Razor Freestyle Scooter (PlayStation) review
"I'm a devoted gamer who will play nearly anything tossed at me. However, there's a particular genre of gaming that doesn't suit my gaming needs, and that is the sports genre. But, once upon a time, there was a little revolution in the sports genre, and thus, extreme sports games were born. And in that, I found entertainment through titles such as Cool Boarders and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (THPS). So, I naturally assumed that a purchase of Razor Freestyle Scooter (Razor) would ..."
I'm a devoted gamer who will play nearly anything tossed at me. However, there's a particular genre of gaming that doesn't suit my gaming needs, and that is the sports genre. But, once upon a time, there was a little revolution in the sports genre, and thus, extreme sports games were born. And in that, I found entertainment through titles such as Cool Boarders and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (THPS). So, I naturally assumed that a purchase of Razor Freestyle Scooter (Razor) would result in the same pleasure that I got from many other inhabitants of the extreme sports genre.
I was wrong. In fact, I've never been more wrong in my life.
The great thing about games like THPS and Cool Boarders is that they don't try to have a great storyline or even a storyline at all. They understand that gamers don't care if the THPS crew is trying to rescue his friends, or if the Cool Boarders gang is up to stop drug dealers. And because of a lack of storyline, the gameplay in these titles is great, because the developers can focus on it without storyline constraints. I wouldn't normally babble on about this, but something bothers me: Razor does in fact have a storyline. However, the storyline is so inane and ludicrous that it actually hurts the title. It would have been better if they hadn't included it at all.
I'm sure that got you interested as to what the storyline is focused on. Well, I'll tell you: this is as stupid as they come. You're probably thinking, ''By God, this game must feature a kid trying to rescue his friends from a giant poorly-programmed robot by riding his Razor Freestyle Scooter around levels collecting wheels.'' And if you were thinking that, you're a genius, because that's the storyline.
Outside of the ridiculous storyline, the game is designed similarly to THPS. You begin the game by either selecting the male or the female character, neither with any sort of stats or abilities that you can enhance, unlike most games of the genre that offer a bit of customization. This in turn pretty much destroys any replay value, since every one of the characters are the same. Because of this, thereís no real reason to ever go back to the title. The only reason to go back would be for the variety of different levelsÖerÖsorry; there isnít any variety in the levels. Apparently in the rush to get the game out while Razor Scooters were still popular, the game developers couldnít bother making the levels varied. Youíll encounter similar levels with little variety amongst them throughout your harrowing journey through the title, and once more, thereís no level editor, so any thoughts of home-brewed creations are out of the question. Itís actually a shame that there isnít a level editor, because this is the type of game that would have scored much higher in my book if it had that redeeming factor.
Continuing with the similarities, Razor takes its trick system almost directly from THPS. The only problem with this is that Scooters in general behave much different than skateboards, and thus, it takes a bit of time getting used to the timing of jumps. As a veteran THPS player, I found that the controls were originally a bit too stiff to be able to do anything with, but after about half an hour of fiddling and testing, I was finally able to successfully pull of a majority of the tricks and jumps I attempted.
Learning the different tricks is essential to progress in Razor. As you play through the games levels, youíre given a variety of tasks to complete, such as scoring a certain high score, collection scooter wheels, and doing random tricks on random objects. All of these usually require some sort of effort, but itís really in general an easy task to do once you have the trick system figured out. After clearing most of the game, Iíd only spent about a total of three hours on the game, which is an awful lifespan if you ask me.
Though Iíve been mostly negative thus far, there were some things I liked in Razor. One thing I really liked was the way level progression is handled. Unlike most games in the genre that require you to do a certain amount of things on a level to open up the next level, Razor only requires that you get the high score. However, getting the other things unlocks even more secret levels and access to the other friends that were kidnapped, which is a reward I suppose for dedication. I also found that the grind meter was very handy, and actually easy to use. The grind meter is a simple on-screen display the assists in balancing as your scooter-pilot navigates a rail with his steel beast. And sadly, thatís all the good I can think of for the title.
Iím sure youíre imagining that the game probably molests your eyes graphically. You imagine correctly again. The texturing is some of the worst Iíve seen. Theyíre bland and remarkably overused. I canít imagine that no one noticed how awful the game looked and complained about it during testing. Outside of the texturing, thereís some occasional slow down that I noticed on some of the bigger levels, which simply has no place in a game requiring precision moves and landings. The worst part though would have to be the character models. They just look terrible. Their heads make them look like some weird combination of the genetics of the Coneheads and ET, just with some hair. As far as trick animations go, theyíre passable, but nothing super great. Musically, the soundtrack is a mix of obscure crappy punk bands and obscure crappy rock bands, which is occasionally interrupted by substandard sound effects that barely get the job done.
In conclusion, I dub this game Sir Trash of Garbage Heap. Even though I paid just a small amount for the title, I still feel kind of ripped off, which is sad. However, I think this was the only Scooter game ever made, so if you are still riding one of those two wheeled metallic beasts and are dying to sink you teeth into a virtual recreation of it, I suggest you go play with real razor blades, because I bet they're a lot more fun.
Community review by asherdeus (October 10, 2003)
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