Yesterday, the world has a new jackass movie. After two years of covid-19, I admit that I’m happy to see the old gang again, wild and stupid as always. It feels like a little piece of normalcy, one that I’m glad to have in 2022. But in 2007, after the release of the second film and five years after the series ended, someone decided to make a Jackass video game. By all accounts, those involved really tried to do it. Unfortunately, they were doomed because it’s impossible to translate Jackass into a video game.
Jackass: the video game was released for the PSP and PS2 in 2007, with a DS port released the following year. Today I’m mainly talking about the PSP and PS2 versions of the game because those are the ones I’ve played. These versions were developed by Interactive Sidhe and published by Red Mile Entertainment.
What is a Jackass video game? How do you translate the dangerous, silly and disgusting stunts and bits from the show and movies into a video game? If your answer was: a collection of mini-games and multiplayer activities featuring the cast of the series, you had the same idea as the developers.
On paper, this seems like a solid way to recreate the fun, frenetic energy of movies and shows. But even if the minigames were good (which it isn’t) and even if the game had 200 of them (which it isn’t), it still wouldn’t have worked. Even with all of that, you still wouldn’t have gotten an accurate recreation of Jackass in digital video game form.
No one is watching Jackass because we actually care if Steve-O walks the tightrope hanging over the alligator pit. No one cares how cool or stylish someone looks while skateboarding through a glove of swinging bags. I don’t care if Johnny Knoxville lands a few good shots in his match against Butterbean.
When asked if Knoxville will “Catch the ball?” Ryan Dunn says, in the clip below, “Who gives a fuck?” And he’s right. That’s not why we’re here.
I’m here, like everyone else, to watch a group of friends fuck for a few hours. Passing, failing, doing it right, or hitting a combo is not the goal. Still, nearly all minigames in Jackass: The Game are designed to complete Tony Hawk-like objectives, win challenges, or score points.
And while that’s often the point of games, it’s completely antithetical to what Jackass is: a series about buds who get hurt, challenge each other to do stupid shit, and have fun, while often failing the whole time. Trying to turn this into a game was always going to be basically impossible.
To the game’s credit, it cleverly includes much of what makes Jackass work, including music and cast interactions. All of the main cast – aside from Bam Margera for contractual reasons with Activision – appear in the game and also provide their voices. It is important. Having those idiots fighting or what have you only works if they do it as a fun bunch of lovable thugs. All of this pleasure is essential for us to feel less guilty when we laugh at all their pain and suffering. “It’s good”, we say to each other between bursts of laughter, “Everyone is laughing and hugging each other. So it’s just a moment of pleasure!”
Jackass wouldn’t work if, at the end of every crazy stunt, the camera lingered on the victim’s squirming body in complete silence, alone and covered in blood or shit or whatever. He needs laughter, friendship and all that good music. And the game has it all. The problem is that the other important part of Jackass is the stakes.
If the Jackass cast gets it wrong, they can seriously hurt themselves or end up eating or licking something really terrible. Some stunts went wrong, resulting in terrible injuries. And while it sucks, it’s part of the necessary formula. Real humans, risking everything for a few laughs and giggles. Removing that part of the equation, which of course the video game does, kind of kills the whole experience.
Why should I care if Digital Pontius in-game falls off a building or gets his ass kicked? Because I score fewer points? This might work in a good collection of minigames, but here it only leads to a boring experience with no stakes. This game may look like Jackass, but it’s never quite as enjoyable as the real thing. Although it is for sure safer, which some parents might have appreciated at the time.
Article source https://kotaku.com/jackass-forever-the-game-ps2-review-psp-mtv-knoxville-1848487592