It’s been a while since I’ve had a fun video game story.
When I was in grad school, my brother, Dom aka The Fat Lantern, lived with me. He was in college at the time, and we spent a lot of our time playing video games. He was a Nintendo Gamecube guy, and I was a Sony PlayStation 2 guy. At one point, he picked up Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, and it looked like a lot of fun. I had read online that the PS2 version was superior because the controller layout was better.
I picked up the PS2 version and played through it a few times. I really liked the gameplay because it was a fun thing that you could spend as little or as much time with as you want. It also had some pretty cool music. At the time, real music started to be used in mainstream video games, so I always had fun with games that had songs that I was familiar with.
The game had the option to turn some songs off if you didn’t want to hear them. By the time I bought the game, I knew to turn everything off except for a few songs. Here’s a listing of the songs in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, and you’ll understand why. (Bold = songs in the rotation)
- “The Boy Who Destroyed the World” by AFI
- “Amoeba” by Adolescents
- “Wish” by Alien Ant Farm
- “Not the Same” by Bodyjar
- “96 Quite Bitter Beings” by CKY
- “If You Must” by Del the Funky Homosapien
- “I’m Destroying the World” by Guttermouth
- “I’m a Swing It” by House of Pain
- “Hush” by KRS-One
- “Pulse” by Mad Capsule Markets
- “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead
- “Amongst the Madness” by The Nextmen
- “Cut Chemist Suite” by Ozomatli
- “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones
- “Fight Like a Brave” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
- “Let’s Get Dirty” by Redman
- “I Can’t Surf” by The Reverend Horton Heat
- “What’s the Matter Man” by Rollins Band
- “Paparazzi” by Xzibit
- “Check” by Zebrahead
A lot of these songs were by serious nobodies. Why would I want to hear those when I could listen to “Ace of Spades” on loop while I play?
So I stuck with the franchise and got Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 when it came out. I figured I’d not try to go through the song list and disable songs before I played. I was going to give everything a chance this time. Here’s a list of the songs in THPS4.
- “TNT” by AC/DC
- “Labor” by Aesop Rock
- “Bloodstains (Darkness Version)” by Agent Orange
- “Simple Song” by Avail
- “Manthem” by The Bouncing Souls
- “Bad Dreams” by City Stars
- “Bad Fun” by The Cult
- “Oodles of O’s” by De La Soul
- “House of the Rising Drum” by Delinquent Habits
- “Seneca Falls” by The Distillers
- “Big Shots” by Eyedea & Abilities
- “Skate and Destroy” by The Faction
- “Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly
- “Mass Appeal” by Gang Starr
- “Spokesman” by Goldfinger
- “Non Compos Mentis” by Haiku D’Etat
- “Freightliner” by Hot Water Music
- “The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden
- “Beach Blanket Bongout” by JFA
- “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads” by Less Than Jake
- “Whenimondamic” by Lootpack
- “Everything and Anything” by Lunchbox Avenue
- “Standing Still” by Lunchbox Avenue
- “Bodyrock (featuring Biz Markie)” by Muskabeatz
- “I’m a Star (featuring Grandmaster Melle Mel)” by Muskabeatz
- “Versus of Doom (featuring Jeru the Damaja)” by Muskabeatz
- “Express Yourself” by N.W.A.
- “Giant” by Nebula
- “Blackball” by The Offspring
- “By the Time I Get to Arizona” by Public Enemy
- “Savoir Faire” by Rocket from the Crypt
- “My Adidas” by Run-DMC
- “Anarchy in the UK” by Sex Pistols
- “Shimmy” by System of a Down
- “Dig That Groove Baby” by Toy Dolls
- “Yer Country” by U.S. Bombs
- “Death Alley” by Zeke
A lot of the songs in this game were by better known artists, so I wanted to hear what the developers picked to put in the game.
The problem is that I have a pretty short fuse when it comes to video games. It takes very little to set me off as far as annoying things to do in games go, and this game got really annoying. Many of the songs were really annoying and only served to magnify my frustration. If a song annoyed me, I’d go into the options and angrily disable it from the list. Sometimes, I’d say the words, “off the list” as I did it. Other times, I’d let song play in the background while the game annoyed me and sing “off the list” to the tune of the song.
It got to be a pretty funny joke that Dom and I still refer to.
(Notice that none of the songs in THPS4 are bold. That’s because I think I eventually disabled every song.)