This game is just... weird.
This game was literally one of the earliest games I played, if you'd believe it. In about 1997 we got our Sony PlayStation, and of the games my parents decided to buy was MTV Slamscape. I don't blame 'em; when buying a new console, people tend to also get a lot of shovelware with it. (This was especially the case with the Wii, since sometimes it seems like half its library is shovelware.) I don't really remember anyone getting very far in the game, which really makes sense in retrospect. But I'll get into that later on. I spent years trying to remember what this game was called, and I eventually found it, and bought it. I kinda wish I hadn't.
It occurs to me that we seem to talk about games from the 90's a lot on the site. I guess that makes sense, since most of us were children and/or young teens in the 90's. This game is extremely rooted in the 90's. The whole thing looks almost like a grunge music video, stylistically. The whole soundtrack was created by a band called God Lives Underwater, which I hadn't heard of before or since. Both these things are probably helped by the fact that this is an MTV game. (Back in those days, they still played music videos!)
The music is pretty strange. The game forgoes traditional melodies for repeating rhythmic sounds that actually change based on where in the level you are. I appreciate the effort, and its a neat idea, but it doesn't sound to pleasing on the ears. Though, its definitely not ear-rape or anything like that. The sound effects are all appropriate to what's happening. Things explode, your ship bumps off of surface. They can sound a bit cartoony for the dark and gritty environment the game has going.
The gameplay itself is a little hard to describe. You pilot a small futuristic ship that floats along the ground. It has rudders, sci-fi esque light up boosters, a windsheild, and a huge bumper on the front. The idea is you boost around the level bumping into things, jumping over stuff, and shooting enemies. The goal is to find "Orb-ids" scattered around the level, then head to the exit. I... can't even manage this on the first level. This game is brutal. Enemies swarm you from all over, you start with very little health, and you only get one life. You can increase your health with little crystal things of varying size that attach to your ship. Though, this can be pretty easily taken away from enemies. You must also grab these crystals from larger to smaller sizes. If you try to grab a smaller one before you have a bigger one, it just bounces away, which is very confusing at first. Enemies don't really seem to react to betting shot, even if you can shoot them. Powerups are plenty, and are usually useful. The controls take a bit to get used to, but are pretty easy once you figure them out. The game runs pretty smooth, isn't buggy at all, and the controls are responsive.
The main problem with this game is that it does nothing to help the player understand what's going on. The intro cinematic shows a first person perspective of someone getting into a car wreck, taken to the hospital, and hooked up to a virtual reality device that stabs into your eyeballs. (This intro scared the hell outta me as a kid.) Then it just dumps you in. The intro doesn't really give you a clue of what you need to do, so I hope you have the manual. And, of course, since I bought it second hand, I didn't have the manual. So your only option is to experiment... Which is hard to do when you only have one life.
Revisiting MTV Slamscape was an interesting experience for me, and pretty nostalgic. However, I do not recommend you go out and get this game.