Thanks to EA for giving me so much to write about.
Earlier this month I bought EA's Skate, which, I admit I didn't really give much thought. Since Neversoft have stopped making Tony Hawk games and instead of making a great series that went through a bad patch better, they decided to continue with Guitar Hero which has been the same since release and it absolutely woeful. I bought Skate for £20 at Game Station and when I played the sodding thing, I immediately wanted to sell it back. Instead of going back to trade it in, I decided to get my money's worth and blaze through the god awful career mode which is plagued with terrible skating dialogue like "sick and gnarly" and with annoying accents, s***e challenges to the point where I gave up to about 70% of the career mode. The things it asks you to do are unbelievable. The control system may be revolutionary but the majority of flip tricks you perform are so similar you end up doing tricks you never wanted to do or have never done before because it was by luck. One challenge asks me to do a nollie 360 flip onto a ledge, grind down and all the while get 700 points. To do an ordinary 360 flip, the right stick goes down at an angle and you flick it up at an angle. Describing it is difficult but with nollies, it's the complete reverse, upside down, horizontal, vertical side of the trick and it's just, stupidly annoying.
Grinding is also annoying. Unlike in Tony Hawk where you have a balance meter, Skate doesn't and how that's realistic I don't know. Your skater is perfectly balanced but you have to get enough speed to actually stay on whatever you're grinding on. The simplicity of grinding without balancing is great until your skater stops because he has lost all speed. At this point, he becomes confused with being stationary and has never heard of lip tricks where you remain stationary for as long as possible. When you stop grinding, your skater will prat fall to the floor and may break a bone. Realism is all jolly exciting for sport games and the like but for skating games, it has its pros and cons. The pros is that you actually feel like a skater and when you get huge air and speed, a sense of urgency takes over because you need to consider how you land, what's the ground like is there a pedestrian or a car within a meter of me. Well, this all falls flat on its face when you have a camera angle that mostly follows your board. The camera angle is meant to give you the feeling that you're being recorded constantly. Yes, when you have big air, the camera does move up but only sometimes. 90% of the time you will bail when you land big air and speed. Skate becomes confused when landing huge air and speed even if the ground's flat and you not landing side ways. It would be nice to change the camera angle so at least I could see what's to my left instead of the right all the time.
Skate does have a lot of good points, but when you get the game right and playing in Free Skate, that's when the game excels at its best. And another thing, the same song always plays when you go to the main menu. Thank god for Microsoft to add in your own music on the X360.
Don't get me wrong about Skate, what it does well is brilliant. I'm glad they made a solid attempt at the skating genre since Neversoft's games as of late haven't been as good since THUG 2 but I will be willing to play future Skate titles. As long as they make improvements. I have got my money's worth, I've played it everyday since purchasing it, I've got very far in the Career Mode but sadly, it hasn't quite made gold for me. Realism works in this, but sometimes it's way to realistic and alot of the time, players who are Tony Hawk Pro Skater veterans I guess can get way to ambitous with what you can do and what you can't do in Skate.
Next time I'll rant on about my college music video which will begin production shortly and the problems with YouTube and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.