Personally I thought Jackass had run its course a few years ago; then I saw the movie for the first time and actually enjoyed it. Sick, I know — but what kind of adult man doesn’t enjoy thinking about some of the stupid crap he did when he was young? And that’s what Jackass the movie did to me. Enter Jackass the Game, and what started as dread turned into a light delight — until the first mini-game started, when dread was back with a vengeance. I realize that mini-game collections are all the rage these days, and what better age group to aim for than the college drinking crew, because you know they’ll buy anything if you can turn it into a drinking game. One-up that already-winning combination by adding everyone’s favorite sadists (the boys from Jackass), and you’re sure to get a hit, right? Well, if the gameplay was actually good, then perhaps.
The main attraction to this type of game is obviously multiplayer, but Jackass also includes a career mode that throws you into the shoes as director of the show because the real director was — get this — injured on the set. The career mode is divided into seven episodes, each of which contains five stunts that you have to attempt and at least partially complete. The goal of each episode is to amass at least $500,000 in advertising revenue, and revenue is gained by completing up to five goals in each segment.
Goals in each segment vary based on the stunt type. For example, when playing as Party Boy (not as fun as it sounds), you must score points by playing a very poorly implemented version of PaRappa the Rapper where higher points means more revenue. Other goals include causing a certain dollar amount of bodily harm to your Jackass of choice, or rolling a snowball into a larger ball in a horrible Katamari Damacy impression. Each goal you meet awards you $30,000, and you also obtain point bonuses for causing bodily harm to your character. Some stunts will require multiple attempts to unlock all five goals, like on the Urban Wakeboarding levels, while others will be beat fully on first attempt if you put forth any effort, like the Poo Dive.
Slogging through all seven seasons can easily be done in one very short night, and the developers must’ve known that because even in the instruction book it states that Challenge Mode was included only for people who are anal about hitting 100-percent completion. Instead of adding advertising revenue in this mode, the goals are slightly more difficult to meet, but you are awarded cash, which can be used at the Jackass Mart to buy props and other unlockable items. Thankfully some of the unlockables in career mode are actual Jackass footage. It’s completely sophomoric humor, but really, if you bought the game you knew that coming in, so this footage is a nice bonus.
Multiplayer is set up for up to four players and includes “three” modes. The first a round robin mode where you pick two stunts, the second a random round robin, and the third is a mode called ass-to-ass rather than head-to-head. Clever.
Being a late-stage PS2 game, there has been good technology advances which allow for fairly decent likenesses of the whole Jackass crew for you to play with and pummel mercilessly. Sadly, the characters are actually fairly blocky. But I must note that 99 percent of my current gaming is on the more-powerful platforms, so my graphical judging abilities may be a little biased. The levels are all independent, so even though Urban Wakeboarding is repeated in the solo mode, the backdrop city is different in each. Also, Knoxville, McGhehey and the rest of the boys all do the voice work for the game, and it’s done quite well. The musical selections are nothing short of impressive, with classic tracks by the Minutemen and The Misfits mixed-in with newer songs by Skinny Puppy and Nashville Pussy. Chris Pontius has a few original tracks too, and sadly I think his singing should not grace the otherwise decent songs.
Jackass is the definition of niche title. The publishers know the market, and I am sure they’re going to hit a small portion of it with this game. While not a good game by any means, it’s technically done fairly well, although with some sometimes-shoddy controls on the button-mashing sections, and a general repetitive style of gameplay. However, to some gamers that’s what a mini-game collection is supposed to be: something simple that you can pick up and play at any time. More discerning gamers who avoid these types of games may want to stay very clear from this title, but if seeing guys get kicked in the balls, insulted and beaten very badly is your cup of tea, you might get some enjoyment from this.
- Score: 7
- Not a good game, but not a bad game by any means either. A surprisingly entertaining romp of repetitive mini-games that might surprise you by forcing a chuckle out once in awhile.
— Jeff Paramchuk