What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the game makes an absurd attempt at comedy when, in a video, kids see a skater standing in a hospital holding his severed arm. The controls are complicated and can take patience in getting good at them.
What's it about?
Available for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, SKATE offers a more simulation-like approach to skateboarding than the Tony Hawk titles. In the fictitious town of San Vanelona, Skate attempts to re-create the sensation of real skateboarding with authentic player, board physics, and a low camera to concentrate on your footwork. The goal in the meaty career mode is to work your way up from punk skater to pinup pro as you sculpt your skills, take on trick and race missions, and vie to make the pages of Thrasher magazine. If a less structured game is more your pace, you can create your own skater from scratch and take on non-linear challenges spread out around the city (including indoor locations you can unlock).
Is it any good?
While it takes some getting used to, Skate puts a heavy emphasis on the controller's two analog sticks to pull off moves rather than rely on the four main buttons -- EA calls this "Flickit" control. One of the issues with the game is its steep learning curve but those who don't give up prematurely shouldn't be disappointed. Another shortcoming is a frame-rate that fluctuates depending on what you're seeing on screen, so it might be fast and smooth when you're cruising down a steep hill by yourself, but might grind to a halt when there's a lot of action onscreen.
Similar to the Halo 3 video game, Skate lets savvy players record, edit, and share movies with other players in YouTube-like online video posts, designed to show off your best tricks. You can also go online to play the game cooperatively or competitively in a handful of multiplayer modes. Despite being a relatively tough game to master, Skate is an ambitious and entertaining effort that proves to be a solid rival to the mega-popular Tony Hawk titles.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how this game stands up against the almighty Tony Hawk video games. What do you like and don't like in this game that attempts to mirror real life? Do you like this game better or worse than the more arcade-like experience provided by the Tony Hawk games?