Skate Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

It’s really quite hard to believe that the Tony Hawk’s series is a decade old. Many have grown up with it, mastered it and pulled off combos in the millions and have probably pulled them off just as many times. Over time, many have also grown fatigued with the series, no doubt desiring a new approach for the franchise. Well, even if Activision’s series is still not quite offering that, EA’s upstart new game, the simply titled Skate, certainly is.

Whereas Activision’s games, grant you the god like powers of executing combos in the millions, performing impossibly OTT moves and allowing you to pull off even the more difficult tricks with relative ease. Skate takes a more simulation approach, making you work more for your fancy moves. The simplest of manoeuvres on the Tony Hawk games such as grinding are much more difficult to pull off here, requiring near pixel perfect positioning before you‘re able to land them, but when you do so, because of this additional challenge it’s all the more satisfying. Your success is perhaps even worthy of a couple of celebratory somersaults, watch you don’t hurt yourself though.

As it’s an EA game, Skate makes skilful use of the analogue sticks. The left one controls the body of your skater, whilst the right stick controls your board. It works well, but can take a lot of getting used to and performing the more complex tricks can take a lot of practice.

The games career mode as typically sees you taking control of a rookie skater looking to make it big, whom you name and create the appearance of before partaking in an extensive range of events. Just like the Tony Hawk games it’s also set in a sizable city, but whereas the playing area of Activision’s series appear to be a playground disguised as a city built with skaters in mind (complete with trick opportunities around just about every corner), Skate, like just about every other aspect of the game, makes you work harder to discover high scoring areas as the city is far more of a realistic creation. But in a nice touch whenever you’re around such an area, the music cranks up.

In a strange move, EA haven’t allowed you to ever get off your skateboard making for frustrating exploration at times, as hitting a curb can send you tumbling off your board (at least these tumbling physics look suitably brutal…and funny) but whilst it’s perhaps the largest fault of a near faultless game, it at least shows where all EA’s focus went. After all it is called Skate and not walk.

Every last twenty seconds, be it an awe inspiring trick sequence or nasty tumble are recorded, allowing you to craft your own videos, editing the speed, camera angles and appearance. Your finished video/s can then be uploaded to EA’s servers mostly to show off your superb skill and perhaps your encounter with lady luck, it‘s almost like YouTube for skateboard fans. Our only grievances with this otherwise pleasing addition are that you can’t post longer videos and that when you view the videos of others there are constant annoying loading pauses.

Skate is a far more satisfying and rewarding game than Tony Hawks is, but like Fifa and Pro Evolution Soccer or Gran Turismo and OutRun, opinion surely is going to be divided of which is the superior product, and like all of these games, one is an arcade style game and the other is a hardcore simulation. We’ll leave it up to you of which sounds to be the most appealing. We’ll take our leave and just say, that if you don’t mind working a little harder for your fun then Skate is the holy grail. In skate language it’s sick, dope and all that.

Whatever that means.