All right. A game where the physics are derived from that of real life, and where you can't ollie up 20's or down 80's...You must be dreaming, right? Wrong. EA has brought to us true skaters a game by the simple title- Skate. Exactly what this game reenacts, much better than the Tony Hawk franchise, I might add. The game boasts an excellent cast of skaters ranging from Paul Rodriguez to Jason Dill to Jerry Hsu to PJ Ladd, as well as tons of companies you can buy products from, as well as get sponsored by many of them.
The game begins with a rather long introductory video, however, its very entertaining on the first time through. It shows you doing a line, getting hit by a bus, getting repaired (by Mark Gonzales), and starting new, which also introduces the creation mode of the game. The game offers a lot of customization in terms of clothes, and a lot in the body shape. The game lacks many functional hairstyles, such as a realistic long and curly style.
The games career mode begins after you've designed yourself again. You begin with instructional challenges, taught by the pros. These are rather easy, but they give you a feel for the game's mechanics, which I'll mention later. After you beat a few challenges, and defeat an in-game character named Shingo in SKATE, you get introduced to the "real" skateboarding industry, which is essentially filming and photo shoots. These are basically the same throughout the game, but they do get increasingly harder. The developers throw a few curveballs such as best trick or jams, as well as contests like in real life.
Also like in real life, their physics system is excellent. Much more realistic than pressing X and a combo of other buttons in order to perform tricks, the Flik-It system, in this game, forces you to flick the analog sticks in order to do tricks. Each trick is identical to the feet motions performed on the real board. The right stick controls your feet movement, and the lesser used left stick simply turns your body left or right, or makes you flip should you choose to try them. This new system proves to provide a much more difficult, yet fun way to play.
The graphics in this game are excellent, and really bring everything to life. Every sign, every car, every anything- they all have a very realistic texture, and make a sound when interacted with. In my opinion, the PS3 version boasts better graphics than its 360 counterpart, but that doesn't matter. Both systems will provide hours and hours of fun. Another cool feature is to be able to replay, watch, and edit any tricks you do throughout the course of the game. If you get hardcore into it, a solid line can take several hours, and skating a medium-sized stairset seems like eternal bliss. You can upload your polished clip to the game's Skate. Reel and save it from there and edit your own EA Skate. part! It's endless joy!
The soundtrack of this game is good, but I would have to say that the majority of Tony Hawk games have them beat in this area. The game includes artists such as ZZ Top, NWA, Agent Orange, and DJ Z-trip, with many more: A very diverse group. The game also has a separate "Ambient" playlist, which as the name suggests, provides a nice, easy tune to play to. The other sounds in the game, such as popping, rolling, slamming, or cars and pedestrians are all very realistic. The pedestrians will actually interact with you in special cases, though they can get very annoying due to some weird thing the game does that makes them crowd at a spot that you skate for a period of time. Overall, this game is average in this department, though the skating sounds are much better than that of Tony Hawk. (List: http://playstation.about.com/od/previews/a/SKATEsoundtrack.htm)
The game is not without its flaws. The game provides no means of walking, something that is still realistic yet was not added. When you roll next to some walls, and weird spots, the games camera can jerk all around, and though a real filmer could not just roll through walls, a better way would be to just adjust the angle to one set one when needed. There are a few other minor glitches, some of which are helpful like the "Bail" glitch, which allows you to reach higher spots.
There is a multiplayer mode in this game which is very fun, though I do not find myself using it often. Online play is also very fun, and you can compete against anyone in multiple styles of play, such as SKATE and Best Trick like the career mode. You can also Race, but Online races are usually somewhat laggy.
Story - 5/10 - Same ole' story. Skater starts small, goes big.
Gameplay - 9/10 - The new system and realistic tricks are awesome!
Graphics - 8/10 - Awesome, basically
Sound - 6/10 - The soundtrack for this game is one that you could turn off and listen to your own
Replay Value - 10/10 - This game can be played, and played, and played for hours...Its truly just like real skateboarding.
Overall, this is one of the best games I have ever played, certainly an excellent choice for any skateboarder. I could honestly say that you can skip renting, and just buy this game. You will not be disappointed. This game not only provides an alternative, but utterly destroys everything about the Tony Hawk franchise. The only thing you can do now, besides try that line you've been trying for the last week, is to wait for Skate. 2, which is confirmed to come out sometime.
If you're looking to learn more, socialize with others, ask a question, or set up a date to skate online, you should check out my equally in-depth thread on this game. It can be found here: http://www.skateboard-city.com/messageboard/showthread.php?t=138987