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PlayStation 3 Review: Skate 3

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Imagine a place centered on skateboarding. A place where you can do just about anything relating to skateboarding. Form skate teams, socialize with others, design graphics/items, and sell related equipment, and skate in huge environments …with no interference from security guards or police.

Now add the ability to create your own skateboarding park, which you can also share. All these activities count towards progress in the latest skateboarding game installment from Electronic Arts, Skate3. This game delivers on so many levels with new features in a new town, Port Carverton, which lets players experience three new districts – downtown, university, and industrial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This team-focused game allows you to group with others to progress through the one player career/campaign mode. The tutorial level (a.k.a. Skate School) features the comical Coach Frank (voiced by Jason Lee) who feeds you helpful advice on tricks, special moves and the controls in a long, pipeline-like format for better concentration.

The new difficulty settings are easy, normal or hardcore, which picks up even the slightest movements. Experienced players who know the terms and, more importantly, how to perform them have a shorter learning curve here, but new players still get a great place to experiment without backtracking too much. Inexperienced players should definitely graduate from this school before venturing into wide open spaces centered on a main tunnel hub that directs players to different areas.

Special moves include hand plants, wipeouts and “Hall-of-Meat” gestures, which are basically hard, physical moves and spectacular falls. The action physics flow very naturally except the surprisingly superhuman strength push offs where it takes only a few to reach top speeds. It's a completely forgivable physics flaw because it works to your advantage.

Multiplayer options, online with six other skaters, include co-operative play and head-to-head competitive battles. You can also coordinate with the new Skate Feed network and socializing hub. You can go public or keep your alliances private online while sharing customized creations and captured team videos in the Skate.Reel collection, which also records in-game accomplishments.

The new park editor features an easy-to-use object tool for placing items throughout player customized areas. Attractive unlockable gear includes the Etnies Jameson 2 SKATE 3 shoe, which is also available in stores. The 46 song soundtrack including tracks by Mobb Deep, The Beastie Boys, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Ol Dirty Bastard, Neil Diamond, and Young Jeezy featuring Kanye West.

Skate 3 is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for crude humor, drug reference, language, mild violence, and suggestive themes. This game can also be found on Xbox 360 with an iPhone version coming soon.


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