ESPN Extreme Games is an extreme sports game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment of America and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America for the PlayStation in the US, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in EU regions, and Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan.
The game was published on PC by Sony Imagesoft in the US and Psygnosis Limited in EU regions.
The game was eventually renamed 1Xtreme because the ESPN license had expired.
The gameplay in ESPN Extreme Games combines multiple extreme sports into one video game. This including skateboarding, mountain biking, street luge, and rollerblading. Although this equipment is all very different, they all control the same.
The main goal of the game is to work the way through a linear track to get to the finish line. Additionally, players are able to kick and punch their opponents in hopes of stopping them from reaching the finish line.
Players can speed up or slow down using the X or triangle buttons while the circle or square buttons allows players to jump over or crouch under various obstacles.
There are dozens of different obstacles on each of the five courses which threaten to slow players down and knock them off their vehicle. Each obstacle has a different mass and stability, making some easier to overcome than others. The difficulty which the game was set to not only affects the AI skill, but also the amount of obstacles on any given course.
This is the games way of letting players avoid obstacles. This entails jumping over barrels, crouching under low-hanging tree branches or "extreme leaning" as a last ditch effort to not wipe out.
There are gates placed throughout all the levels that either directly effect the level itself or how much money is accrued by the end of the race. Green gates give more money, yellow gives more season points and blue gates open secret passages. Like-colored gates are placed together in sequence, and if the player manages to make it through all of them, a bonus is awarded.
There's a special bonus to the player that manages to hit every gate on the map. Once the race is over and all gates have been hit, players are sent to a special cash course where the sole goal is to make it through as many gates as possible to gain substantially higher amounts of money.
Every player has a stamina meter which depletes as the player wipes out, hits obstacles or getting punched and kicked by another racer. The less stamina available makes the easier it is for another racer to knock players off their vehicle.
Punching or kicking an opponent slows players down in the process, so a balance of out-maneuvering or out-fighting an opposing player is key. There are ways to recover lost stamina however, the faster players ride without hitting anything or needing to peddle/push increases stamina accordingly.
There are four vehicle types in the game:
- Mountain Bikes
- In-line skates
- Street luges
Each vehicle offers different advantages for different situations. Luges have great speed, maneuvering and are hard to knock over, but they can't jump over obstacles and have slower starting speeds.
Mountain bikes can handle obstacles the best out of any of the vehicles, but are also the easiest to knock off balance.
In-line Skates offer the best starting speeds but suffer more from kicking opponents like those riding on Luges.
Skateboards are the most balanced of all the vehicles offering decent starting speeds, good fighting skills and moderate maneuverability.
The season mode in ESPN Extreme Games is simply to accrue as much funds as possible during the 12 race regular season in order to have the best equipment available for the final races in the season.
At the end of each race, players are given a score based on their finishing time, place and how many gates were hit. This score was then placed on a leader board specific to each race. At the end of the season all of the players scores are added up, and placed on a season-wide leader board.
Pre and post-race cutscenes featured ESPN2 anchor, Suzy Kolber detailing each race venue, congratulating the player on a first-place finish or ridiculing them on anything but a win.
ESPN Extreme Games was a North American launch game for the original PlayStation (PSOne) back in 1995. The game launched alongside nine other PS1 launch titles that included: