Video games have spent decades trying to recapture the excitement & enjoyment of competitive sports. Developers mostly fail to accomplish this task, while others have created influential games around iconic sports. Millions have played these historical titles, like Skate. That franchise has returned in 2020 & trying to garner the same fanfare it’s three predecessors accomplished during the Xbox 360/PlayStation3.
Gamers giving Skate XL an opportunity are provided with conventional mechanics. The character is controlled with the thumbsticks, and unique combinations are implemented by pressing the D-Pad. Mastering these mechanics allows players to fly down fails, jump flights of stairs, spin their bodies off-ramps, and land every trick without fail. The gameplay mechanics end up feeling fine-tuned after playing for less than thirty minutes.
Where Skate XL fails is the selected location. Skateboarding games have mastered their gameplay mechanics, leading towards customization options & locations dominating which skateboard-themed video game dominates the yearly charts. Skate XL is competing against two rival games throughout 2020, which have both garnered better reviews in the location department. Customization capabilities have conventionally been awarded to Skate XL but are dwindling with the release remaster of “Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 & 2”.
Gamers won’t find the “Trick System” in Skate XL challenging to understand but rewarded to master. Analogue sticks resemble the pacing of a skateboarder’s foot, with gamers perfecting the minimalist of movements to guarantee tricks are landed. It’s this core element that’s allowed the Skate franchise to sustain three sequels after the original. Those unfamiliar with the series could find mastering the “Skate Trick System” difficult for the first hour. However, once it’s learned, older designed skateboarding games fail in comparison when regarding the excitement of the gameplay.
There are moments where the virtual character your skating feels weightless like you’ve accomplished tricks that nobody else owning this game has. It’s manipulating the board to such extremes that are allowed for Skate XL to remain a popular game, even with its failures on location. Open-world environments conventional to the Skate franchise have been limited to indoor/outdoor playgrounds that often meet invisible walls. It’s the only downfall to Skate XL, amid numerous positive attributes.