Skate 3 - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Skate 3
Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
EA Black Box
Publisher: EA Games
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

You know, when you really stop to think about it, the problems facing the skateboarding genre are the same facing the video game industry proper. What started off as a simple formula with easy button combinations and maneuvers has transformed into a complex system that proves to intimidate newcomers, ultimately leading to an abysmal failure like Tony Hawk Ride.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve always liked the Skate series – in an era filled with rebirths and re-imaginings, the developers have kept things decidedly simple. For the franchise’s third installment, things have stayed mostly the same – which isn’t a bad thing – but the additions here make Skate 3 a must buy for fans of the series and the sport.

So you’ve skated your way through the other games and made your city all safe and skater friendly; what’s left to do? Why start your own skateboarding company of course! Skate 3 charges players with the task of developing their own skate team and managing their careers.  The change really has no major effect on the core gameplay, just that your success will be measured in the amount of boards sold and a number of the events are predominately partner based. Oh, commerce.

"...you’re going to have to deal with the game’s terrible AI."

 
   

There’s an upside and a downside to the new team based mechanic as a lot of the events have been tweaked in order to accommodate multiple skaters, which means you’re going to have to deal with the game’s terrible AI. Both other skaters and pedestrians alone seem to have no idea skaters are coming and don’t seem to care that they’re about to be run over. Even the game’s pro skaters seem to be infected with the idiot bug; they’ll often fall off their board or continuously skate into walls. Things get a little easier when you’re teaming up with actual people via the game’s impressive online suite, which you’re going to want to do – unless you’re keen to losing matches thanks to your partners sub-par performance.

Putting players in charge of creating their own skate team, and giving them an actual objective in selling skateboards feels perfect for Skate 3, as the game feels much larger, yet much more organized than before. What’s cool about this is that pretty much every mode in the game assists you with your goal. I actually loved the online mode, where you can create your own team with real people online you earn sales and fans each time someone views your user-created content (videos, pictures, magazine covers). If I had one complaint about this though it’s that the photographers you hire to take pictures of your squad will often take laughably bad angles and while you can mess with the zoom and other features – you have to wonder how many boards you could sell if you only had some decent photographers.

"...the game’s framerate can prove unpredictably bad."

 
   

When the action gets too hectic, the game’s framerate can prove unpredictably bad. The worst is when you get a number of players together in a single event and the framerate drops horribly. The rest of the game looks pretty standard for the series, but this is a huge issue when the game in built on multiplayer sessions.

By far the most impressive aspect of Skate 3 is that the city is now completely open. Gone are the unlockable areas, as are the security guards who would violently shoo you away from said locked areas.  Port Caverton is an impressively massive city, and it’s filled with surprises and things to skate off. Of course, removing these caps has a very large effect on the feeling of progression you get as you play through the game, and running from guards was one of my favorite parts of past games – but I’d gladly trade those in for a wide open, expansive city any day.

Add to this the fact that the game has an impressive creation tool and you’ll start to realize why the scope of Skate 3 is one of the best features of the game. You start off with a simple set of creation tools, but after unlocking a set of tools and content, you can create anything from a street setting to an extra-large stadium filled with pretty much anything you can imagine. You can also unlock any of these tools to create objects in the game’s story mode.

Skate 3 doesn’t attempt to redefine the series, nor does it attempt to introduce hokey tricks for novelty’s sake; it merely takes the formula set by the first two games and adds to it to create a deeply satisfying and entertaining title. Easily the best of the series, Skate 3 is a must buy for fans of the series, the sport and good action sports titles in general – and it didn’t even take a cheap plastic skate board peripheral to do it. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Mini-Skater mode, Zombie mode, Hoverboard Mode, more

Zombies, Back to the Future and midgets. These three words sum up the best cheats Skate 3 has to offer.

Obviously, my favorite cheat from Skate 3 is the zombie mode cheat, entering in this cheat from the pause menu cause the citizens of Port Caverton to chase down your skaters and the screen will turn yellow. Is it helpful? No, but I loves me some zombies.

There’s also a cheat to remove the trucks and wheels from your board, to make it look like a hover board from Back to the Future. There’s also cheats to unlock mini-skater mode, so…you know…midgets..

 

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