Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Review

Developer: The Collective Publisher: Atari
Release Date: February 14, 2006 Also On: PC, PS2 and Xbox

Let’s be honest. There aren’t that many graffiti games out on the market. The only others I can even think of are in the Jet Set Radio franchise by Sega. I enjoy this franchise quite a bit, but Marc Ecko is nothing like Jet Set Radio. Marc Ecko is straight-up graffiti on the streets and claiming territory as your own. This seems like a good concept, but there are many flaws within its structure that make it not as enjoyable as it should be. Marc Ecko’s Getting Up seems like a good idea for a game, but so much could have been done to make it better.

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If you look at the opening cut-scene, you really get a sense of what life is really like for graffiti artists on the streets. The constant battle for turf and the ridicule of police will follow you throughout the levels of the game. The texture mapping paves the way for a fun-looking urban environment that should span for miles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver at that point as you get boxed off levels to run around and can’t roam the city freely looking for tags. The actual graffiti looks fantastic and was designed by real graffiti artists. That is something no other graffiti game can say they have had the luxury of. It might not be on par with some of the better looking Xbox games out there, but Getting Up gets the job done fairly well.

Okay, I understand that this is an urban streets environment, but all the rap in this game really has to go. Sure, it has a nice collection of different artists, but I like a change of pace every once in a while. Not everyone interested in graffiti listens to rap music. The voice-acting does its job and immerses you into the great storyline. You are soaked up in rebelling against the government that has sworn to rid the town of the graffiti that it is being plagued by. You may think all of your enemies are out to get you, but once being dropped into the storyline, you find out you’re all on the same page. Getting Up is really about “flipping the script� as stated by Marc Ecko himself

While the storyline was a great one, I had trouble staying interested because of the annoying gameplay. My biggest beef was that you cannot run around in a free-roaming city tagging anywhere you want. The small levels you get are nothing compared to what you could have had. There are only certain spots where you can actually put them up, which is a nuisance as well. What is an even bigger shame is that you can’t even create your own graffiti to tag around the city. I mean, you get this option in American Wasteland and in Jet Set Radio Future, so why not a pure graffiti game? That really is a bummer and would add a lot of replay value to Getting Up.

The fighting in the game is basically done through button mashing which is no fun at all. If you end up being surrounded, you basically are going down because it’s near impossible to defend yourself from a swarming attack. If you find yourself fighting two police officers, just quit before you even try. You will not last. The sloppy camera work doesn’t help the fighting either as you will be in awkward positions most of the time your fighting.

Progressing through the Marc Ecko becomes more of a chore than an achievement. I had trouble just staying interested during my time that I was playing through. Because of this, I doubt I would pick it up again. Marc Ecko’s Getting Up could have been so much more, but we are left wondering what could have been if the game would have been in production another few months.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 6.8
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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