|| by Fussbett 12/16/2007, 9:14pm PST
||For a fan of skateboarding, playing Skate for the first time is like playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater for the first time. Pure revolution. Skate is the jump from Tony Hawk that Tony Hawk was from Cool Boarders. For people who aren't fans of skating... I can't speak for you, as I don't understand your strange culture. Skate reviews are almost completely unnecessary, as it's a black and white issue. Did you like Tony Hawk? Ok, this is way better. I like the sound of my own keyboard, so I'll keep typing anyway.
The Skate learning curve is very steep, but just pushing around on your board is fun and oddly relaxing, so cobbling together the skills on your own time is nothing but rewarding. Unlike the Tony Hawk series, there are no stats. Your first ollie will be your highest ollie if you're fast enough with the stick, and if you can figure out how to do a 360 flip for your second trick out of the box, go for it. You won't, because it's hard. It makes you realize that stats are a really poor substitute for actually getting better at a game. Imagine having to unlock or purchase the dragon punch in Street Fighter 2. No, earn it with your hands, asshole!
Throwing out the Tony Hawk legacy and starting from scratch has some drawbacks too. Stairs are impassable force fields because you can't leave your board. The trick list is small. Really small. There are no fingerflips, no darkslides, no flips to grab, and the lip stuff is limited. I admire that instead of going for a kitchen sink design philosophy, they limited the repertoire and polished it to a mirror. Still it's curious that the hardest trick to pull off is the silly rocket air...
...while a kickflip to indy or McTwist didn't make the cut. I typed that, and then realized that I can do both mute grabs and 540s, thus I absolutely can do McTwists in Skate. In fact, I took a break from writing this to record and upload the one and only McTwist on both skate.Reel and goonskate: http://goonskate.com/video.php?id=1825. This organic assembly of tricks from basic building blocks is awesome and feels like skateboarding, rather than typing in codes. I spent an hour just nailing kickflip reflips one night, and can't remember when I was happier playing a video game non-competitively (just kidding, it was the night before, playing Rock Band).
Record and upload a video what?! That's right, record replays from the game at any time and then upload them to the EA website where you can view them as a Flash video. It's absolutely shameful that a console game was the first to think of this, and not a computer game. Also shameful is the EA Skate site which is slow at the best of times and non-functional at the worst. That's why a goon created the awesome goonskate as a superior Skate flv depository. Browsing goonskate is a good way to figure out your position on Skate. Answer this: do you see value in appraising something purely on style and technical merit rather than points? A good side benefit of goonskate is how the community is coming down against mongo pushing, amongst other style problems (sloppy landings, an ugly avatar). Seeing the defenders of mongo trying to write off their crime is funny. It's important we stand firm on this issue. Skating is all about style. If we don't stay vigilant against this sort of thing, it's a slippery slope that ends in thinking roller blading is acceptable. The other accusation that often flies at goonskate is of something being "too Tony Hawk", which is great.
The videos also illustrate the Skate end game. A common complaint is that the game eventually turns into a simple grind for points, but that's like saying it's a hassle to fill up the canvas when you're creating a painting. Playing Skate for points will get boring. Spending 15 minutes busting out a fat old school method air at a loading dock for no reason at all is where it's at. I watched that replay endlessly. The Flash video doesn't convey the 720p glory of seeing each painstakingly textured wheel spinning independently.
Do you like physics? Skate has ragdolls in full effect, but better is that I'm continually impressed with things like this video I made, where my arm hits the pole, but rather than forcing a bail, my arm is just slapped out of the way. I can't even imagine the effort that goes into making that work, having an animation interruptible by a collision on one bone before resuming the parent animation. Worse is that it happens so rarely. I feel bad for the Asian programmer who stayed late to implement that, but I'm so glad he did. As are the 200 viewers of that video I made!
Now the hope is that Skate 2 adds all the extra tricks, a new city, and DOESN'T FUCK ANYTHING UP. I'm already heavily invested in this new franchise, and the things that are right about Skate are intangible, made of gossamer and daydreams. Tampering with such delicacy is worrisome, but I have full confidence that my second favourite developer, Black "Hot Pursuit 2" Box will pull it off like so much McTwist.
Motherhead: haha, that's fucking awesome
Motherhead: that video just cost me fifty bucks
Skate (360) by 12/16/2007, 9:14pm PST
Re: Skate (360) by 12/16/2007, 9:28pm PST
I didn't like any of the hair options, so I went extreme in the other direction. by 12/16/2007, 10:05pm PST
12.16.07 BMMX says: this looks faked. NT by 12/17/2007, 5:32pm PST
That would be bombMexico by 12/17/2007, 7:25pm PST
Then someone should tell the dumb motherfucker that Bomb and Mexico have vowels NT by 12/17/2007, 7:39pm PST
Wow, that's sassy! by 12/17/2007, 8:00pm PST
snap :( NT by 12/17/2007, 8:10pm PST
Don't you try to place me at the scene! NT by 12/17/2007, 8:24pm PST
Thank god, I was concerned he was implying I was a hermaphrodite NT by 12/17/2007, 8:36pm PST
I thought that part might confuse YOU. NT by 12/17/2007, 8:49pm PST
oh NT by 12/17/2007, 8:49pm PST
SNAP? NT by 12/19/2007, 4:13pm PST
just oh NT by 12/19/2007, 4:37pm PST
Yeah skating games, psh yawn, who gives a SHIT. by 12/18/2007, 7:15am PST
Welcome! (Rad) NT by 12/18/2007, 9:45am PST
How did I miss this until today? I almost ditched work to go out and buy it NT by 12/18/2007, 3:49pm PST
Welcome! (Gnarly) NT by 12/18/2007, 5:16pm PST
I looked at the clock and it was 2 am by 12/19/2007, 10:15am PST
parking garage by 12/19/2007, 6:43pm PST
A skateboarding story by 12/18/2007, 8:02pm PST
Older people shouldn't try new things, they can hurt themselves. NT by 12/18/2007, 9:09pm PST
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH VIDEO GAME REVIEWS? NT by 12/18/2007, 9:26pm PST
Real life skateboarding: negative! by McMoo NT by 12/18/2007, 10:51pm PST
Attn ICJ: Can we get a forum for this? NT by 12/19/2007, 6:38pm PST
Thank you, good sir NT by 12/19/2007, 10:04pm PST
::fingerguns NT by 12/20/2007, 12:48am PST
goonskate user improved on my McTwist by 12/22/2007, 4:57pm PST
Re: Skate (360) or die by 12/24/2007, 3:43am PST
You should avoid Skate. Flip one controller over in quiet submission. by 12/24/2007, 4:32pm PST
Mentioning vgchartz on GAF is grounds for a ban, coornncobb... PIPE. NT by 12/24/2007, 11:32pm PST
NPD reacts to vgchartz by 12/25/2007, 3:27am PST
Re: You should avoid Skate. Flip one controller over in quiet submission. by 12/25/2007, 4:37am PST
There are just bad challenges. by 12/25/2007, 7:28am PST
*can skip one or two NT by 12/25/2007, 7:32am PST
Re: You should avoid Skate. Flip one controller over in quiet submission. by 12/25/2007, 5:56am PST
Re: You should avoid Skate. Flip one controller over in quiet submission. by 12/25/2007, 6:07am PST
FOUR OF THEM WOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo by 12/25/2007, 6:20am PST