June 25, 2007 - When you typically hear the words "No guts, no glory," you often think of risking everything for the possibility of accomplishing something incredible. Many times this is associated with a stunt or a death-defying performance that pushes the envelope of safety and sanity. Toss in a large streak of mischief and you have Jackass, MTV's ground (and bone) breaking television show. Trying to capture the mayhem of the show, Sidhe Interactive and Red Mile Entertainment have been hard at work on Jackass: The Game. We recently sat down with a build of the game and in between rounds of laughter and breaking bones managed to gather some quick impressions.
The early build of the PSP game didn't have all of its cinematics, but the plot behind the game is virtually identical to the PS2 version. Jackass The Game is a prank and pain filled reunion tour -- ever since the show went off the air in 2002, fans have been awaiting the third season of the popular show. The game picks up that thread, with Johnny trying to bring back the entire cast to the show by any means necessary. That quickly turns into pulling off insane stunts to get the attention of guys like Chris Pontius, Wee Man and Preston Lacy, amongst other members of the Jackass crew. There's just one problem: Jeff Tremaine, the director of the show, gets injured during the preparation of one stunt. (Let's just say that his groin and a fire hydrant meet quite forcefully...) When he gets carted away, it appears that Johnny's plans have been ruined. That's where you come in. As Jeff Tremaine's assistant producer and director, Johnny puts you in charge of gathering footage of every stunt they attempt so that new episodes can get on the air.
Expect the same stunts in the PSP version of the game...
The story mode of the game is arranged across seven episodes, each comprised of five stunts in their own unique locations. For the most part, these aren't the stunts that you've seen on the TV show either; most of them are tricks that could never be pulled off in real life due to the assured loss of life and limb. But you're not simply trying to pull off a dive from the top of a skyscraper into a tub of elephant dung and capture every freefalling frame -- each episode has a number of goals attached to it, which will generate a rating for the episode. Some of these tasks focus on the destruction that often results from a Jackass stunt, such as breaking windowpanes in a greenhouse or breaking fire hydrants. Others are somewhat trickier, such as rolling down a steep San Francisco hill in a trashcan without hitting anything -- that includes parked and moving cars, fire hydrants or other obstacles. If these seem too complicated, players can take on a Wee Game, a mini-game that requires you to push a button or two to accomplish your goal.
Now, if you've seen the show, you know that just about any cast member can be injured during a stunt at any time. This idea hasn't been lost for the game, as players can bail out from most tricks by hitting the triangle button, immediately propelling your character skyward. While you can direct your flight in mid-air, it's the landings you really want to control, as brutally colliding with the ground can break bones, puncture organs and receive other bruising wounds. Even though it's hilarious to watch your favorite Jackass cast member tumble, there's a specific reason for bringing the pain -- every injury will give you a multiplier that can boost the number of points that you receive towards your bronze, silver or gold star rating.
...Except you can make your own episodes with the PSP version.
Once you've raised enough points and passed enough stunts, you can move on to filming the next episode. This gives players the opportunity to move forward with the story without being frustrated by a stunt that they can't complete. However, those players that complete every single task will be able to redeem the bonus points at the Jackass Mart for new trick props, behind the scenes movies and new outfits for cast members. These elements can be taken into some of the other modes, such as the Challenge mode, which makes the stunts harder to pull off, or the Multiplayer mode. Up to four players can test their skills round robin style or Ass-to-Ass (that actually translates to head to head play) via Ad Hoc. Infrastructure will be available as well, but that will solely be limited to Ass-to-Ass play (I can't believe I actually wrote that last sentence).
The PSP version is somewhat more unique in that players will be able to save the replays of their stunts and edit them, changing the camera angles or look of the footage thanks to the included Director Mode. Six replays in all can be combined in any order you wish to make your own Jackass episode out of completed (or failed) stunts. Players can then upload these shows to a server or download someone else's episodes to see who's better at a stunt, or even re-edit an uploaded show to prove your video skills. The downloadable features won't stop there, as players will be able to get new stunts and features for the game in the future via updates. We'll have more on the game soon, but moving pictures will definitely speak louder than words, so check out the movies of Jackass in action.