Skate 3 doesn't reinvent the wheels. Nor does it reinvent the decks, the trucks, or any other aspect of the Skate series. This sequel is as noteworthy for the features that it cuts from Skate 2 as it is for those that it introduces, yet this is still a better game than its predecessor. Challenges are varied and cater to players of different abilities, you have more tricks in your repertoire, and longevity comes courtesy of robust park creation tools and impressive online features. There are some problems--mostly caused by the unpredictable AI of pedestrians and other skaters, as well as the inconsistent frame rate--but goofy or regular, there's plenty of fun to be found in the new, skater-friendly city of Port Carverton.
6262126NoneApparently it's the pro you need to follow, not his board.
Having made a name for yourself as a pro skater in the previous game, the setup in Skate 3 now has you looking to establish your own team and skateboard business. The only noticeable effect that this has on gameplay is that your overall career score is measured in board sales and you now compete alongside teammates in both solo and online events. Those events are much the same as those in previous games and include races, street and vert competitions, film and photo shoots, games of 1-up (take it in turns to beat scores set by another skater), and "hall of meat" challenges in which you deliberately break bones. Though you can still choose to play them online, the frustrating S.K.A.T.E. challenges that require you to perfectly copy tricks performed by opponents are, thankfully, no longer included in single-player. That's definitely a good thing because even now that you're clearly shown what you need to do with the right analog stick to repeat a trick, the controls--which also incorporate numerous button presses--lack the necessary precision.
Also gone from the single-player game are the anti-skater clips and caps that rendered certain areas unskateable until you unlocked them, as well as the security guards who chased you away from company buildings in Skate 2. These omissions give you the freedom to skate wherever you like in the large and nicely detailed city, but they also make it a little less interesting because removing clips and caps gave a good sense of progression, and fleeing from security guards was fun sometimes. With its university campus, docks, memorial gardens, downtown area, residential neighborhood, and multiple skate parks, Port Carverton has a good number of varied locales to explore. The problem is that you're given very little incentive to do so. With the exception of "own the spot" challenges at locations you haven't discovered yet, you can access all of the challenges that you complete to sell more boards via the pause menu, so there's no need to skate between them. The number of boards that you're credited with selling after completing a challenge depends not only on the difficulty of the challenge, but also on whether you merely "own" the challenge or "kill" it outright. These two different levels of completion are a great addition to Skate 3 because, unlike previous games in which certain challenges were tough enough to halt your progress for a time, here you only need to own them to move forward, which is rarely difficult. To kill a challenge, which you can attempt at any time after owning it, you need to rack up significantly better scores and, often, perform specific types of tricks while doing so.
Regardless of whether you're attempting to own or kill a challenge, Skate 3's unpredictable and occasionally boneheaded AI can make succeeding a little trickier than necessary. For example, pros that you're challenged to follow will occasionally fall off their boards and then push themselves into walls for several seconds while you wait for them to get going again. And in team races and trick events, it's not unusual for teammates to drag you down with subpar performances that cause your team to lose even though you personally put in a great performance. You might even witness a teammate fail to score a single point in a trick event--meaning that even a simple ollie was too much to ask of him in 90 seconds of competition. Furthermore, skaters who are seemingly oblivious to your existence will regularly get in your way, and while punching opponents is a viable option during races, the same can't be said when you're in midair or mid-grind, or when the problem is a teammate.
Keeping up with the pros is fun, provided they don't fall off or get stuck against walls.