Jackass: The Game - PSP - Review
We all know and love (or love to hate) the Jackass series made famous by MTV on the network's flooded reality show production line. We've seen the antics, experienced the pain, and felt nauseous while watching Steve-O, Johnny Knoxville, Party Boy, and the rest of the crew endure nearly unimaginable moments of despair on nationwide television. And now, five years after the show's cancellation, MTV is giving every gamer a chance to play through Jackass scenarios firsthand via Jackass the Game for PlayStation Portable.
At first glance, the game evokes a mildly appealing vision, with a simple opening screen that lists all available options within the game. Among the choices are a MTV Story Mode, Challenge Mode, Multiplayer, Director Mode, Extras, and the typical Options menu. MTV Story Mode pits you, the player, in the seat of Director after the original director experiences his own Jackass stunt gone badly. You are then placed in charge of completing seven episodes, each one containing five different stunts. The storyline practically places Jackass the game in line as a fourth season of the original show. The stunts performed range from simple and sickly to over-the-top and obscene, with many stunts taken directly from the show itself, with mild video-game heat turned up a notch. But some antics allow players to do things that, in real-life, would end the rag-doll character up in jail, or worse.
Physics are a major plus within the game itself. The tiny body flops and bobs as you'd expect when you hurtle him down a rock face or smack him into cars. No matter how brutal you get, the body will still interact accordingly, minus losing limbs. The graphics are where you'd expect them to be as well, not impressing the average gamer, but also not disappointing anyone else. In fact, the likeness of each of the Jackass cast is portrayed very well on the PSP screen.
Challenge Mode allows players to simply dive into the mini games without wasting time on the mediocre storyline. Of course, in order to get the full challenge mode effect, you will have to unlock different mini games via the Story Mode anyway. But after playing the story section enough to obtain gold medals in each mini game, by the time you think about Challenge Mode, you're already sick of breaking your Jackass bones. But playing through each stunt multiple times is necessary in order to reach maximum difficulty level and complete each of the goals required by that specific stunt. As you play through each episode, you will unlock new outfits for your characters, new Jackass actors to destroy brutally, and even some actual footage from the original series.
While listening to the game during play, it's quite evident what you are playing. Everything, from laughs to banter to the voice work itself is on par with the Jackass TV series. Each character acts, talks, and sounds identical to his television counterpart. The soundtrack reflects the Jackass perception in fitting form, with fast track, in-your-face music by lesser known artists. In my opinion, audio is one of the more attractive components of Jackass the game.
From a multiplayer aspect, Jackass allows players to take a few different gameplay routes. In director mode, you can replay your best of the worst Jackass moments, edit them accordingly, and even shift camera angles. You can then save the clip and trade with other Jackass veterans via the wireless functionality of the PSP. Or, if you want a little head-to-head competition, Jackass allows players to jump online and compete against another live opponent in a number of different objective based play styles. The game is slightly limited by some stunts due to the fact that they simply would not work for a multiplayer event.
Conceptually, Jackass is a very well thought-out game tailored perfectly for the PSP handheld system. But the fact that the game released five years after the series finale hindered its immediate appeal to fans of the Jackass franchise. The short length of stunts and lack of depth in the story mode force the game's draw to stop after only a couple hours of playtime. If you are still a fan of the fearless boys of Jackass fame, you may want to dive into Jackass the game headfirst without headgear. Otherwise, I'd advise that you be slightly weary of this game's short-lived entertainment phase.
Review Scoring Details for Jackass: The Game
Jackass provides stellar mini game capabilities, but when compared to genre definers such as WarioWare, the game fails in comparison due to the lack of variation or sheer bulk.
Although not mind blowing in the graphics department, Jackass does well in areas such as lip syncing, character models, as well as a physics engine that shines throughout the game.
Some may question this score, but I find it justified thanks to the classic banter, laughs, and overall audio feel portrayed through the Jackass characters. The soundtrack also followed the Jackass mold, with high octane riffs from lesser known bands.
Jackass obtained a medium difficulty not because the overall game is difficult at times, but due to the multiple run-throughs required for some stunts to obtain a gold rating, as well as a lack in direction when dealing with controls for each stunt.
The concept was discovered years ago by the creators of Jackass the Television series. Now, many years after the show’s death, releasing a game just does not seem justified. The game is fun, the idea is right, but the concept was not really a concept at all, but more of an extension of the actual episodes.
Multiplayer aspects are intuitive with options like sharing your own edited videos of in game demolition, but then proceed to plummet when players actually go head-to-head in online matches.
Jackass the Game had as much potential as any other mini game-based creation for the PSP. Some things were executed nicely, such as illuminating the personalities of each Jackass character and molding them perfectly into video-game form. While other things fell short of the launch ramp, namely the poor length of the game and the quick repetition of concepts within different stunts.