Tuesday, August 21, 2007

skate.


Developer: Black Box
Publisher: EA
Release Date: Sept. 12, 2007
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: Er, skate.

0:01 The title screen is the word "skate" with a skateboard rolling sound in the background. Simple and effective.
0:02 "The community center it he perfect place to learn the basics." OK! These "flickit" controls are gonna take some getting used to for a Tony Hawk semi-pro like me.
0:05 The flicking and rotation to pull off moves kind of remind me of Street Fighter II. Also, I find it funny that I know how to do jump tricks but not how to skate around yet.
0:06 "You'll figure it out eventually. Timing just takes practice." This does not inspire confidence before my first try at jumping onto ledges.
0:07 "Yo, ease up on the push button, man. This ain't a button-mashing game." Cute.
0:08 The entire sky turns blood red when you fall. Nice touch. I also like the low to the ground camera angle. Dramatic.
0:09 It so weird having actual momentum. In Tony Hawk I'd be flying around like a pinball, instead, I slow down rather quickly by turning.
0:12 There's no grind button? No, instead you just jump onto a rail and grind if you're lined up right. I have to admit grinds that just kind of end because I lose momentum aren't as exciting, but they're definitely more realistic than in Tony Hawk.
0:15 Replay editing is full of options, but the analog controls are kind of touchy. Either it's super slow or super fast. Something more in-between would be nice.
0:16 I run into a rail and bail. In Tony Hawk I'd have just bounced off. I'm not sure which I prefer yet.
0:18 "Just close your eyes and pretend it doesn't hurt." I laughed.
0:19 I complete a challenge but this time I only get photos, not editable replays. What's up with that?
0:20 The rag doll physics make falls look awkward. The skater just kind of goes limp. Where's the tension in the muscles?
0:24 Ouch! I'm so intent on pulling off a nollie that I run right into a cement pillar. The bails aren't nearly as violent as they are in Tony Hawk, but they make me cringe more. Probably because they're not so over the top.
0:34 For the past ten minutes I've been trying to flip into a manual. Every time the off-screen helper says the same... exact... thing. I want to kill him!
0:39 Five more minutes and I still can't pull off the flip into manual. What am I doing wrong? Enlighten me, game!
0:42 Finally got it! The key seems to be going for bigger air, holding the stick down longer before the first jump, and using a very subtle touch for the manual. Requires much finer control than Tony Hawk, where mashing the control stick is more the order of the day.
0:49 I really feel a sense of accomplishment when I put together a line and getting 1000 points with three grinds. The game really lets your creativity shine.
0:51 In the middle of a trick I get a "demo is timed out" message and get bumped out to a video of some greater tricks then I'm kicked out to the dashboard. Note to EA: A time limit does not really promote the game's open, go-anywhere nature.

Would I play this game for more than an hour 51 minutes? Yes
Why? It's wholly different and shows lots of rooms for creativity and expansion.

This review based on an early demo version downloaded from Xbox Live.

4 comments:

FUNNYMAN said...

There seems to be so many games exactly like this.

Rip Tatermen said...

Oh yes, I too was ready to murder that guy with the manual challenge. After the 5th seemingly successful flip into a manual or whatever, followed by him saying something like, "OK, that was nice, but I want you to [do exactly what I just fawking did]" I quit out and went back to free skate. Because I'm a quitter. I like the more realistic take on things, though.

Tom said...

Dude, I so absolutely loved this game. I've been playing THPS since forever ago and I'm good (comes from years of practice and nineteen games in the series), because I get button mashing (not quite to the Killer Instinct Gold level of button mashing, but as a concept I understand combos).

BUT THIS SKATE THING IS SO FREAKING INTUITIVE I ALMOST CAN'T BELIEVE IT.

The best thing ever was grinding down a rail, zooming off a funbox, and the powersliding to change directions without even thinking about how I did it!

It was pretty amazing and I can't wait for the full game. They nailed it.

-t

also I wrote a quick review of it myself.

Kyle said...

I've played this demo for like, 6 hours at least since it was released. I'm definitely getting this game. And for the manual thinger- it was hard for me too at first. But what the thing is that you flip and immediately press down VERY slightly on the stick, like, only 10 degrees. If you can do that, then you're golden.

I just hope that they get the video uploader fixed, I want to see my extremely lucky trick set. Flip, roll, double flip, grind, flip, flip, spin, land. All in about 2 seconds.

Also, something that is cool, in mid-air (I just figured this out today) you can flip more, these are called late flips and they are slightly different from the regular flips, but they look awesome. Just mess with the stick in mid-air.

Last thing, grab+tweak+B Button = Special grab. Also, both triggers and B = "Coffin" - AKA: 'luge'.