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The real problem with Tech Deck Skateboarding isn't in how it looks, sounds, or plays, but in how long the experience lasts. Even on the X-Treme difficulty level, most players will acquire all 40 boards in a matter of one to two hours. Past that, the free play mode lets you perform tricks to your heart's content, but the value of that type of bonus depends greatly upon your wants in a handheld skateboarding game. While it lasts, however, Tech Deck Skateboarding is great, great fun.
This game engine has got loads of potential, but it wasn't taken advantage of too much for this game. It's a ton of fun, but with a lot more replay value, even just a trick competition or tournament, this could have been an amazing game. As it stands, it's pretty average, and should only be rented (if possible in your area). Other than that, this will be a purchase only the truly hardcore Tech Deck collectors should make.
Even serious Tech Deck fans won't find much to enjoy about Tech Deck Skateboarding. The collection-based gameplay wears thin quickly, and with no other real modes available it's hard to recommend this title.
The tricks are fun in Free Play, but when you start going after boards, tricks just don't matter much. And that's too bad, since Activision has more than proven themselves capable of creating a fun skateboarding game. Somewhere in the process of Activision licensing Tony Hawk, X-Concepts licensing Activision and Activision licensing X-Concepts, I see that nobody bothered to spend time making this game great. In fact, I can't see that anyone took the time to make sure this game ended up average. My advice to the kids or parents who might be considering this game is to take all the money you'd spend on it and invest in more actual mini-skateboard toys. And if you already bought all the little mini-skateboards in the store, I can think of at least 2 skateboarding titles for GBC that would be more fun to play. Surprisingly or not, Activision did both of them.
I've decided that if I ever learn how to make a video game, I'm making one about a middle finger. THERE is an untapped genre. Not sure exactly what you would do with that finger, but I'm sure I'll think of something by the time I actually figure out what I'm doing. Anyway, this is an abomination of game design, on par with those cheap 50+ all original game carts made for the various consoles in Hong Kong. Flipping through the instruction book reveals that over 30 people worked on this game. Not sure if either the entire department beat on one guy until he finished this or they were all five years old. It's a tough call and could go either way.