During one contest, in which you perform tricks around the edge of a skatepark, opponents even stand around in your way while awaiting their turn. They start in those positions during the "jam" round of the contest when everyone skates simultaneously, but there's no reason for them to be there like mannequin roadblocks during your solo run. Pedestrians are less of a problem, and it's helpful that they flee in fear anytime you perform a simple gesture using the D pad. They don't always flee in a direction that clears a path for you, though, and they even wander around in areas where organized skate competitions (complete with grandstands, spectators, announcers, and plenty of sponsorship) are taking place.
Pedestrians can still be problematic when you play online but replace the AI skaters with other players, and the already-fun challenges and contests from the single-player game are immediately made more enjoyable. Furthermore, additional online options are among the best features that Skate 3 has to offer, such as the Domination gameplay mode in which you skate simultaneously with an opponent and attempt to best each other's scores on multiple objects in the same environment. You can establish or enter into an online team that functions in much the same way as a guild or clan in other online games. And if you take the time to create and upload photos or short movies of your skating antics, you earn more board sales (which count toward both unlocking content and your position on the leaderboard) anytime another player views and rates your content. Photos taken during photography challenges involving magazine covers and the like can be shared along with custom creations, but the photographers you work with in the challenges rarely give you a lot to work with and occasionally take up laughably bad positions from which to take their shots. Yes, you get to play around with the zoom, contrast, and coloring of those photos, but that doesn't always help if you're a long way from the photographer or obscured from view completely.
If you want to take user-generated content a step further, you can use powerful park creation tools to build your own skater-friendly environments using ramps, rails, and dozens of other unlockable objects. You can build a simple street setting, a supersized stadium, or just about anything in between--either from scratch or from a template. The tools--which you can also call up anytime you want to spawn a new object in the city--are surprisingly easy to work with, and you're free to share your parks in the exact same way that you do photos and movies. It's very satisfying to create and share content in this way, and it's fascinating to check out other players' creations as well. Favorite photos and movies can be bookmarked, and you can even use other players' parks as the basis for your own after you download them. Another neat online feature is that anytime you start the game, you have the option to view a feed detailing what your friends and teammates have been up to, whether it's earning achievements/trophies, beating your scores, or uploading new content.
The powerful park creation tools are surprisingly easy to use.
Clearly, Skate 3 has its fair share of mostly minor problems. But this is the best game in the series regardless, and given the state of Activision's Tony Hawk series right now, that makes it the best skateboarding game around by default. Skate 3 isn't likely to win you over if its predecessors failed to do so, but it goes a great job of catering to newcomers and experienced players alike, and it's one of very few games that makes even the act of breaking your own bones fun.