When EA decided to start the Skate series and go head-to-head with Activision’s Tony Hawk franchise, that was a big deal. The latter had long been the king of virtual skateboarding, but it was beginning to go downhill in the late 2000’s, and something else eventually had to drop into the halfpipe and issue a challenge. Thanks to a more realistic resemblance of the sport and a unique “flick-it” control scheme, Skate was quickly lauded by critics and skaters around the globe, proving that you don’t need Tony Hawk on the cover in order for your skateboarding game to be popular. With that being said, it’s been over nine years since the third installment in the series, so let’s hit the park and reminisce about the virtual skating masterpiece that is Skate 3.
Pretending I’m a superman
The story takes place in the fictional skate haven of Port Carverton. After a stunt on live TV goes horribly wrong, your filmer convinces you to start your own board company. From there, you recruit a team of rookie skaters and complete a wide variety of challenges, including things like trick competitions, races, following other skaters, filming/photoshoots, Hall of Meat, Domination, Own The Spot/Lot, 1-Up, and S-K-A-T-E. Your ultimate goals are to impress the pros, earn as many fans as possible, and sell a million skateboards. Best of all, your path to becoming Port Carverton’s top skater is entirely up to you.
The control scheme is business as usual if you’re familiar with the previous two games. Your right stick is used for ollies, nollies, manuals, flip tricks, and tweaks. The left stick is used for steering, spins, and reverts. The left and right triggers are used for grabs, each corresponding to whichever hand you want to grab the board with, and also for frontflips and backflips. The face buttons are used for pushing, getting off your board, briefly taking your feet off the board during a grab, and lying down on your back while your board is moving. The right bumper is used for lip tricks and darkslides/dark catches. When you get off your board, you can perform hilarious aerial stunts and bails, and also grab hold of different objects to use for your trick lines. This game does everything in its power to be both easy to learn and challenging to master, just like a certain other skateboarding franchise.
‘Cause I’m TNT
If you’re tired of skating solo, you and up to five friends can team up to complete goals, go head-to-head, or just explore Port Carverton. You can even share your photos and videos around the online service, as well as create your own skateparks for anyone to visit. The sky’s the limit in terms of the amount of freedom you have in this virtual skateboarding experience.
Unless you’re playing this on the Xbox One X, the framerate won’t always be consistent and the graphics can have a case of pop-in somewhat often, but the team at Black Box did a fine job creating a massive skating playground with many places to roam around in. I personally like the audio better than the visuals, as all of the pro skaters lent good voice-acting to their virtual counterparts. You also get a decent soundtrack that features popular artists like Neil Diamond, Beastie Boys, Jeezy, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Agent Orange.
I don’t think contrast is a sin
Like many other people on social media, I have long been begging EA to make a sequel to what I consider to be the best skateboarding game on the market. But for the time being, Skate 3 will always be a very prominent title in my gaming repertoire. Whether you’re a longtime skater or sports-game junkie, you’ll definitely want to tighten up your trucks and take this game for a spin.