convince myself it was good when I was in high scool. But it really isn't. Clunky, unsatisfying, and frustrating. Though I remember liking the soundtrack.

Once I bought this game for 1€ in a second hand store. I thought "Nice. I never saw this game." and thought I will have a good time because MTV Snowboarding was great. Well, never was so wrong. I played it 5 minutes and after that I gave it back to the store for free.

had this game back in the days 🙂 in terms of tricks and levels it was way ahead of it's time, but the gameplay was just too bad. this game with THPS gameplay would be so much fun!

Holy shit dude. I remember watching you way back in the day, doing all those freestyle tricks. You were my direct inspiration for skating back then, back in like 07 and 08 or something iirc. Are those videos still online?

Best channel ever. Finally discovered a homie that loves skateboarding and video games on YouTube. Love the content dude.

I played and clocked this in 2003. What i remember about it was how frustrating the last level was and thinking i would never have to play it again after I finished it.

played this one for days on the dreamcast this game had the best skaters on it kalis rick howard stevie williams back when he was on chocolate pretty sure this game had danny way as well

Never played the game, but I did see a copy at a Hasting's back in 1999-2001 or so. Kinda odd how the pro selection is on point, but the game is such shit.

It was fucking frustrating playing this game. I loved the soundtrack though. And whats up with the trick list, I mean till this day i dont know what the fuck a Chopper Flip is.

I remember playing this when I was a lot younger. Great soundtrack, fairly fun game if you can figure out the controls, but even then it's a bit fiddly and not as fleshed out as other skateboarding games.

Damn it's weird to see Stevie Williams in a game from that time…
He's the one that got me into skating in 2008, and this game must have been before DGK was a thing?

man,i like this game.also the only glitch i encountered was crashing in walls,not falling off,and thinking it froze when it did not

And I can't
wait a minute, wait another minute at all
You've got me climbing up the wall
And I can't
wait a minute, wait another minute at all
You've got me climbing up the wall

Pilfers was the best part of this game.

My reaction every time i read that benihana tag line is the same.
It sounds like a fuckin' impossible video game trick.
But its part of skating games history.

I'm new here so I've been going through all your older videos. I had this game as a kid after asking for THPS, my mom brought me this. We were pretty poor so I get why she got me this. I hated how hard it was after playing THPS at a friends house. THPS was so much easier to play! BUT, after getting the hangof it, I fell in love with this game. It gets so much better the more you play it believe it or not.

I didn't have a lot of games and never got a lot of gifts. My mom surprised me with this game one random day. Totally unexpected, figured she must've got it for a good deal…but she was just giving me a great surprise gift.

from everything the video shows, the pc version was a lot better. but ultimately suffered from similar problems of just needing to do a bunch of points on vert to get through.

I played this really game before and the soundtrack is the only great thing about this wasted potential of a game.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *