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August 11, 2008 | by  | in Games |
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Game Review: Skate

Its been a while but I’m (Ryback) back and with a vengeance. The NZ distributor for Nintendo Wii games going under was like a sniper shot to the shoulder. But like any good Seagal movie, it has not got me down but rather made me stronger. Now armed with a Ps3, bought with hard earned pingers saved, the guidance of the frugal master Hansmoleman2000 and the precision military style of TV3’s own ginger ninja Money Man, I’m able to bring you the dopest skateboarding game on console – EA Games’ Skate. Sorry PC gamers, looks like you lose out on yet another title. Must suck when you’ve just upgraded your BUOC to play a dwindling library of killah games. Must suck even more when you’ve got to deal with constant mobo failures and incompatiable Raid hdds. Lolz! [Ed: Oh burrrrn Hansmoleman2000].

Since the days of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on the PS1, skateboarding had been all about button bashing to pull the most insane moves that even the uber cool guys at the physics department in Laby can’t prove. It was cool at first, but once you had the art of button bashing down the next million Tony Hawk games have been, to be quite frank, shit. So it’s a refreshing change that EA for once has come up with a decent product – a skateboarding game incorporating the frustrations of real life skateboarding. Skate is different in that it’s actually a simulation; pulling difficult tricks actually requires coordination and skill, so if you’re one of those jocks with longboards please GTFO! But as one out of the two game reviewers here at Salient that can actually skate, it’s as satisfying landing a smith grind down a stair-case in Skate as it is to land a trick in real life, making it a good substitute for those unskateable rainy days or when wanna-be Compton ass thugs have taken over Waitangi skate park.

How Skate has managed to create such unique gameplay is down to the innovative “flick it” system. Instead of pressing buttons as you would traditionally, Skate makes use of the analogue stick. In order to do a trick, you are required to tap towards certain directions dependent on your approach and the angle or place that you land on the ledge/rail. Sounds as easy as Fcom110.

Unfortunately there is little room for error. Precision is the key here, meaning loads of replayability as it’s so hard to master. Expect to do one amazing line that no matter how hard you try will probably never be repeated. And with an open GTA-esque environment, there’s always a chance for you to discover new spots to skate. This environment is incorporated well into the main objective of the game – to make it as a pro skater. You need to complete objectives based on real life skateboarder “jobs” such as photo shoots and filming scenes for your skate films.

What is lacking in Skate is the number of multiplayer modes. Sure there is online, but a small community holds it back while there are only two modes offline to challenge your “real friends”. With those modes you are quite limited in what you are able to do. It gives me the feeling that the multiplayer facet of this game was somewhat overlooked, as if it was just another money spinning Will Smith movie. Okay, maybe not as shit as Hancock, but Skate had the potential to be classic. However, being the first skating game of its kind I’ll let the little minor things slide. With Skate 2 already in the works EA has found its niche market, and from what I’ve seen it looks like those little things have been worked on. Enjoy this well presented and innovative game, my fellow sk8er bois and 1337 cyber warriors.

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