Skate 2 was my favorite skating game of all time. It had a perfect difficulty and a really smooth skating system. To a lot of people, Skate 3 may be more of the same and for most of the game, I thought so. But after a while, I noticed changes that made the game more difficult and overall, much more frustrating.
I’ll straight up admit it, I did not finish this game. I did have around 11 hours of game time. I cannot pin-point what exactly but it seems that a long the way through the development of this game, they decided to randomly ramp up the difficulty in the final hours of the game. It’s even more irritating because up to this point I had been enjoying the game, occasionally being met with challenging obstacles that I got over after a few retries, but never became too upset. Some of the final challenges really brought out my Incredible Hulk side, I was constantly cursing at the top of my lungs, yelling at the game, and even threw a controller at my couch.
It’s not that the game is just difficult, it feels like it’s cheating you. Placing an object (that you can’t move) in front of you just to mess you up. At other points, I’d hit a vert ramp and for no reason whatsoever, bail. Just fall off the damn board with no explanation why I did. Also, I felt the game didn’t recognize the motions I was doing with my stick every now and then. Then once I had finally beat some of the challenges, I had no idea what in God’s name I did differently.
Like all the other Skate games, this one is loaded with in-game advertising. From using a T-Mobile phone to entire events sponsored by Little Debbie, they’re there and just as annoying as ever. They seem to flaunt it as well. There are times when the entire event will be covered in [insert name they were advertising] wallpapers. Ev en the ramps you hit.
The way you advance the singleplayer in Skate 3 is by selling boards, you get sales by doing challenges, and you get teammates by… doing challenges. The challenges consist of events where you have to do multiple things, such as land a handplant, etc., play 1UP (like HORSE) with other skaters, Hall of Meat challenges (Where you do your best to hurt your character), and races. Out of those, the one that stands out as being the most fun is obviously the Hall of Meat challenges. They’re a great stress reliever and no matter how many times I failed, I couldn’t get mad at it. It was just too hilarious. The rest are standard to the series and, as I’ve said, fun at first, but get old and annoying after awhile. The team challenges, specifically the races, are very fun. I love the feeling when I bail out yet I still win because my teammate stepped up.
Skate 3 has a very oddball sense of humor that I both love and hate at times. At the beginning, it was amusing how corny the game was (the intro is amazing) but after a while, it started to get old and that combined with the fact that I already wanted to rip someone’s head off because of frustration, that meant I was not amused by the skater shenanigans.
The humor is topped off by an excellent, hilarious soundtrack. It’s all over the place, from rap music to old folk music but it’s so incredibly entertaining to listen to. When you can do a nosegrind while Goodbye Horses is playing in the background, you know you’re in Heaven.
The online is decent. It seems a bit like Burnout: Paradise, choosing a spot on the map then having people vote on if they want to do the challenge you presented. If you get friends together, maybe the game wouldn’t be as difficult but I don’t have any friends that play Skate so that opportunity was not there for me. I was stuck playing the final lackluster hours of Skate 3 by myself.
Despite my complaints, the first 6 or so hours of Skate 3 prove that the Skate series is by far the best skating game series out there. Granted that is not very hard as their only challenge is what Tony Hawk poops out yearly. The trick system in Skate 3, when it recognizes what you’re doing, is excellent and pulling off sweet grab tricks while doing a 540 brings pure satisfaction.
Skate 3 was very pleasing at points, but very frustrating at others. It disappoints me, it makes me smile. My thoughts are very mixed on the game. I did expect more because I loved Skate 2, but once I really think about it, I had a lot of fun with Skate 3, despite the frustration. And those hours of fun give me confidence in saying, if you like Skate, try this out. If you don’t, maybe wait for the inevitable Skate 4.
NOTE: For some reason, it would not let me connect to the online service where you download parks, videos, and pictures and my attempts to contact EA about this were met with no responses.
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