Stoked

 
Realitstic, sponsor-heavy snowboarding simulation

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players assume the role of a novice snowboarder, and work hard to get good enough to turn pro.

Positive role models

The game shows you that to be good at a sport, it requires hours of practice.

Ease of play

Gameplay requires players to repeat short sections until tricks are done correctly. There are several hours worth of these needed before a player can advance from amateur to professional, unlocking the more fun and complex tricks.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Lyrics also make sexual innuendos and one snowboard boldly shows off the words "Live Nude Girls" as its design.

Language

Most of the songs on the soundtrack are "radio friendly" versions in which expletives in the lyrics drop out. However there are explicit references to drug use and some lyrics make sexual innuendos. The music can be turned off.

Consumerism

The game features product tie-ins with snowboard equipment and apparel makers; players are rewarded with better sponsorships (and gear) as their skill in the game increases.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some of the songs heard in the game make explicit references to drug use ("lick coke off of cash" and "smoking da crack").

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are few worries regarding kids playing this game. If blatant consumerism (in the form of sponsorships and the promise of more and better gear for your boarder) is a concern, then you may want to reserve this game for players who can put such issues into mature perspective. There are also a few songs on the soundtrack that reference drugs, violence, and sex. Music can be turned off or, users can chose to substitue their own music.

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What's it about?

In STOKED, players assume the role of a novice snowboarder dropped by helicopter onto one of five large mountains in the game - each complete with sophisticated weather effects. The object is to master tricks and maneuvers, unlocking new challenges. Eventually, you'll turn professional and mastery rewards players with better tricks, sponsorships, and gear.

Gameplay requires players to repeat short sections until tricks are done correctly. There are several hours worth of these needed before a player can advance from amateur to professional, unlocking the more fun and complex tricks. For some players, the challenges could prove frustrating; there's little immediate gratification. Rather, persistence and mastery is rewarded. This philosphy places the game into the \"realistic\" category in which nothing is accomplished simply.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For players seeking real challenge, and a simulation experience, Stoked is the best of its type. The sense of accomplishment from working through tough challenges is enormously satisfying. Gamers who appreciate the control scheme and realism of Skate will enjoy Stoked.

Because there is little story and no over-the-top characters and moves, the game has a no-nonsense quality that teen players, especially, will like. The focus on realism emphasizes mastery over frills and extras. Learning and nailing specific tricks (through sometimes maddening failure) pays off with fame, fortune, and fun competion.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether racing is more satisfying than doing tricks; "tricking" is very much an individual sport in which players challenge themselves rather than going against others and playing on a team.

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to solo versus team sports? What about freestyle type sports that allow creative interpretation? How do they differ from sports that assess success by the clock or points scored?

  • The game also requires players to drill tricks over and over until they are mastered; can you think of some real world examples of this practice-makes-perfect concept.

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$39.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:Destineer
Release date:February 24, 2009
Genre:Sports
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes (Xbox 360)

This review of Stoked was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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