Top Skater! I've waited 15 years to play this game!


Top Skater is an arcade game that came out in 1997. It has a skateboard controller that you stand on to turn, ollie and nollie. Today, it can be played on a Sega Model 2 emulator, and I’m glad to get the chance to give it a try!


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  1. It's a shame to play the game without the board though. That's what made it so cool. But with that said if love to see someone modify the board controller to give it a larger range of motion. The very limited range of pop ended up making it very difficult and weird when you are actually familiar with how to skate. Maybe someone could hook up a Wii tony hawk ride deck/controller to the emulator in some way

  2. I rember going to laser tag, playing this in the lobby, game of bowling, finished with a KFC, my childhood right there

  3. This game is like the skateboarding version of crazy taxi. Being in that skate board controller deck is part of the experience though.

  4. There is a fascinating review by the game's Japanese developers at Basically, they talk about how they made up some of the tricks, none of them skateboarded, and they wanted to embody a skateboarding fantasy with smooth tricks and huge airs on a fantasy course instead of focusing on more normal skateboarding tricks and environments like kickflipping on flat ground, which they thought would be too boring. That being said, they did run the game by some pro skaters at the time and made some changes to tricks and added some extra tricks before release accordingly. In fact, their whole idea was not that the player would do as many tricks as possible, or race through the course as fast as possible without doing tricks, but to basically do a mix – a smooth run that looks cool. Since you get a good time bonus, there is no need to jam in as many tricks as possible during the time limit like Street Sk8er (also unlike Street Sk8er, the game is designed to prevent you from going backwards and keeps forcing you forward on the course), in fact, the faster you are going when doing a trick makes you do a more substantial and higher scoring trick so crashing into things definitely makes a difference. At the same time, going through the course as fast as possible and ignoring certain trick opportunities and/or the extra time medallions isn't enough to give you S rank alone. In terms of playing the game, the devs even suggest doing stuff that doesn't give you points, like slaloming through cones. This game predated Tony Hawk and Street Sk8er and was mind boggling at the time with its large 3d environments. I heard it influenced the downhill levels in Tony Hawk 1, and it really looks like Street Sk8er tried hard to be this game. It seems like after THPS1 came out, no one was looking to copy this game anymore though. The skateboard controllers worked pretty well when they were new and not beaten to hell with people trying to literally pop ollies on them for years. Even if you didn't like it, you have to agree that it would have been better than a typical arcade joystick or a steering wheel or something. While they didn't do another skateboarding game, the game with its colorful graphics and announcer and soundtrack really embodies an aesthetic and style that sega used in many other arcade games of the 90s such as Crazy Taxi, Virtua Fighter 2, Sega Water Ski, Ski Champ, etc. No doubt there were a lot of personnel and shared tools between the teams that worked on those games.

  5. Reef brazil still makes flip flops but they tried to make skate shoes back then. They sponsored diego buccieri or whatever his name is

  6. Have you tried playing this game with a Wii Balance Board? Because I haven't, and I want to know if anyone else has tried it.

    I don't own a Wii Balance Board…

  7. I stayed playing this game whenever my mom went to the casino, then when I became too old to be in kid care I got to hang with the teen next door in the arcade while she gambled, now while I go to the casino as an adult to play some, I always stop by to play my old friend. In the arcade somebody taught me the codes for Alex the Surfer and P-Nut the bodyboarder which I remember to this day. To get Alex just start the game and select your level then press Left button 3x at the Character Selection screen then press Right 3x and finally Press Left for 13 times until you see Alex. To unlock P-Nut is easy but tricky if you mess up. Start the game but hold your select button after you pick your stage and continue holding it down while you press Right 6x then Left 6x then Right 3x then Left 3x and finally Press Right 4 individual times but release the Select button at the same time as you made the fourth button press and then one of the female characters swaps out for P-Nut. Enjoy everyone

  8. It looks like they made a snowboarding game and they had it 90% finished. One dude was like "What if this was skateboarding instead". The skateboard is massive and he doesn't stand on the tail. All the animations look like they would be in a snowboarding game.

  9. 13:57 There's two, one downhill one named Ollie King, and one half pipe one, which has an emulator, but it's hard to control, air trix.

  10. I gotta look up the song list for this one. I think I've only seen 3 songs so far. Good picks but I'm curious what other pw they picked. I wish more games used about time songs

  11. its crazy to me how similar this is to crazy taxi on its aesthetic and tone. wish they would port this to console.

  12. When I Was In High School,
    My Friend Actually Bought A Pair Of Vans Shoes After Playing This Game (Top

    I Was Hoping This Game
    Would Come Out On Saturn Since I Had A Saturn Back Then.

    The Late 1990S And Early
    2000S Was Like The Golden Age Of Skateboarding Video Games.

    Top Skater Never Made It
    To Any Home Console But I Would Have To Say It Was Street Sk8Er That Felt Like
    A Home Port Of Top Skater. It’S Likely That The Developers Of Street Sk8Er Were
    Former Sega Employees Who Developed Top Skater At That Time.

    I Hope You Get To Review
    Air Trix As Well. I Found That More Addictive Than Top Skater.

  13. By the way, this game was largely based on the earlier snowboarding games if I recall correctly. It may actually use the same but improved game engine as Alpine Racer and Alpine Surfer, earlier arcade games by SEGA. So in some ways this game heavily relied on problems already solved in those earlier games. Gameplay as a result is pretty decent indeed.
    Level design also has a very obvious snowboarding vibe to it. Those snowboarding games definitely predate this game. There also were quite a bunch of 2D games that were doing 'fake 3D' stuff too from around 1990 or there about. It was still one of the earlier 3D games, but definitely a game already benefitting from a huge improvement we saw from Playstation 1 game era. The graphics card hardware also quickly became much better around 1999 or so with a huge jump in graphical fidelity. Then of course Playstation 2 and the PC took off around 2000 (games like Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena, ).

  14. I remember playing this game all the time as a kid at the arcades. The giant machine with a real looking skateboard really easily drew the eye of the kid from across the arcade back in the day, lol. Was a really fun game, and I hope you get to play the actual machine and control it with the skateboard someday, since playing it on emulator is only going to give you a partial experience 😉

  15. Dude the way u pronounce ur "s" drives me crazy. Very sharp nd feminine it like whistles I dunno.. I cringed at "some sick grinds".. I dunno if u get this a lot or not nd maybe I'm just a dick but I bet ud get more subs if u toned it down

  16. i remember this game at the arcade it was actually pretty fun because you actually have too sorta ollie the board it was stuck in place but it let you give it some motion by stepping on the tail it was always so loud tho because you would push the tail down and the front of the board can only go up so far so it would just smash around while you jumped up and down on the thing

  17. I remember the time, when I played this game, when I was a schoolboy…in far 1995-6 . Now I show this review to my son. He likes it.

  18. Holy shit! i never knew but i played this game before here in germany. When i was little i used to have my birthday party with all my friends in this arcade/fun house. They had like 2 arcade machines, some bounce castles and more random stuff. i cant belive i completely forgot about this game! was always my go-to machine to play there! had a skateboard for you to stand on and you controlled it only by leaning to the sides and doing the olli motion. must have been around 2004 to 2006 when it was setup in the arcade here!

  19. I loved this arcade so much as a teenager in the late 90s. I was a skater in those days too, which made me like it even more. I am now in my mid 30s and cant really be a skater anymore without breaking bones, lol. Does anyone know of any public places that still have this arcade to play?

  20. I’ll take a shot in the dark and say: anyone from the San Jose CA area and remember this game being at the old Vans skate park at the Great Mall?

  21. just so you know. there is some sort of code you can put to unlock a surfer. i accidentally did it on the arcade. also. during my teen skating years i wasted SOOOOO much money on this game lmao. totally worth it because that game was always getting broken.


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