Although the Tony Hawk series is the
definitive skating game in the console world, there have been many
attempts to knock this title from its perch and EA Sport's Skate has
come close but not quite.
This is where you may think Skate City Heroes comes into
the picture, however unlike the two aforementioned games, Skate City
Heroes is aimed at a different market, that of the younger gamer.
The game even contains a story that has the player trying to find
their kidnapped friend by the dangerous villain known as Virus and in order to find
your friend, you need to become a skating master. Grabbing your
board and even a grappling laser (remember it's a kids game), you
need to venture into this city and start searching and performing
your skate moves in order to save your best friend.
The main mode of play is the
single-player mode where the player must select their skater and
then start exploring the world. As you progress, new areas will be
unlocked and even new skaters will be unlocked, each with their pros
Thankfully the game contains a tutorial level which
teaches you the basics of the control and how to control your
skating avatar in this 3D world. Best of all, the game supports the
cool wireless controls of Nintendo Wii and if you have a balance
board, you can even take skating to the next level. Unfortunately it
doesn't work too well.
Once you have
completed the tutorial which is quite engaging as it shows you
virtually all the tricks in the game, you can then embark on your
mission. The missions in the game revolve challenges from Virus such
as collecting various items in the game or performing tasks for
certain people. Basically, you need to ensure that Virus does not
take over the city or destroy it and this is where your
tricks come into play. The unfortunate aspect of the missions is
their repetitive nature which is a shame because the gaming
environment is quite well designed.
Another issue with the game is the varied control system and
needless to say, depending on what Wii equipment you can have, you
can mix and match in how you play. This is probably the undoing of
Skate City Heroes because no one set of controls is easy to master.
Our preference however was the Balance Board which did mimic the
skateboard world quite well and is a little easier and more
realistic to play... not to mention, it gives you a great
mini-workout. In terms of the Wiimote and accessories as the game
does not support the new MotionPlus control system, the accuracy of
the motion controls are a little wishy washy which does make pulling
off certain tricks a very frustrating experience.
At least the game features some
interesting mini-games for the multiplayer mode such as Combo King,
Tricky DJ and our favourite Death Match that has the gamer trying to
knock down as many people as possible in the shortest amount of
time. There are quite a few mini-games in Skate City Heroes and as
party games, they work extremely well.
Graphically for the Nintendo Wii, the game is quite colourful and
the gaming environment has been well designed and looks like one of
those Saturday morning futuristic cartoon shows. At times, it has
this cell-shaded feel of simplicity to it. Match that with some hard
and fast skater type music a variety of sound effects and the game
is not a bad looking game.
In conclusion, the developers tried to be a little too clever in
terms of controls and they should have focused on just one control
system, rather than attempt to cater for everyone. It feels a little
rushed in this department which makes mastering the tricks a very
hard experience. Given that this game targets the younger game, I
predict quite a few frustrated gaming moments. Where the game does
shine is through it's party game modes that is actually quite fun
and entertaining, although we would have preferred a more polished