I was in the mood for some older games this evening, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to play. So I grabbed my Game Boy Advance SP and my box containing my Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, and settled myself on the couch with my bearded dragon! He loves to hang out! Anyway… I was poking through the games and trying to decide what I wanted to play…
Hmm…Klustar…haven’t played that in forever…Pokemon Blue…Kirby’s Dream Land…Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater…wait! Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater? Where did that game come from?!
I honestly had a few moments where I could not remember buying this game. I have hundreds of games, but no trouble remembering what I have- remember, gaming is a hobby I take seriously!! Nevertheless, I actually got up from my comfy spot on the couch and looked at my game list to see if I had actually recorded my purchase. I did. Wow, did I feel like a dummy! Then I suddenly remembered- this was a flea market purchase I had made a couple years back. Saw it for 99 cents, scooped it up, brought it home, and apparently forgot about it. Eager to start playing, I fired my Game Boy Advance SP up. (I still have my original Game Boy and Game Boy Color, by the way. I just prefer the GBA SP because it is BACKLIT!)
There are a couple different modes to choose from: Half Pipe Mode, Tournament Mode, and 1-on-1 vs. CPU mode. I choose Tournament Mode because, well, it looked like the most fun.
I couldn’t even figure out how to start! Pressing A just caused me to jump erratically, and B must have been the brakes. I pitifully rolled forward while my CPU opponents sailed past me.
I started and restarted a few times, but it was clear to me that I had no clue what the fuck was even going on. That annoyed me, and I tried a couple more times, but even when I would pick up something that I assume was money or a random videotape, I would inevitably crash into something and be indisposed for way too long. Frustrated, I decided to try the Half Pipe Mode instead.
This was a little more fun! The whole goal is to land as many tricks as you can, and gather as many points as you can, within the time limit. That’s it! I tried out each of the pipes just for funsies. Too bad the game doesn’t save your high score or anything!
All right… even though I had fun on Half Pipe Mode, I had to figure out Tournament Mode. It was annoying me! The first stage was pathetic, but by the end of the second stage, something magical happened… I was starting to understand the bizarre controls! Go me! I figured out how to speed up (better late than never), and I was landing tricks like a seasoned pro. At least, I think I was… every time I did a trick, it would simply take me to the cheesy still shot of a random dude on a skateboard with the name of my trick and number of points on it. Then it would load the game back! Super weird. Anyway, I wasn’t in first place, but I wasn’t sucking either. Until…
This weird ass forest appeared out of nowhere in stage 3! This looks like a forest from Pokemon or something! I had no clue it was even coming, SO I HIT IT HEAD ON. My skater bailed, then attempted to recover… problem is, the skater is in constant forward motion. I needed to go LEFT to get away from the PokeForest, so I spent about 25 seconds grinding said forest AS SLOWLY AS I POSSIBLY COULD. It was such a dumb moment, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Things weren’t looking good for me on the next stage either. Stage 4 is like some hellish industrial park with weird pipes and random puddles of water that my skater seemed drawn to like flies are drawn to shit!
Apparently most of this stuff is here for you to grind, but my timing was so off for most of the stage, I just smushed my face into everything and slowly crossed the finish line. I’m surprised they didn’t disqualify me!
Something rad happened on stage 5, though. I became a machine! I skated super fast, I busted out a bunch of tricks, and I collected money and videotapes like it was going out of style. Most importantly….
That’s right! I crossed that finish line FIRST! I was pretty damn proud of myself.
…then the award ceremony happened. And I was in 4th place, aka dead last. My character didn’t even stand at the podium- he hid behind a tree and hung his head in shame. Oh, Bucky Lasek, I’m sorry I let you down!
After that disappointment, I decided I’d had enough Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for the night. The Playstation version of this game is amazing, by the way. I used to play it for HOURS. This Game Boy Color version though… yeah, it’s not my favorite. Now that I’ve got a hang of the controls more, it might be worth a replay someday. I might as well play it more- the flea market I got this game at is now closed, so I’ll never get my 99 cents back!