Razor Freestyle Scooter is Crave's attempt to cash in on two separate trends. The first is the Razor scooter, a metallic two-wheeled scooter that is quickly cementing itself as one of the hot items for kids this holiday season. The second is the extreme/alternative sports genre, spawned by Activision's 1999 smash hit, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. While you might immediately dismiss this game as just more licensed tripe designed to dupe the average game buyer, it's a surprisingly solid game that will also serve to introduce the game genre to a slightly younger crowd.
The developer, Shaba Games, is the same crew responsible for Grind Session, one of the few Tony Hawk-like games that actually brought something worthwhile to the table. Razor Freestyle Scooter uses the Grind Session engine and contains many of that game's interface and design elements, such as a meter that runs along the right side of the screen, an in-game look function, and the game's basic control.
Unlike most games of this type, Razor Freestyle Scooter actually has a bit of a plot. It seems that Norton, a giant robot, has kidnapped most of your Razor-riding crew. To free them, you have to go from level to level, completing challenges as you go. The challenges are fairly standard, and each level has two score challenges, a wheel collection challenge, a bonus time challenge, a combo score challenge, and a grind distance challenge. Eventually you unlock sky fortress levels, where you'll have to collect a certain number of wheel icons to free (and thus unlock for play) one of your compatriots. While most of the levels have a very skate-park-like feel to them, the sky fortress levels are more puzzle oriented. Here, you must collect all the wheels in one run, and there are usually only one or two ways to go about getting them all within the time limit.
The game's graphics are pretty solid, and the trick animations are pretty nice. The game features a licensed soundtrack, containing your typical pop-punk "extreme" music from bands like Sick Shift and the Sloppy Meat Eaters.
Razor Freestyle Scooter, while aimed at a younger crowd, seems like a pretty solid game so far. We'll have a full review of the game a little closer to the game's release, which is currently scheduled for early December.