Written By Shaun McCracken

In the review I wrote for Evolution Skateboarding, I made a point that it was a bold move for Konami to take on the massively popular Tony Hawk series, even though that the end result is not nearly as strong as Neversoft's design. Atlus and Poponchi try to make a mark in the skateboarding genre this time around with a few twists of it's own in Go! Go! Hypergrind. While it's an admirable effort and looks very creative, it's core design is a bit repetitive, gimmicky and just not nearly as deep as the recent Tony Hawk's Underground. I hate having to compare this game with the Hawk games, because the concept is pretty different between the two. Hawk is gearing towards realism (although a lot of the tricks are physically impossible to pull in real life), while GGH goes into the world of cartoons. But both are skateboarding games, and as such, GGH does not have the legs to stand head to head with Hawk.

GGH's premise is kind of an interesting one. Here, there are two worlds: the "real" world in which you and I reside in, and the toon world. Not very original, seeing how this idea was created back in 1988 with "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", but we haven't really seen it put to work in a game. In the toon world, characters are auditioning for an upcoming action show called "Hypergrind". Each audition takes place across 8 different movie sets with a variety of objects, obstacles and challenges. Choose from one of 11 characters designed by Spumco (which also had a part in how this world looks), and try to be the best skater you can be to get that contract!

In the Story Mode (which is kind of funny calling it that, since there's barely a story to guide you the whole duration), you are faced with a different challenge for each Rank Match. There are 5 or so Rank Matches for each stage. Here is what you should expect to do in the game:

  1. Appeal Champ - The character with the highest score wins.

  2. Race - Collect 3 different colored coins (red, blue and yellow) and reach the goal before the opponent does.

  3. Simon Says - Complete as many Negative Reactions (well get into that in a minute) as possible in the order indicated before time runs out.

  4. 1 Link Appeal - Score as many points as possible for a single appeal link.

  5. Battle - Reduce your opponent's life bar to nothing to win.

  6. Mini Game - Goals will vary. For example, in Haunted Night, you are asked to smash as many pumpkins as possible within the alloted time.

These modes are okay at first, but as you can see, since there's only six different types of play, it can get repetitive quick. Also, some modes are not as great as others. The Race mode is a bit unfair in how it's done. Here, you need to collect coins by doing Negative Reactions, which are scattered throughout the stage. When you get near a specific object, the X-button will appear by it, and depending on what the object does, you will get a Negative Reaction, such as a decapitation, paint spilled on your body, impaled, flattened and a few other things. Okay, so when you do one of those Negative Reactions, you supposedly get a coin. But it sometimes launches an attack on the opponent. If you hit the same object that causes a reaction again, something will happen to you, either losing your coins or something that affects your movement. The Race mode is very frustrating because you do as the game asks, and you still get screwed. Further more, the computer opponent tends to know how to get these coins a little too easy.

The other aggravating mode is the Battle mode, which is just too flawed to be fun. Here, you need to do a Negative Reaction to attack your opponent. Once you've done a reaction, by using the C-Stick in any direction, you can fling objects to hit your opponent. Trouble is, it's hard to find the opponent half the time. Also, the opponent seems to always know where you are, get behind you and attack. Plus, the CPU does not give you time to recover after a hit, and will nail you again as soon as you're back on the board. It's irritating. I've never won a single battle competition, and I wonder why this mode is here.

Now let's talk about how you score points. I should have said something earlier, but I kind of forgot getting around to it. You can get points one of two ways, by an "appeal" or by a Negative Reaction. An appeal is simply a trick, a grind, a lip-trick or a manual. You can connect (link) appeals to increase your multiplier and thus increasing your score. Negative Reactions are worth 1000 points the first time you hit them, and they can be linked with other Negative Reactions and appeals. This is a great way to score big, because if you can do it right, you can go the whole stage on just one link. However, as with the game modes, the tricks and reactions only go so far.

The game design is decent for what it is. But, it's too simple compared to other skateboarding games. In the Hawk games (especially Underground), you have a variety of objectives to achieve. Here, you really only have six that repeat with slight alterations. I don't mind much that the trick list isn't as robust as the Hawk games since the reactions seemed to be the big draw of the game. But combining everything together still makes this game a simple experience. The Story mode, essentially only needs to be completed once with one character. After yo beat the game the first time, ever item and board you've earned can be used by everyone, not just that one person. The only incentive to go back into this game is for the single session and VS. mode, and even that's very limited. There's no custom characters to speak of, no park editor and no challenge/objective editors. What we have here is a game with a great artistic look, but not a lot of depth.

The graphics of GGH is probably the brightest area of the game. The cel-shading is excellent, the character design is very creative, and each stage has a wacky life of it's own. There's a lot of eye-candy in GGH. Best of all, the game runs at a solid frame rate. There's also quite a bit of visual humor as well, and we should expect as such seeing how the character and set designs were done by Spumco, who did the Ren and Stimpy Show. You'll see a billboard on the first set with a woman with large flopping breasts with the words "got milk" on it. One of the characters in the game is a pig in a bathing suit, and you have the luxury of seeing her buttcrack as she skates in the game. That's just a couple of examples of how weird and tasteless the game is (I failed to mention that one of the negative reactions involves being eaten by a hippo and shot out of it's ass covered in crap).

The sound also fits in with the oddness of the game. The music is original, to say the least. Some strange, but some times catchy guitar-driven rock songs coupled with some stranger electronic music. The sound effects are right on par of what a cartoon would sound like. The voices are cartoonish, to say the least, but the voice samples are recycled over and over.

Final Thought

Go! Go! Hypergrind does have some good ideas to inject into this kind of genre, namely the Negative Reactions. But that only goes so far, and coupled with the repetive goals of this game, it's not nearly as addictive or fun as Tony Hawk Underground. I really wanted to avoid that comparison, but when you get down to brass tacks, you have to. It's a shame that a game with such rich art direction and graphics turns out to be a shallow experience. I would definitely recommend renting this game just to see the visuals, but it's not a very solid purchase, even at a lower price. Pro Skater 4 is at the same price point, and it still has more going for it than this.


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A nice attempt to do something different in the genre, but it's simple and limited in it's design.


Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2

All Tony Hawk Games

Aggressive Inline

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2

Jet Set Radio Future

2003-2006 SPM

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