Before the days of Jackass, motor vehicles and extreme sports met together in a different medium. This was back in the days when Electronic Arts produced more than yearly sports titles and thousands of Sims expansions. It is a combination of skatin’, hitchin’, and bein’ purely badass. Skitchin’ is the game.
Skitchin’ has always had the reputation of being considered a Road Rash clone, but it is more than a simple replacing of motorcycles with rollerblades. Your role, if you choose to accept it, is to be a new athlete in the sport of Skitchin’, and work your way to number one by racing on major highways in 12 major North American cities.
I love racing in this game a lot. You are always kept on your heels with the almost chaotic strings of cars bound to hit you, relentless police officers, and the ruthless competitors. Each danger tends to have a reward aspect to it that always leads to the question of, “should I risk it?”
For every new car you hitch a ride on the back of, you get another $1; for every second you are on a police car, you receive a $1; and for every skull you crack, you get $5! This money is used primarily to pay entrance fees, buy new equipment, and pay fines and hospital bills. Be careful not to become broke; you will lose if you can’t enter the next race.
Skitchin’ has controls that are a little awkward, but they work out fine. They’re suitable for the three-button Genesis controller, but I think it would have been better suited for the six-button controller. The reason for this is that, to switch between the three items you have, you must hold Start while in the game and press Left and Right to cycle through the items. With a six-button controller, this could have been done with the X, Y, and Z buttons. But that’s just a minor qualm.
Skitchin’ has some of the best graphics I’ve ever seen on the Genesis. Everything in the level seems to flow well, and during the actual game you get a real sense of moving on a road with turns and hills. Although the colors are not as vibrant as in other games, it suits the grunge-like atmosphere very well.
As sound is always important for the full experience, Skitchin’ offers a nice selection of aural tidbits. The sounds are realistic for the time period, and fit well with the overall experience. And the music, great grunge music, is playing all through the game, and it’s all done well even though it’s synthesized. The best part about the music is that you can pick a song for the next level you’re about to play. Very sweet indeed.
Through my experiences with Skitchin’, the title has always been solid and provided a good time every gaming session. Whether it was ten years ago when it first came out, or recently, Skitchin’ has never failed in its purpose to supply fun. I’m sure it won’t fail for you, either.