Have you ever sat down and watched an episode of MTV's Jackass and thought to yourself "You know, I really wish they'd make this into a game...?" Really? Well, my psychotic friend, you are in luck, because that's exactly what MTV is doing--bringing the show to a console near you.
I wasn't able to go hands on with the game as it was for display only, but I was able to check out a game that had supposedly been in development for around nine months and was headed for multiple platforms (PC, PS2, PSP). I have no idea if the build I was shown was running on anything close to Playstation hardware, since the developer wouldn't even confirm that it was being released for the system, buy my guess is... no.
More importantly, I guess, would be the gameplay, and this is one area in which Jackass the game is going be just like Jackass the movie; at least where it counts. If you like stupid, moronic, over the top and sadistic practical jokes and pranks, then you'll love this game. If you're looking for story, narration, artistic merit, or basically anything you'd find in a Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid game, you may just want to pass.
However, Jackass is popular for a reason, which means that plenty of people are apparently going to find the gameplay in Jackass worth the price of admission. It's over the top, moreso in fact in the game than in the series. I was specifically told that many of the stunts in the game were the result of ideas writers and developers of the show had but, for one reason or another, could not execute. Perhaps that's because playing bumper cars on top of skyscrapers, or rolling a guy down a hilly San Francisco street in a trash can may not exactly be legal, or even remotely sane; not that you could ever credit anyone on the show Jackass with an overabundance of sanity.
You might be wondering how this actually works in a game, and the plot, if you can call it that, is simply that the show's director has been eliminated, or whacked, or otherwise indisposed, and it's up to you the player to step in, fill his shoes, and get enough whacky content to create your own episode. You'll have to complete various different stunts, then edit them into a finalized show that passes muster.
The video editing tool is perhaps the coolest part of the game as it allows you to fast forward, rewind, cut, paste and edit film in a variety of ways, so you and your jackass friends can get together and compete to see who can put together the craziest show in the game, and that, really will be the one and only draw for this game--if you and a bunch of your friends love Jackass the show, this game is right up your alley. If not, I really don't even know why you're reading this preview to begin with.
5/15/2006 Ryan Hartmann