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A.P.I Review: Psybadek
Developer: Psygnosis OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Psygnosis 1-2 Player
Game Type: Hoverboard Platform Memory Card
Review Date: December 1998 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

This stylish combo of traditional platform trickery and board riding-inspired, catch-some-air thrills, is an adrenaline rush for the senses that will inspire gamers to the point of obsession as they learn the skills that will take them to higher levels of Psybadek addiction.

Grab your "dek" and perform the ultimate in boarding style and skill - defying gravity with the toughest stunts, racing out of control through obstacle-ridden worlds, solving brain-baffling puzzles and combating evil enemies with an array of weaponry.


Featuring the "dek-boarding", street-smart Xako and Mia characters whose inspiration comes from the popular Manga Japanese animation style, Psybadek offers a blend of real-time, go-anywhere 3D-platform action and the thrills and spills of "hoverdek" stunt riding.


Graphically Psybadek is fine. Each level has been fully decorated in SoftImage being rich with detail and depth thanks to an advanced graphic system that allows animations to be layered.

The high resolution visuals are of a standard we have come to expect from Psygnosis. The cute little characters are viewed from the third person perspective in a similar style to that of Crash Bandicoot. Although the graphics don't quite reach the peaks of that lovable old marsupial's adventures they are quite detailed and certainly colorful. Perhaps a 3D version of Rayman would be a better comparison.

Falling snow has a translucent appearance, power ups and collectibles emit a warm glow that attracts you towards them, while themed enemies such as psycho penguins in the snow zones and little red devils in the underworld have been extremely well animated. Watch out for the stunts and weapons that have special effects like shockwaves and mushroom clouds.

The game moves along at an incredible frame-rate but does tend to suffer from constant close range pop-up but because your character is confined within a horse shoe shaped trough this seldom seems affect the gameplay. Unfortunately as you advance further into the game your character can often become entrapped between obstacles leading to some horrendous and confusing glitching of scenery.

Sounds and Effects

Psybadek may have a few nuisances in the graphical department but the musical sounds are as sweet as a pea. There is the occasional pop as a star is collected, but generally most of the effects are kept to a minimum so as to not interrupt the brilliant bopping tunes of Bently Rhythm Ace. Cool!


Psybadek's main objective is to test your racing skills, reflexes and battle instincts as your character races through the levels on a quest to save your buddies kidnapped by the evil Krakken.

Controlling your character is relatively simple with face buttons used to jump, accelerate, fire weapon and perform an iso turn (180°). Shoulder buttons allow you to look back, duck, adjust camera angle and check stunt meter.

You must first choose to play as either a male or female character, Xako or Mia, each of whom sports an individual set of stunts and board riding techniques, and has access to different secret levels. Let's choose Mia, the chick with big eyes and cute pig tails.

Mia is first warped to a practice area where within a few minutes she will be whizzing along smoothly on her hoverboard without a care in the world. Psybadek takes place in a series of horse shoe shaped troughs that take her through varying terrains such as an ice world, mountain range, jungle, desert and underworld. Each zone has multiple levels and features challenging obstacles like crushers, moving platforms, buried mines and crumble areas.

There are also many power-ups to collect on your travels such as dek charges that give your dek an extra surge of power, helmet and gloves to survive crashes, and decoys to confuse the enemy. You also can collect and tow weapons, such as magnetic mines and snowballer bombs, behind your dek to unleash against Krakken and his henchmen.

By entering the warp mirror in the practice area your character is taken a central point where one of the five worlds may be entered. This entrance leads to a skate park where access may be gained to each level of that particular world.

To begin with the levels are fairly easy involving Mia gathering together as many stars as possible by gliding through them while negotiating a few strategically placed pine trees. Occasionally she will be required to jump out of the trough and into another. As she advances enemies begin to appear on the scene which must be avoided by swerving around or jumping over them.

Complete a level and you must face a Boss character such as Phat Boy who defends the gateway between the Mountain and Jungle zones and crushes opponents under his massive girth. Rescue a buddy from a Boss and they will swap deks with you, thus upgrading your hover board.

Each time you rescue a friend from a Boss, he or she will trade deks with you, leaving you with a significantly upgraded hover board. Finally, it will take the best dek and all of your accumulated stunts and weapons to defeat the end-of-game Boss.

Value for Money

The graphics are acceptable, the music excellent but the gameplay becomes quite frantic. Psybadek certainly doesn't lack lastability but whether you will make it right through to the end is debatable.

GRAPHICS: 15/20 It looks and sounds great but the gameplay suffers from the same flaws as Jersey Devil. What begins as an enjoyable platform title soon becomes a series of nuisance tasks that borders on the frustrating.

Shame because Psybadek had all of the ingredients to become a highly original game. Especially since there are no other hoverboard platforms on the Playstation.
SOUND: 7/10
VALUE: 16/20


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