Artist: Video Game ReviewTitle: Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Video Game)Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Alejandro Mojado
Mark Eckos Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Atari/PS2) attempts to bring to life one of Hip-Hops most known and practiced elements. The art of tagging can be found from the streets of New York City to the farms of Iowa to the hills of Europe and Getting Up attempts to bring that to life. The game gives users the opportunity to travel around a fictitious city (similar to NYC) tagging surfaces, and fighting cats, meanwhile building a rep in the process. There are very few, if any, games with a similar premise and Atari definitely has taken cyber tagging to a new level with this game.
The story revolves around Trane, a young urban misfit who hopes to get a rep by tagging over rival crews pieces and whatever surface he can get his paint on. He lives in the oppressive futuristic city of New Radius and is ambitious about becoming a star graf artist, but there are a ton of obstacles to contend with. Rival tagging crews and fascist-like police officers called the Civil Conduct Keepers (CCK) are very much interested in stopping Trane and destroying his art. These obstacles are just miniscule parts of missions given for Trane to complete however. While fighting is important, the game is clearly centered on tagging. Each mission will have Trane completing a set number of graffiti-related objectives. The actual play mechanic for laying down your tags is easily picked up and you'll add new ways to apply tags as the game progresses. However, tagging anywhere just simply isnt an option. Even if you want to tag certain areas that look like they'd be perfect locations, the game will not allow you to do it. You'll be guided in your tagging quests by your intuition. In Trane's case, his intuition shows him the way to a sweet spot for putting up his tag.
As previously mentioned, obstacles such as the rival graffiti gangs and the CCK brings us to one of the most important game aspects into play: combat. Here you use punches, kicks and even some impromptu weapons such as paint cans, poles and the like. The combat system is not exactly on the level of say, Mortal Kombat, but it does have and punch combos, grabs, and power moves. The issue is that it seems like a lot of button mashing and senseless fighting. Also, the combat controls just aren't responsive enough to make the fighting really enjoyable. In fact it is almost reminiscent of old Nintendo controls, A, B, A, B.
On a positive note, Getting Up features a very difficult to rival soundtrack, story line and dialogue to accompany game play. However, while all of Getting Up's diverse elements come together as a moderately entertaining experience; it really could have used a bit more polish before it hit store shelves. If you are in to the graf culture then this is the game for you. However, if youre looking for an epic game that requires actual skill, then Getting Up is for toys.