My Simple Minded World

My latest obsession – skate.

Posted in Video games by Omar Ismail on September 21, 2007

Electronic Arts, are you finally starting to shape up? Was it an internal motivation that is causing you to raise your standards? Or is it an increasingly intelligent gaming population that got burned one too many times? To be honest, I don’t really care about the answer, as long as you’re fighting against the slide into mediocrity with standout titles like skate.

This game ROCKS.

Pure and Simple. I don’t know how else to put it.

I could talk about the satisfying nature of the revolutionary Flick-It controls. I could talk about the open ended world that is a pleasure to explore. I could talk about the awesome skate.reel feature for sharing videos. I could talk about the realistic sound effects that gives everything OOMPH. I could talk about the advanced physics based animation system.

Instead I’ll just share this one story.

I was just riding around the city practicing moves, grinds and looking for cool places to do tricks when I discovered this little area tucked away behind a store. It was simple enough: a ramp leading up to a garbage bin nestled directly against the wall. For the next 30 minutes I poured over the same area until I got the perfect line that I wanted. Yes it took me a little while. And I loved every minute of it.

You see, in my younger years I actually took up skateboarding for a while. My friends and I would skate on the street, or go to local places and generally try to land a kickflip, or two on a good day. The meticulous practice and reward for skill necessary in real skateboarding is captured perfectly in skate. That’s not to say it’s a difficult game. You can go quite far by just doing any old random move.

But if you want to get that perfect line. That line that lets you express yourself.That takes time and skill, and it’s worth it.

There are very few games that let you repeat the same task multiple times without throwing the controller out the window. The ones that do are something special. Something classic.

Thanks EA. I didn’t think I’d be saying that unless it was for a paycheck.

Now don’t mess it all up and release semi-annual installments with minor improvements! Let this one sit, simmer and gestate. Do a bi-annual release and make them substantial.

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