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Skitchin' (Sega Genesis) [Road Rash on roller blades]

Posted: July 24th, 2019, 9:28 am
by Retro STrife
Here's a potential hidden gem on the Genesis that's worth a look for fellow Road Rash fans. I overlooked Skitchin' on my shelf for years. But after reading the box recently, it actually sounded pretty cool, and I finally played it last night.

Skitchin' is best described as "Road Rash on roller blades". It uses an interface and structure that is very similar to Road Rash (as you can see in the screenshot) and was also developed/published by EA. As the name implies, Skitchin' is based on the act of "skitching", where you grab onto a car while riding a skateboard, roller blades, bike, etc., although Skitchin' only uses roller blades. The act is very dangerous of course - to the point that the game has a big "Warning" to not attempt at home right when you boot it up. EA's lawyers must have warned them that they might face lawsuits for introducing a dangerous new hobby to our nation's youth...

Skitchin' is a series of Road Rash style races, where you skate into the distance along several miles of road with scenery and obstacles along the way. Beyond standard racing, Skitchin' incorporates some extra strategy because you need to grab onto cars and slingshot yourself forward for maximum momentum, and then, find a new car to skitch when your momentum starts slowing down. Without skitching, you'll always finish last. With it, you might go from 5th to 1st with one or two good slingshots. Like Road Rash, you can punch or use weapons during races but it's more often a novelty than good strategy. You can also buy upgraded equipment from the money you win on races. You can perform tricks off jumps during the race too, which earns bonus cash. The controls are not as good as Road Rash - while the steering is smooth, I had some troubles latching onto cars and executing other moves.

Bottom line: Skitchin' is an under-the-radar game for a reason. While it uses the Road Rash formula, the Road Rash series on Genesis is superior, with better gameplay and more fun. On pure gameplay, Skitchin' is an average game at best. But it's unique concept earns it bonus points and makes it worth a look for Road Rash fans. Skitchin' is a Genesis exclusive and sells for about $10 loose and $20 complete.

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Re: Skitchin' (Sega Genesis) [Road Rash on roller blades]

Posted: July 25th, 2019, 12:14 am
by DrLitch
Thanks for the post. This takes me right back to my childhood. I remember playing this when I was around 12 or 13 years old. It's resemblance to Road Rash is uncanny but I do believe this one was developed by EA. While not a particularly novel game it was still good fun at the time. I spent many an hour playing this one.

Re: Skitchin' (Sega Genesis) [Road Rash on roller blades]

Posted: August 3rd, 2019, 9:38 am
by VideoGameCritic
I actually have an old unfinished review of this I need to dig up.

I suspect one reason this style of game didn't catch on is because it would VERY DANGEROUS if kids started emulating it in real life. EA was probably afraid of lawsuits.

Re: Skitchin' (Sega Genesis) [Road Rash on roller blades]

Posted: August 5th, 2019, 11:04 am
by Retro STrife
VideoGameCritic wrote:I actually have an old unfinished review of this I need to dig up.

I suspect one reason this style of game didn't catch on is because it would VERY DANGEROUS if kids started emulating it in real life. EA was probably afraid of lawsuits.


Nice- I'd be interested to see the final review if you get back around to it.

And yes, EA must have been afraid of lawsuits -- there is a big "WARNING" screen right when you boot up the game, telling you not to attempt this at home. I imagine the lawyers at EA were like: "Some kid will definitely try this at home, and you are definitely getting sued for it. But please at least make our jobs a little easier with this giant Warning screen." But, like with all product lawsuits, EA figured it would be worth the price if the game was a financial success. It wasn't, of course, and so we never saw a Skitchin' 2.

Re: Skitchin' (Sega Genesis) [Road Rash on roller blades]

Posted: August 5th, 2019, 1:42 pm
by Matchstick
What a cheap thrill, this game. Haven't seen it in any of my local stores in some time, but when I used to, it was never more than $10, case and all.

That's the best thing about some of the old EA cartridges, as they tend to blend right in with the menagerie of sports games and often get overlooked / mis-labeled by stores. I've definitely been able to pick up both Mutant League games as well as Crüe Ball and Syndicate this way. When all Genesis EA "sports" games tend to get priced for 99 cents by someone who's not paying attention to the titles, well, it makes them ripe for the picking.

Most local stores I go to are positively *thrilled* to be able to sell off any of their bloated Genesis inventory, and whether the game runs $.99 or $9.99, they just want it gone. Picking up a stack of 10 old EA cartridges for $10, which may or may not include a game that should cost more than a buck, is a no-brainer both ways. The shopper gets a great deal, and the store gets to clear some space. Win-win.

Back on topic, Skitchin' will always have one of my favorite box art quips. I even showed it to my wife a few years ago when I saw the case sitting on the shelf at my local store, and she just lost it. Right there on the back of the box, "Skatin' & hitchin'. Skitchin' - It's bitchin'!"

Doesn't get much better than that, folks!