Skate 3: Frustration, Elation and the Breaking of Bones
The Three Word Review: Intricate, Unforgiving, Dry
When I first decided to jump into the "Hall of Meat" challenges in Skate 3, throwing myself violently off a shipping crane in a dockyard, tucking myself into a cannon ball and landing headfirst into a T-Bar...I realized something about Skate 3, it is both fun and frustrating. The game, after finishing it, leaves a strange feeling of unfinished business and lost opportunity, especially in the single-player realm.
Intricate: Skate 3 is a game that seemingly prides itself on being difficult. Since this is the third game in the series, most folks who would have an interest in the game already are aware of how the game works and functions. But to me, a gamer who played the first one (lightly), skipped the second, and played through this one, the controls felt both challenging but forgiving. Launching myself off a ramp and pulling an underflip to a darkslide down a handrail felt both doable, and an accomplishment. Each action and move, which may otherwise feel trite and standard in many other skate games is a delicate, balanced and detailed affair. As such, this game is not recommended for the patient or the skating illiterate (the game sometimes throws terms and ideas at one without explanation). Intricate, in all honesty, is a polite way to say hard...though user error was also to blame for any issues therein.
Unforgiving: Skate 3 made me sad. Not crying or anything like that...more like good old fashioned game rage. Honestly some of the challenges are super-easy, but others are mind-numbingly difficult (one particularly challenging piece took me over 40 tired to nail it). Online challenges (which are usually just the single-player challenges taken into the online realm via a simple menu option) tend to be a bit easier, especially score challenges, because the online competition tends to be more evenly matched. While some people love the challenge, I don't, it sometimes took my enjoyment away from the game.
Dry: The single-player campaign is super boring and uneventful. The game opens up with something like a story...but that erodes away so quickly when one realizes how the game works...I'll break it down for you. Get into a challenge, get boards, go until you hit 1,000,000 boards and POOF, you're done. One can get more boards by playing online, 'killing' a challenge (or just doing regular challenges), or by having people download your skate.Parks (the in-depth Park customization package, which is very nice), or look at your pics and videos. Eventually the game becomes a standard, rote affair, punctuated sparsely be frustrating challenges or comedic one-liners from the pro skaters present in the game. The game is a bit boring to be honest, especially if one does not enjoy going online to play with others (much like myself).
Skate 3 is much like skating itself. It is challenging and sometimes frustrating and painful...but when one nails it, it feels great. But if one does not focus on the online interaction or skate.Park builder it can become very dry. A good game, but not a great game, of course Skate 4 will probably change the flow of the game...until then, keep grinding, sliding, flipping, and tricking.