I said I had to wait until I was having an amazing day to ever play this game again, because it’s so horrible that I couldn’t handle it. Well guess what. Still haven’t had a good day since then. I’m recording this in late December, right around the solstice, when the days are 3 hours long. It’s noon and the sun isn’t even up. So if I’m going to be miserable, I’m going to be really miserable and just torture myself. At least I’ll be able to delete this game from my computer once and for all.
Disney’s Extremely Goofy Skateboarding came out in 2001, putting it up against Tony Hawk 3, EPSN Skateboarding, and Skateboard Park Tycoon. Somehow, there are a lot of positive reviews of this one out there. I couldn’t tell you why. But those games cost money. This one came for free with a pack of Perdue Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets. According to Wikipedia anyway. I’d rather get turned into a chicken nugget than try to play this again.
The best I can tell, this game was developed as a tie in for An Extremely Goofy Movie, since it stars Goofy and his son Max, and it features a lot of rocket-powered skateboards. There used to be a cartoon called Goof Troop that I watched as a kid in the early 90s. This movie was a direct to video sequel to a movie spinoff of that series. It got mixed to bad reviews. That was in early 2000. Here, over a year and a half later, there’s a tie-in game? I can’t imagine the point of this. Maybe there was a sequel planned, and this was going to come out with it, but after the bad reviews hit, they scrapped the movie and just polished this turd a little and crapped it out onto unsuspecting chicken nuggets consumers. Whatever the case, it exists, and it make me sad. So let’s try it.
The game starts with this hellish landscape. This is the menu. It was designed not to have any words. Either to make it easier for kids, or to make it so they didn’t have to get it translated. I don’t know why, but I cannot explain it at all. If you click around randomly for a while, you’ll reach this screen, where you pick the mode, I guess. The bottom one, where he looks confused, is the tutorial. Which is pointless. These are all the career mode, I think? I don’t know. If you listen, Goofy will say there’s a tech session and a shred session. I don’t know what that means.
On the next screen, you can customize your character and outfit. I went with Max, because his board looks almost skateable, as opposed to Goofy’s surfboard with wheels.
Let’s get started. You get a few worlds with different unlockable sections.
Before we get too far, let’s figure out the controls. I’m using an Xbox 360 controller, and it plays a little weird. The A button will crouch and ollie, like you would expect. The X button grinds, and sometimes does tricks. I can’t really explain it. Most of the time, it doesn’t do anything. If you hit down down X, you’ll do a heelflip. You can grind with it, and even do different grinds, but there’s no telling how it works. It’s also used for stalls and inverts. But it’ll work about one in ten tries, which sucks because it’s a challenge for this level.
The Y button is for grabs. But they take so long that you’re just asking to bail. And, it never asks you to get a certain score, so you’re wasting your time trying tricks.
The B button is kickflip. That’s it. It’s not the flip button, where you add in different directions for other tricks or anything. It’s just kickflip. Or, when rolling on flat, it’s a nose manual. But again, without score totals, who cares?
Lastly is the D-Pad for steering. But it doesn’t actually work like that. Hitting the left button sends a subliminal message to your character’s brain, which will make them fairly likely to think about turning that direction. But there’s no guarantee that they actually will. Just going where you want to go is impossible. Trying to get up to these Baywatch lifeguard stations is really hard. Going up a hill makes you turn on your own sometimes. I wish I could show what it feels like.
Here’s what the challenges are like. Collect Goofy faces on coins. You can basically ignore this one, because you’ll get them as you play the game normally. I also have to collect beach balls. Not a big deal, although stuff can be really hard to find because of all the fog and the draw distance. You can search an area and not find something because you didn’t get close enough for it to pop in. And I’m sure that’s what happened when I was trying to find all the trash cans, which I’m supposed to knock over.
Honestly, I’m shocked by the mischief here! What are they teaching the kids? Make sure you wear your helmet, but you can steal coins and knock over trash cans?
I looked for the last trash can for about a half hour. No joke. This level is tiny, and it’s basically empty. But I just can’t find it. I even tried ollieing into the water, and guess what! You can skate on the bottom of the ocean! But there’s nothing here, except for rocks that block you from going further. Why is this there? You want to know why? It’s because they didn’t want to animate a splash and kick you back to the beach. That’s too complicated. Just make it so you can skate through the water and forget about it. It’s so lazy.
After you beat 2 challenges, it tells you you’re done. I never got the last trash can. But the tunnel on the road is now open to the skatepark. I had to collect helmets, coins, and do those inverts that don’t work. No problem. I mean, it’s a problem trying to get around in this level, but at least it’s small enough that they couldn’t hide anything too well.
When you unlock a level, a key will appear on the ground in front of a tunnel or gate somewhere. The only problem is, there are two entrances in every world, and only one will open. You don’t know which. In this level here, I knew that the gate was open, but I had no idea where to go. I found this one, but sorry, that one’s still locked, and there’s no way to open it from this side. I explored around for about 10 minutes. You’d think that the exit would be on the outside of the level somewhere, but it wasn’t. I exited the level, thinking I could just spin the pie chart and get into the other level. But that doesn’t work either. You have to pick up that key and open it. So I had to explore around these repetitive valleys and stuff for a while to find my exit.
Later I found myself at this construction site, which Tony Hawk 2X was able to make interesting, but it doesn’t really work here. One of your challenges is to rotate an I beam? I don’t know what this means. I figured I’d have to ollie over it, which I tried. It’s really hard. You can ollie basically the exact height of the rail, so it’s really hard to clear. And grinding it doesn’t seem to do anything. So I figured that the arrow means tilt. Maybe if I can break the rope somehow, it will tip over, and that’ll do it? Nope, no luck there either. So I only had one more option. Cancel out, then load directly into that level instead of using a tunnel. When you do that, Goofy will explain the challenges to you.
Unfortunately my audio capture didn’t work, but he says something like, “Well gorsh, why don’t you duck under those big metal poles?”
So, yeah. Duck under the rails. I should have known it would be something easy.
As the game goes on, it gets easier and harder. The amount of coins goes up and up, until you have to get most of them to get that check mark. But they also mess up a couple things. You have to collect cacti in this desert level. There are 5 to get. But I think they only wanted these small ones to count. You can knock over both of these and get 2 points for it. Once you get all 5, you’ll keep finding more. There’s no way that’s what they meant to do.
In this level, you have to up arrow on a rectangle. Who knows what that means. But you have to do 7 of them. Apparently, that means grinding 7 segments of the track. You don’t have to balance a grind – just hold X. So you’ll finish this in a few seconds.
The way this game is made is really confusing to me. There’s zero creativity in what you do. Collect tumbleweeds and cacti in the desert. Get to the Old West town and collect Sheriff badges and… grind on something. I’m not sure what this one is, but I beat it on accident while working on the other ones. They clearly put some effort into making all the new stuff for this level, but they just pasted the same old crap in it.
And a lot of the times, there are towns and parks and they just reuse everything. You have to knock over trash cans and fire hydrants in earlier levels, and the later ones have them too. And the fire hydrants still explode and throw you into the air. I always got distracted by these, and I had to double check if I needed to do anything with them or not.
But since these assets build up over the levels, the later ones have more going on. In this campsite level, there are a ton of rails to grind and paths to ride on. It’s almost starting to approach being a real game at this point. But don’t worry, it’s still messed up. You have to collect fish, and you can just ride around at the bottom of the river and pick them up like that. Clearly not what they wanted you to do, but nothing stops you.
The last level is a competition! Finally something different! Finally a reason to do all those tricks and try to get a high score… right? No, of course not. The only difference is that you have to do grabs, and you have to collect trophies. Finally beat the game, and what happens? Well, you get a new key, which is weird, since it’s the last level. Go through the gate, and…. It takes you to the menu. The end. All done.
But while I’m back here on the menu, I figure I should take a look at some of the other game modes. I noticed that I unlocked this one, which is a halfpipe competition. You can play it single player, but there’s really no point to it. You have to do as many tricks as possible, and you get a multiplier for how much air time you get. But I think there’s a maximum here. You can do one kickflip, one shove it or heelflip, and one grab per air. So if you just do all 3 every time, you could theoretically get a maximum unbeatable score. When your time is up, you win!
This one down here is just a free skate mode. It keeps track of your score, but that’s about it.
But here’s the tech session. And this is stuff that was really missing from the other mode. In this version of the career mode, you have to replay all of the levels and get all the keys again, but the challenges are more skateboarding related. Get a high score, hit gaps… sort of. You have to collect these arrows, which are at the tops of quarter pipes or other gaps. But look at this one! I cleared this spine probably 20 times before I managed to grab it. This icon here makes no sense to me. It’s Goofy pushing, and then doing a shove it. I think. So… get some speed and then do a flip trick? I tried to figure out how this worked for a long time. After a while, I decided that this probably means combo. I would get the icon to pop up when I did grinds to flip out sometimes. But it’s not consistent at all.
There’s also a timer here. I don’t know what it does. I had it reach zero in every level, and nothing happened. Maybe that’s the time limit for the high score, but I couldn’t tell you.
You know, I just don’t know what to say about this game. It’s not good, but it somehow has glowing reviews everywhere. There are positive reviews on Amazon, the reader rating on IGN, and other places you can look. But it absolutely fails compared to anything else that was out at the time. Pro Skater 2 and 3 were on PC, and Skateboard Park Tycoon plays about the same… except that you can build whatever you want. You know, the majority of the game. There’s no reason to play this one, and if you loved it, it’s because your childhood sucked and your parents didn’t love you.