Skate or Die: Bad 'N Rad
Skate Or Die: Bad'N Rad is a Jump'N Run that consists of 7 levels, three of which are viewed from a top-down perspective. The side-scrolling levels play similar to other Jump'N Runs, as you have to avoid obstacles and kill enemies by jumping on them. However, since you are on a skateboard, speed plays an important role, meaning that you cannot immediately stop and sometimes need to drive at full speed to manage wider jumps. The top-down levels play more similar to other Skate Or Die games as gradients influence your driving while you are trying to avoid obstacles, enemies and deadly spikes.
Credits (Game Boy version)
11 People (7 developers, 4 thanks)
Average score: 69% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 2 reviews)
This one is a Spin Off in the somewhat classic Skate or Die series originally created by EA for the c64... Konami secured the rights to it and probably just stick the title to a complete different Skating game that they were developing for the GB. Instead of being a multi event sport game like the original they did something new in the vein of an action scroller. Weirdly enough this never saw a release in Japan, only in USA and Europe. The Game Boy also got a sequel to this but that game is back to the original "sport competition" format.
You take control of a skater of course. Forward gives you momentum, and the opposite direction slows you down (and you can eventually change direction). You jump with the A button and crouch with B. The controls are quite responsive and well done for
the most part, with a minor but key issue in the fact that you can't jump while crouching.
You have horizontal side scrolling levels and vertical top down scrolling levels, each one with their own challenges, hazards, enemies and even cool Boss battles.
The music is really good, it was made by Kazuo Noguchi and Hidehiro Funauchi, with a nice variety of themes and tunes; The graphics are acceptable with some very nice details here and there... Other times they're just mind blowing like in stage 5 and 7: amazing what they did there graphically; The whole set up is really, with a circus theme level, and skateboarding inside a spikesy cave, other drug addict skaters trying to stab you, fishes that jump out of water to spit in your face, all of which is a bit crazy and fun and exactly the kind of silliness this game needs and Konami was famous for back in the day. Some of the people that worked on this game were also responsible for the Parodius Game Boy port, and you can feel that vibe. So, it's crazy but still they manage to keep the skateboarding theme. The box art was made by Tom duBois, and has his signature Konami style of super human greater than life characters.
This must be the most honest, on point title for a game in the entire Game Boy library, because it is a complete radical approach to the Skate or Die series and to platforming in general. Unfortunately I must say it is also... Bad... it hurts to say but it is. The problem is the excessive difficulty in the random hazards of the stages that suddenly appear out of nowhere giving you no time to react, making this an exercise in memory... but even when you know exactly what's coming you still need extremely precise execution. A lot of times the game works on a one hit death and the enemy hit boxes are really weird. Add to this that you have a time limit, and no password or saving system: it's a nightmare... I think actually learning to skate at the highest level might be easier than beating this game.
The Bottom Line
If you put the time and effort to memorize every single portion of a level and master its execution, breezing through it makes you feel kind of... good, like a pro skater god or something. It also makes you want to see what crazy thing they will come up with next. It's very hard for me to rate this game, because they were going for something really interesting here, they just had to turn down the difficulty and I mean by a lot... It is a radical approach to platforming, extremely creative, but is just too much for the Game Boy to handle; still, if you enjoy the core gameplay concept, you can have a less frustrating time with the similar indie multiplatform game OlliOlli from 2014 (just remember this one is from 1991 and on a much weaker system). If you are up for a challenge it is worth it.
Game Boy · by pelida77 (36) · 2023
As it is with all of the Skate or Die branded games, the music is top notch. At the time, I was 13 and hooked up my Game Boy to a tape deck to record the music for a couple of levels, especially the vertically-scrolling boardwalk level (It's as close to an 8-bit ska tune as you can get!) The variation between side-scrolling and vertically scrolling levels makes this game interesting enough to play through, though often times the "environmental kills" get annoying.
It has absolutely nothing to do with skateboarding or the general silliness of the Skate or Die series of games. The whole skateboarding element could have been eliminated and the game could have been turned into an excellent Contra-style affair. Sadly, it wasn't.
The Bottom Line
A decent side-scrolling platformer with excellent music and no real skateboarding.
Game Boy · by Tim Conneally (4) · 2008
- MobyGames ID: 16330
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Game added by Mobygamesisreanimated.
Game added January 22nd, 2005. Last modified August 17th, 2023.