The premise is simple. Jackass is filming a new season when their director is hurt during another of the crew's infamous stunts, so it's your job to step in and make sure the boys make idiots and spectacles of themselves as usual. Can you put together enough broken bones, half-naked dance moves and fart-joke wisecracks to pass in this surprisingly good new installment of Jackass?
I can really appreciate Jackass for the way it's game play nearly perfectly fits with the TV show's format and overall theme. Each stunt is quick, easy to control and for the most part fun to replay over and over. The situations the Jackass digital dopplegangers are thrown into drew a lot of laughs from this reviewer, and the surprisingly adult content in the game was pretty surprising. While the game play mechanics are simple enough to be enjoyed by most, the content (mostly R-rated) should definitely be kept away from children.
Thankfully, the mechanics of the game are simple and very easy to pick up. Jackass is the first game I've played in years that I didn't have to study for prior to playing. It doesn't have an introduction level, which most gamers resent, since the game relies heavily on several of the same buttons to provide contextual actions that change depending on the particular stunt.
Though the timing of this particular release is a little strange (hasn't Jackass been off the air for years now?), the game has hit the PS2 at precisely the right time. The game is hitting an installed fan base that has grown up with both MTV's Jackass and the Playstation 2 in their living room with a bargain priced dose of mini game madness.
The visuals for the game are above average for a PS2 title, yet it won't be the graphics you notice as much in a game like this. The game's short, Flash-like mini-games last an average of 2 minutes each, so you won't be noticing too much of the graphics anyway. Thankfully the guys from Jackass contributed their voice and likenesses (except for the inexplicably famous Bam Margera), because the game would lose a lot of steam if impersonators or no-namers filled the ranks.
One of the best features of the game is the replays of the most brutal stunts in the game. Watching the digital equivalent of Johnny Knoxville getting sling-shot into a wall from multiple angles is almost as fun as doing it in real time. There are pop-up boxes in the game that inform you of just how badly you're treating the guys, complete with x-rays of all the broken bones from your stunts. The injuries do seem to correspond with the action on screen and there are handy multiplier bonuses to further your masochistic joy.
In all there are thirty-five stunts spread out over seven episodes that are plenty fun the first couple times through. Spend too much time on any one trick, like taking fifteen tries at running down golfers in a cart, and the act does wear a little thin. Thankfully, there's the variety of the scores of other events that keeps the game chugging along at a nice pace. That pace does hit a break wall when you beat the game four hours after you start.
Some of the stunts are more hit while others are big misses. One particular stunt has your on screen character jumping off a building while you press different button combos to contort them through the air on their way to a landing in a pile of elephant poo. The effort for the concept wasn't really there and the satisfaction you get from most of the other stunts is sadly absent. There are a couple stinkers (pun intended) left in, but they're only a speed bump to the rest of the game.
Jackass is a tight package filled with ragdoll physics, low-brow cut scenes, eye-rolling stunts and the same "can't look away" physical harm that made the original show so popular in the first place. This is a definite buy for "Jackass" fans with such a low price and a much suggested rental for all other gamers. I suggest trying this game out at your next get-together instead of kid friendly "Mario Party." Finally a party-style game with some cajones.