Skate Attack PlayStation 2
Published by: Midas Interactive
Developed by: Zeroscale
Release Date: Out Now
Skate Attack is a skateboarding game that claims to have taken the best elements from the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, combined it with the visual style of Jet Set Radio Future and finally to have injected its own unique ingredients to give us an impressive skateboarding title. These certainly are heady claims indeed. In truth Skate Attack isn't really a game that's set to rival the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series but it is a solid game that offers good value at the asking price of £19.99.
Skate Attack offers single-player and multiplayer action (for up to four players). To begin with you'll only be able to pick from two playable characters, Jalice and Ching, but there are six players you'll be able to play as once you've earned enough medals in the game. After picking Jalice or Ching you'll have to play through a tutorial that explains the trick system used in the game. From here you'll enter the Old Downtown area where a crazy casino mascot named Virus kidnaps a skateboarding buddy. We were playing as Ching so it was Jalice who was taken by Virus. To free your friend you'll have to complete the various challenges in each of the game's areas (areas include Old Downtown, Skate Arena and the Casino). By completing a challenge you'll earn medals and each area has 100 medals for you to collect.
Surprisingly for a budget title there's quite a bit to do in Skate Attack. Each of the game's areas offers a good amount of challenges and special tricks that you have to unlock. The challenges are quite varied and you'll get to use all of the available tricks in solving these challenges. An early example of this is a challenge that requires you to grind or do manuals in order to keep the mercury cool. There's also a challenge that requires you to put out fires by doing the relevant trick to put out each of the five fires. As you progress through the game, the challenges you complete will unlock more challenges. As you roam around the location you're in you'll find challenge markers that you must get near to and press the circle button in order to activate the challenge. The challenges do increase in difficulty although there's nothing here that's too demanding and the learning curve is very gentle.
The big question of course is how does Skate Attack compare with the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Series? If you're a fan of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series and have played several of the games then Skate Attack might not keep you interested for long. Don't get me wrong the trick system is solid enough and most, even those who found the THPS games challenging, should have no problems with Skate Attack because it's all very straightforward and the tricks are easy enough to pull off. The problem is, if you've played the THPS games, it might all seem too easy and little in the game will provide a challenge for you.
You'd expect a game that claims to have the visual style of Jet Set Radio Future to have a bright palette and that's certainly the case. The game does have a bright and cheery look to it and whilst it's not one of the most graphically detailed of PlayStation 2 games you'll ever see it's certainly OK, if a little bland in places. For the most part the frame rate is fine although it noticeably slows a little in places, which is disappointing, although it never becomes problematic.
As with most low budget titles it's no surprise to find that there is no speech in the game. All dialogue is delivered via text and you'll need to press the X button for the dialogue to progress meaning you'll be able to read the text at your own pace. Before you begin the game in earnest you'll have to go through a tutorial that introduces to the games basic tricks and all of this information is delivered via text. All of the challenge instructions are shown in text too and you can recall the details at any time, which is rather useful.
All things considered Skate Attack is OK. Those who've played through any of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater titles will find this a bit too easy though and it's questionable if the game would provide any lasting enjoyment for them. The game is definitely targeted at the younger gamer who probably wouldn't be turned off by its rather generic appearance and rather non-compelling storyline. However, the trick system is solid and there's nothing offensive here that would prevent younger gamers from finding some enjoyment here.
Skate Attack isn't going to do much to impress fans of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series but it's a solid, budget priced, title that younger gamers in particular should enjoy.