Towards the death of the Tony Hawk series in 2007, a game called Skate has since buried the hatchet. Electronic Arts’ “Skate” would go on to out sell Tony Hawks Proving Grounds by a two to one ratio. Three years and two titles later we finally get our hands on the much awaited Skate 3. There have been mixed feelings as Skate 3 has speculations as to whether It has lost the realistic feeling it originally birthed. Personally being a serious skater in the past and an even bigger Tony Hawks Pro Skater fan, I think Skate still has the lead by leaps and ollies, in realism and game play.
Like always, EA Studios Blackbox never disappoints with the comic relief and realistic character personas. Skate 3 has a great intro video that fits perfectly with the style of its predecessors. The story is a tad bit on the short side, but it’s to no surprise as Skate 3 is based on having and internet connection. The single player is satisfying none the less and has plenty of options and missions to make it well worth the money. It’s so hard to dig up anything really wrong with Skate; I was only able to find a few errors that really don’t affect game play at all. Since the first game there have only been improvements.
So you have met up with Shingo, a familiar name for Skate fans. You have decided that your done playing around with dangerous stunts for other companies and that its time to start your own business. In skate 3 you take to the streets to meet up with other pro skaters and magazine opportunities to sell as many boards as you can. Based on how many boards you sell is how far you will progress in the story. You can earn parks and redesign them, if you remember THPS: Underground they brought this feature to light and Skate 3 has really put the cherry on the top.
One of the cooler features and what the online version is directly based on is the team builder. When you create a new team you select the name, logo, and motto. As you sell more boards you will need to expand your team by adding more skaters to the roster. There is an entire list of pre-made skaters if you’re lazy, but if you are like me than you will create all 5 as your friends or whatever it is you want. For online mode, you have to create or join an already existing team. You will then be ready to compete against other teams of players; Skate 3 highly encourages team work and playing against other teams.
The online features are a bit confusing at first, and we had a little bit of trouble just figuring out how to get into a game together. After figuring out how to invite each other to play it was a bit of fun, but for me I like the single player the best as in all the older Skate titles as well. There is a lot of information set in front of you in the online options and it can be a little confusing at first. Just poke around like you would any other game and you will get the hang of it shortly.
If you are looking for a highly detailed character creation than Skate 3 is not going to do it for you. There are a lot of clothes to choose from and this will be mainly what makes your character stand out, unless of course you like running around with a pink mo-hawk. It’s hard to make your character stand out based on the facial structure. There aren’t a lot of features to choose from physically. Most of the hair styles are standard and the tattoos feature is pretty useless unless you’re wearing no shirt or a short sleeve. The new fad with the wide brimmed ball cap is apparent here as well, nine out of ten hats you look at will be wide brimmed.
Still apparent are the physics glitches that have been around since the first Skate title. If you have been playing for a while you know its nothing new to suddenly fall and shoot across the ground at a faster speed than you where traveling in the first place. Like I had said before though it’s really not able to affect the way the game is played and doesn’t bother me much at all.
Skate 3 has an interesting assortment of music to say the least. I think that I liked the first Skate’s soundtrack the best, but music is music and each game has its great songs. I can not say that I didn’t enjoy a large portion of the music and I’m in no way complaining. I put on for my city and my gaming sound tracks.
The other sounds are very real and make you feel like your actually skating. They have always been realistic and in Skate 3 there are no exceptions. The sounds of wheels skidding and riding on wood and sidewalks are just as they would be in real life. The announcer is tasteful and realistic sounding for small events. There is always a large amount of comedy thrown into the commentary and you will find funny little saying during competition like “Did your mom buy this game for you?” Not to mention Jason Lee as the trainer is hilarious and great use of a cameo.
What is missing from the story is depth. You know what you’re doing, and why you are there, yet there isn’t a lot of details to give you any type of satisfaction of hitting achievement milestones. I personally would have liked to see more cut-scenes and personal decisions. Though Skate is a great game, I still hold THPS: Underground as the best story line. I can only assume that when Skate 4 comes out they will have a new story for us, which will be amazing. Id likes to see more character development and something to keep me wanting more and more single player gaming. To be completely honest there isn’t much replay value in this story and as stated previously could be just a little longer.
Skate boarding anywhere has never been so easy with the ‘drop item’ feature. This allows you to drop anything from ramps, pipes, and trash bins, virtually anywhere. You can also move most objects that are just lying around in the Skate world, just run up to it and hit the action button and drag it anywhere. Also being able to hop off the board is a great carry over feature from the 2nd Skate.
The Hall of Meat has been taken to a whole new level giving players new and exciting ways to bail from deadly heights. Assuming you enjoy jumping from dizzying heights in a karate kick, or a BASE jump stance than this will be perfect for you. Factually speaking a lot of the missions for Hall of Meat are rather fun and keeping the objectives varied in a mixed bag of psychotic goals for hurting one self and others could never have been done better.
After a large amount of bails your body actually starts to show the punishment. You will have large scrapes and bruises on your hand and arms. On occasion you will get a nasty bruise or raspberry on your face they are always great to look at on your billboards.
One of the newest features and probably the one that gave me and my buddies the most entertainment is the ‘tumble weed’ feature. This is where you bail off your skateboard and curl up into the cannon ball position. You then are able to roll down hill or stairs, and by pressing R2 you can kick your legs out to send you flying. It does add into the games unrealistic portion, but then again the entire Hall of Meat section already accomplished that so EA might as well have added in some extra stuff to make it even more entertaining.
My final thoughts on skate are pretty simple. I think that it’s a great addition to a long lasting franchise and that they should probably consider putting a lot of thought into the next story mode, while keeping a lot of the team based idea that was great for the online interactions. Try fixing a lot of the little errors in your spare time and work on the custom character creation a little and the next few games that are released should be fantastic. I really cant wait to get my hands on the next Skate already, guess I will just have to wait and play this one until the blue-day disk wears out.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
Skate keeps the realistic feel with a only a few exceptions. The soundtrack is fairly original and the sounds are completely organic and realistic.
Some players may find Skate 3 as a little less realistic than the first 2, and there are some weird glitches with the physics engine. The online play is not very user friendly and takes a bit of poking around to get the hang of.