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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Skate review and trailer

Say goodbye to Tony Hawk's games and welcome the skate. - EA's latest product.

Finally, a skateboarding franchise we can play and enjoy instead of the declining Tony Hawk series. Though both Tony Hawk and Skate are of course skateboarding games, they differ in many aspects of the game such as controls and graphics. Not to mention that, skate is a lot more fun to play both online and offline.

The first thing you will notice while playing skate is that it is actually somewhat realistic. No more doing 30 second handstands, no more “Natas Spins” (thank god), and best of all, no more 1,000,000 point combos. The second thing you will notice is that this is in no way, shape, or form a button mashers game. The thumb-sticks are the main parts of the controller used during the game. The left thumb-stick controls your body while the right thumb-stick controls the board. Although it does take some getting used too, once you get it nailed down it just makes the game a hell of a lot of fun to play.

The story starts off similar to a movie. You are shooting a skate video, and let’s just say you should have looked both ways before you crossed the street. You basically get owned by a bus, and get rushed to the hospital. The doctor says it’s going to take some major reconstructive surgery to fix you up, so now it’s time to create your character the way you want him to look. The create-a-character isn’t exactly “great”, but it beats the Tony Hawk create-a-skater by a long shot, so be thankful with what you got. Once you finally get out of the hospital, what do you do? Skate of course! You and your friend (camera man), decide to go to the skate park in the suburbs to do a rehab session of skating. This is where you are taught everything you need to know on how to play the game. All of the tutorials are in this area, and once you finish them you should be all set to go. The main objective of the story is to earn recognition by being on the cover of skate mags and taking part of the X-Games. Not too much of a storyline here, but the game makes up for it in a big way. The city of San Velona is so huge that it’s almost overwhelming.

This is why the game never gets old. Finding sick spots to skate is what it’s all about, and that is what you will spend most of your time doing when playing this game. There are four sections of the city, each having there own type of fun to them. Those sections are the Suburbs, The Res, Downtown, and Old Town. The suburbs are exactly what you think of when you think suburbs. Lots of regular houses, some cool places to skate, a good size skate park. The Res is downhill skating all the way. If you like speed, this is the place for you. Downtown is the place with the best skate spots, but is swarming with security; so be careful. Last but definitely not least is Old Town, which is great for skating mainly ledges. The missions in the game are pretty frustrating at times to say the least. I’ve caught myself about to throw my controller a few times, but that’s nothing compared to breaking my headset while playing Halo 3...but that’s a different story. Anyways, this isn’t a game you can just breeze through. It takes time, practice, skill, and sometimes a good amount of luck is involved too.

Xbox 360 Skate trailer:

Online is great if you’re unlike myself and actually have a good connection. I don’t really like doing things such as races, but instead I just like to free skate around with my friend and practice doing tricks that are killing me in career mode. As I said before I have a pretty bad connection so I try to avoid everything except free skate, but I’ve heard that it is loads of fun, so give it a shot.

Another unique and fun part of the game is the “Replay Editor.” Say for example you did a trick/combo that is so amazing that it’s probably a once in a lifetime thing, well you can just pause the game and edit the replay of it so that it looks even cooler, and then upload it to skate’s official website to show it off to the public for them to view and rate. It’s a nice little addition to the game that makes it just that much better.

My final opinion on skate is that it is really a great game when you give it a chance. It felt awkward at first, but once you get used to it, it is a very fun game to play that can last you a long time, at least until the sequel to skate.