Skate Attack PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

When you think of skateboarding and gaming, the Tony Hawk’s series is the one that comes to mind, and this is with little wonder, given that Activision’s series has dominated the skateboarding park for many years now. Skate Attack is an attempt at taking the template of the Birdman’s series and crafting a less challenging game from it.

From the outset you are given the choice of two characters (more are unlocked as you progress), with the unselected one ending up as an unfortunate kidnap victim of Virus (oddly, he’s a casino mascot and an escapee from an advertising board). It’s with little surprise that your mission involves you trying to get your buddy back by completing various challenges set up by Virus’ robotic referees.

The game begins proper in the old downtown city streets, and it’s here where your eyes will fall across a game that doesn’t look too bad at all for its attractive budget price. Graphics are simplistic, but pleasingly bright, and certainly not without a dash of personality. It won’t win any awards for technical achievements that’s for sure, but on the other hand it certainly hasn’t hit every branch on the ugly tree either.

Like the majority of the Tony Hawk games, you are given the freedom to skate around the environments, involving yourself exclusively in the main missions or taking on the many side tasks as well. Missions are typical of a Tony Hawk’s game, although never can we remember laser tagging a flying robotic drone and then riding it, nor can we remember brawling with metallic opposition on any of those games. These few elements do give Skate Attack an identity of its own of sorts, but the series that has inspired it always remains obvious (something that Midas politely admits).

The fighting is simplistic, and involves you taking on Virus’ minions by bouncing on top of them. The laser-tagging is meanwhile an enjoyable way to journey around the environments, as you can use your laser to jump to any vehicle and take a cheeky ride on top of a taxi etc. This certainly makes travel speedy, although when you aren’t involved in any missions you can instantly jump to any open tasks through a menu screen, and also restart others you have failed. These shortcuts are present in the Hawk’s series, and we’re glad to see that Skate Attack follows suit like a kid and his role model.

If you are a proficient Tony Hawk’s player and you are looking to challenge yourself with a similar game, then Skate Attack may disappoint. The game seems more geared towards the less skilled or younger player, as things aren‘t quite as complex, although fortunately there’s still enough to give the game some variety including everything from lip tricks, manuals, grinds, kicks, grabs to the more specialised of tricks. With the latter said, the potential still remains for some mammoth combo scores, which will satisfy those who just can’t get enough of raising their combo numbers up to a near impossible numerical value.

There’s also a substantial multiplayer mode that nicely rounds up this great value package. A number of trials can be setup to participate in, and players then take it in turns in an attempt to prove their skateboarding supremacy. Trials range from combo challenges, rat slaying challenges to collection and poster destruction challenges. It’s a multiplayer mode to be proud of, and one which will keep the game from collecting dust on the shelf.

Skate Attack is a very appealing game that has an unusual quality for a budget release. This may very well be the result of lifting ideas from another series, although when the finished product turns out this good and for a bargain RRP price of £19.99, full credit must really go to all the people involved.

8/10

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