Not to go all Just Blaze on ya and start messing with video games all day, but I couldn’t resist an entire console game dedicated to bombing trains. To make a game like this commercially viable, you expect a certain amount of corny shit to cater to your typical clueless gamer who doesn’t know jack about Style Wars, and while Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure contains a couple of cringe-worthy moments, the vast majority of the game is addictive as hell.
You get to flex every bombing medium and technique in your mission “from here to fame”, and while I would have preferred the main character to be angry loner like Cap (Lucile Ball hairdo and all!), I had to make do with this kid called Trane. To make matters worse, my least favorite rapper of all time (Talib Kweli) provides his voice! Thankfully he doesn’t bust any verses.
Despite being riddled with some of the most blatant product placement since Back To The Future 2, the story keeps moving at a steady pace (word to Master Ace) and provides enough variety in the missions to prevent those of us with super-short attention spans getting restless. Everything from piecing moving trains to paint-rolling the side of a bridge is in here, plus numerous opportunites to beat the crap out of the Hickey and Ski inspired transit cops.
As with most games these days, there are sections where you have to sneak around, a bunch of fighting and some precision tests (can control etc), but I can’t really imagine how Marc Ecko and his crew could have done a better job. There are plenty of nice touches throughout, such as the fact that before each stage you’re able select which pieces you want to use from your blackbook, and the encounters you have with real-life graff legends like Seen and T-Kid – a good little history lesson for the uninformed.
Since I haven’t been much of a threat on the console tip since they progressed past the “jump and fire” buttons (all this R2 shit is too much sometimes), the only PS2 title that captured my attention for more than a couple of days was GTA3: Vice City, but I’ve had a few late nights this week trying to finish this game (all in the interest of journalistic integrity, you understand?), and now that I’ve conquered it I can report that it was well worth the effort. Even if you’ve never tagged anything in your life, the gameplay alone stands-up once the initial novelty factor wears off. If you ever used go bombing in your youth (or if you’re still causing damage out there), this is an essential purchase (unless you live in Australia, where it’s banned from sale for fear that it might encourage more kids to try and make a name for themselves).
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