ESPN Espn2 Extreme Games
$13.99 used, $49.99 new on eBay
Description official descriptions
ESPN Extreme Games lets the player access three modes of play: Exhibition, New Season or a continuation of a season. Exhibition mode helps the player get to know the courses and equipment as well as get a feel for the controls. New season offers the player the chance to race against sixteen other competitors on any of the four racing machines competing for season points as well as money to upgrade equipment.
Choose between roller blades, a luge (basically a sit-down skateboard), a mountain bike, and the skateboard. The player can also determine which character they want to race with, each one having a unique skill on one of the apparatus. For example one might be top-notch at roller blading but be bad at bike-riding so there is no point choosing the bike with him/her. In a season, the player competes in the five locations - three times, twelve in all and each time the obstacles become more and more tricky to avoid as well as the other racers becoming faster and more agile.
The tracks are:
- Italy - Country roads leading down to a town area;
- Lake Tahoe - Twisting roads and strategically placed haystacks;
- South America - Lots of caves and thin jungle roads;
- San Francisco - Hundreds of obstacles and hills;
- Utah - Falling rocks, secret routes, and some hungry looking crocodiles.
Sony's ESPN license had expired by the time the game's Greatest Hits release came out in 1998, hence it was retitled 1Xtreme (a sequel named 2Xtreme had been released in 1997) and all ESPN logos and video footage were removed from the release.
- ESPNストリートゲームス - Japanese spelling
Credits (PlayStation version)
Average score: 68% (based on 20 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 1 reviews)
The idea of having races between bikes, skateboards, longboards and rollerblades is pretty bonkers, but in a good way. The levels look quite appealing for early PS1 graphics.
The ability to kick the other competitors is pretty hilarious, the animation of characters falling is quite satisfying. Though it's a double edged sword, because they can kick you back too and sometimes is very hard to avoid.
Unfortunately the rubberbanding of AI opponents is ridiculous, you start 16th and slowly work your way towards top 5 over the course of the race, then you hit something and in a second you are back to 16. And mistakes are inevitable, there are are moving obstacles, there are rocks falling of cliffs randomly knocking you down, there are opponents coming from behind and pushing you into obstacles.
Another issue is that like many 2D early 90s racing games, the camera is attached to the race track, instead of the vehicle/character, making the feeling of the racing controls quite unnatural and unrealistic. It's especially frustrating that you can't easily tell the slope of the road ahead, which matters, because you want to know when to pedal your bike, and when to glide and let the slope accelerate you.
The Bottom Line
This probably works best as a split screen experience where the goal is to mess around and have a laugh with a friend. Trying to actually win or get a good time is way too dependent on luck.
PlayStation · by Stokkolm (3) · 2023
In the first run of the game, a woman would appear on a monitor after every race, and berate you if you did any worse than second place. She was quite mean about it, too. She was removed from the Greatest Hits version.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by 01001.
DOS added by The Ring Hawk.
Game added September 7, 2002. Last modified October 22, 2023.