Posted 2 years ago By - Zach R.
The Skate series has earned a name for itself as one of the best skating games available today. While the competition hasn’t seen much success in the later years of its career, the Skate series has always managed to bring something fresh to the table, without changing the core gameplay that makes it so much fun. To be honest though, the series hasn’t really been kind to anyone with a casual interest in skate games. Has that changed with the latest Black Box/EA title? Let’s see...
The good news is, yes, the game has been developed with a more casual focus in mind. Now hold on, don’t get your knickers in a twist, as by casual, I mean it’s more accessible for everyone to play, not just people who’ve mastered the previous games. This is a game that anyone can pick up and roll with, regardless of whether you can do a darkslide 50-50 with a fingerflip, or you strictly have a grasp on the basics.
The game starts off with its usual ridiculous opening movie, which sees your skater perform a crazy stunt, only to fail and require plastic surgery to reconstruct their face. Of course, this opens up the games create-a-skater mode which is as solid as its ever been, although nothing really new has been added to the mix this year. Once you’ve customized your skater, you’re set to shred.
Skate 3 does its best at trying to offer a storyline to the proceedings, but unfortunately, the story offers very little for players to sink their teeth into. The premise has your skater trying to start up their own skate brand, which sounds neat until you realize you won’t be doing anything aside from skating and taking photos to help your brand get recognized. Yes, the game is about skating, so that’s not really all that surprising. But overall it feels like something more should have been done here. As it stands, the story merely serves as a means to an end and nothing more.
The gameplay is also as solid as ever this year. Pulling off tricks is simply a matter of flicking the right stick for flips, and using the triggers and face buttons for grabs and tweaks. Veterans of the series will definitely feel right at home, although there are some new tricks for them to toy around with. For new players, there’s the excellent Skate school feature, (hosted by Jason Lee as Coach Frank), which will help you learn almost everything you need to know. It’s a couple of years too late, but it’s good to finally see something like this added, as its a great way to hone your skills before the inevitable online trek.
If you’ve played Skate before, you’ll know that it’s renown for its ridiculously difficult and trick specific challenges. That’s not the case this time around, as Black Box has created a tiered system that allows novices the chance to "own" a challenge, while veterans will have to "kill" it. The difference between the two is quite simple. Owning a challenge simply requires you to perform a specific task, such as gap or grind an object. Killing it however, will require you to perform very specific tricks, which is reflective in nature of the older Skate titles. Of course, as welcome as this system is, the game will be panned by veterans for feeling a little light when it comes to challenge, even when it comes to "killing" a specific challenge. The overall feel to the game is far more casual than the previous games, and while most won’t have a problem with it, if you’re someone who’s completed both of the previous entries, you won’t find much here that will take you more than a couple of tries to beat.
Even if you are having problems, the games’ co-op system will often bail you out, whether you’re flying solo, or throwing down online. It was obviously designed with the online option in mind, as what’s found here is the most comprehensive online experience I’ve come across in a boarding game. From freeskating with friends to killing challenges with a team or going it alone, Skate 3 is really all about community. What’s cool about the game is that challenges are persistent (i.e. they carry over from offline to online), so if you can’t seem to master one of the more difficult tasks in the game, hopping online and inviting a friend to shred with you will allow you to progress past that point, even if your friend does all the work.
Graphics & Sound
Skate 3 is largely built exactly the same as the previous game. There’s not much polish when it comes to the character models, and the animations are largely the same as well. That’s not a bad thing, but if you have played any other version of the game, Skate 3 isn’t going to surprise or "wow" you.
The audio is decent, with a varied soundtrack that includes Dinosaur Jr., Del the Funkee Homosapien, and...Neil Diamond. Yep, I said Neil Diamond. I’ll let you form your own conclusions from that. Contests will also feature the constant banter of a very enthusiastic commentator, while the sounds of the city are a little too sparse while you skate your way around the town.
There’s quite a bit of content to check out here. In addition to the things I’ve mentioned, there’s a new and improved Hall of Meat, which has you purposely bailing and breaking bones. If you’re thinking FlatOut on a skateboard, you’re not too far off. There’s also an in-depth park editor which allows you to create and share parks with friends. While casual fans may not be swayed to release their inner architech, veterans who remember last year’s creation system will find this a much easier, not to mention more fully realized, editor that will keep you busy for hours.
The online portion also includes a mini social-networking feature (Skate.feed) that let’s you keep track of friends and teammates. It works kind of like Facebook, letting you peruse pics, clips, and check out the feats they’ve accomplished. While it may not sound like a selling point, it is a pretty cool bullet point that will fuel the fires of competition greatly.
This is the definitive version for anyone who found the last two games too daunting. It never outright holds your hand, but the new tiered progression system and online co-op make it easier for anyone to enjoy the game, while not leaving the hardcore Skate fans out of the fold.
+ Still the best gameplay found in a skating game
+ Online is extremely well done
+ Hall of Meat challenges are a blast to play
+ Tiered progression works well...
- Storyline never really shows itself after the initial opening sequence
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Release Date : 2010/05/11
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : EA Games
Developer : EA Black Box
Category : Sports
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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