Street Sk8er

Street Sk8er

Electronic Arts brings the first dedicated skateboarding game to the PlayStation...-300!

Jewel Case Release – “Shiny” Disc

Genre:
Skateboarding
CDs: 1
(?? Megs)
Players:
1 or 2 Players
ESRB: Everyone
Mild Language
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Retail Barcode:
0 14633 07982 1
Memory:
1 Block
Developer:
Micro Cabin
Sony ID:
SLUS-00818
Accessories:
Vibration
Released:
February 25, 1999
PSRM:
012?80

Grind sick handrails in the street, or grab huge air in the pipe.

  • Real Action: Over 200 moves and trick combinations * Half Pipe, Bowl, Big Air, and Street Events
  • Real Boards: Original deck graphics from Powell Skateboards
  • Real Bands: Slammin’ soundtrack features Less Than Jake, Plastilina Mosh, Weston, H20, All, Straight Faced, The Pietasters, I Against I, and Gas Huffer

Review

When you’re the first dedicated anything on a game system, you’re going to be heavily scrutinized. Before Tony Hawk comes onto the scene with Activision, Electronic Arts brings over Micro Cabin’s imported skating game to the states with upsetting results.

From the get go there’s access to 4 skaters, 3 locations, and the bonus areas. Tokyo, Los Angeles, and New York are your three main events in the Street Tour, with the Bowl, Ramp, and the ‘Big Air’ rounding out the bonus missions in between levels.

If that sounds fairly sparse, that’s because it is. Sk8er’s three stages are all there is to the main component of the game, though completing the Street Mode successfully with each of the 4 racers will open gates found around the levels. Once open, these offer alternative routes to the standard path. They usually don’t help much other than to add to your timer bonus, but you lose chances to do tricks. Part of that problem comes in the game’s level design – there’s just too much wasted space. Micro Brain’s decision to make the game more of a straight forward racing game rather than an open world-type environment relegates it to the former’s tropes complete with timer and checkpoints.

Control is fairly simple, with a caveat. You have three buttons used for stopping, accelerating, and jumping / trick performing. Pressing X with one of the four directional buttons releases a trick. Different combinations, like Left, Left + X will provide different outcomes. If one were to switch the feet of the skater, this changes up what moves will be performed. The game claims 200+ moves, but looking over the possible combinations, that breaks down to about 25 per character.

A bigger and more annoying problem is there is no clear way to decide what it grind worthy and what is a ramp. The very first stage presented to the gamer starts with a stretch of road adorned with planters along the side. These can be jumped on to perform said grind, but there’s nothing on the opposite side to transfer to; most of the time the character becomes stuck between them, with the camera stuck in front of the fence blocking your view. Move on to the 3rd stage, where the ramps have lips to their bottom half but aren’t grind worthy. From here, you’ll have ramps which are fine, but then there will be a rail directly in front of the end, and most of the time you can’t properly transfer to it, falling flat on the character’s face.

Which is where everything goes to crap – the failing. In Street Sk8er, missing a trick not only lands the player on their face, it also charges a reduction of points. That’s right, points are deducted for trying new things and failing. In my multiple play-throughs, I lost many a round by one failed trick thanks to the game deducting 300 points per miss. Pouring salt in the wounds, this means that despite nailing multiple 1000+ point tricks, it could all mean nothing as you lose by 30 points due to losing the 300 in the last turn of the track. This type of penalization is infuriating; it’s the very reason I stopped playing Borderlands thanks to it charging me for re-spawning.

Cheated out of victory one too many times, I used a GameShark to have enough points to race the entire game. This provided little comfort; while I found more joy being able to experiment and still move forward in the game, it all drained away when the rewards are paltry (extra paths) to fluff (new board designs). I played through enough times to unlock everything but the last 2 characters and their respective rewards. It’s a fairly safe bet they’ll remain locked for the rest of my library’s life.

Street Sk8er is for the gamer looking to absolutely only need 3 courses and how to plan their route effectively. Level repetition, an unfair point system, shoddy edge detection, and other confusing design choices leave this one in the dust.

Media

Screenshots

Magazine Ads

There are no Ads for this game yet.

Variants

A Matte finish version of the CD has been discovered. Waiting to be scanned in.

Trivia

  • The first dedicated skateboarding game for the PlayStation…released 4 years after the system launched.
  • If you place first in the 3 tournaments twice with each of the 4 characters, you’ll unlock extra paths in the stages, characters, and boards. Simply keep beating the stages to unlock everything.
  • If you are using the GameShark or similar device, you’ll need to turn it off before starting the 3rd real stage, on the third run, or the ‘Extra Points’ code will corrupt the timer and hive you an incorrect score.
  • With a fully leveled jump stat, the smallest of the 4 skaters, Frankie, can literally break gravity in his animation. If you leap off a ramp and nail the trick, he’ll rotate about 90 degrees mid-jump to land properly.
  • The CD can be placed into a regular music player to enjoy the entire soundtrack.

The Verdict

4Upsetting

The Good: Decent Graphics and Character Models

The Bad: Extremely shallow in terms of content | Penalizes you for trying


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