Monday, 1 October 2007


I could talk for days of the impact this game will have and already has had on the Tony Hawk’s series, but I’ve already gotten on that bandwagon once, so I’ll spare you this time. Skate is a game of such unquestionable quality, that it deserves to be viewed upon its own merits and not just those which separate from the genre’s leading man.

Skate, as a name, is by far the most effective and representative for this game. In it, you quite simply, skate. Whilst this may not come as a shock to you, bare this in mind, it is skateboarding and nothing but; no free-running, no graffiti, no BMX, no grinding Ferris wheels, just pure uncut skateboarding.
For someone such as myself, with a lifelong interest in skateboarding, this game is about the most vicarious thrill you will ever have the pleasure of spending time with. This is achieved masterfully through the game’s unique ‘Flickit’ control system, which is slightly reminiscent of EA’s Fight Night Round 3. There are three base tricks; the ollie, kickflips/heelflips and pop shuv-its, all performed through specific movements of the right analogue stick. Once you master these tricks, you can begin to branch out with variations of the stick movements to produce more complex tricks such as Hardflips and 360 Inward heelflips. All of these can then be reversed for extra tech points by performing them in Nollie (popping off the front of the board rather than the back). Each trigger represents the adjacent hand and the left stick controls the movement of your body. Throw in a multitude of grabs, spins, manuals and grinds and you have an incredibly comprehensive trick system, with only a few absentees. Darkslides in Skate 2 Black Box? Please?

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff, there are a million websites that will recite the entire game to you, lets continue with the massively biased opinion shall we?

As a gamer, Skate suits me perfectly, there is so much going on, that I cannot ever imagine myself getting board of it (hahaha, geddit?………….*loads shotgun*). Perfecting the trick roster is one thing, but there is also exploring the huge city of San Vanelona to find the best spots (10 hours in and I’ve barely scratched the surface) and not forgetting the skate reel video editor that will complement both. Whilst there is a career mode in the game, much of my time is spent finding those perfect spots, maybe now and again skating with friends or doing a film task. In terms of options afforded to the gamer, Skate has them in abundance. In my opinion, the free skate mode would be worth the money alone, well, so long as they threw in the video editor too. Finding lines, spots, customising your character and sharpening your skills will eat up such a massive amount of your time that the career mode will seem huge. To be fair, there are quite an impressive number of tasks, ranging from the challenges set by pros, and the specific film tasks or races that require completion to boost your coverage in the two featured magazines; Thrasher and The Skateboard Mag.

As you may have already gathered, from my pretty erratic writing style, I have quite a lot of trouble reviewing Skate. This is simply because I have so much to say about it, that I find it nearly impossible to refine into a readable and coherent article. For that I am sorry, and I also apologise for this bout of impromptu self-reflexivity, if that isn’t your cup of tea. Just know that my uncontrollable enthusiasm is a good thing and believe me when I say that Skate is one of the best games I have ever played.

Skate is a game that has such incredible potential. The community that is built around it seems to be growing and redefining itself every day. The user-generated content in the form of Skate. Reel ranges from the hilarious glitch exposés, to some of the cleanest and complex lines I have ever seen. This individuality and ability to develop personal style is what will separate Skate from any competition. People will continue to play it for years to come, because the only thing they can get bored with is themselves. If you feel like you have cleaned this game out, or indeed feel that you ever could, then you just aren’t looking hard enough.

My two favourite games since becoming a 360 owner have undoubtedly been Viva Piñata and Crackdown, I can now safely add Skate to this list. All three games reward the gamer for their curiosity, devotion and enthusiasm. If you enjoy freedom, expression and individuality in gaming, then Skate will more than satisfy you. That said, it also helps if you have at least a passing interest in Skateboarding. And if any of you were wondering: yes, I do skate in real life, and I suck.
The Faux-Bot

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