Demitrius Berkley-Thomas On November 5, 2010 at 10:11 am

When people think about Shaun White they’d normally think snowboarding but apparently he’s a really good skateboarder, so good in fact that Ubisoft decided to make a skateboarding game starring him. Shaun White Skateboarding doesn’t even try to be realistic like the Skate franchise but goes in the complete opposite direction with a far out story and giving the player the ability to pull off some of the hardest tricks and abilities with ease. The story basically starts out with a world that is run by The Ministry, an organization that’s only goal is to sterilize and take all the fun and danger out of everything. The player is working for The Ministry until Shaun White is captured and opens your mind, giving you color, the ability to skate and the ability to change the world around you.

The big gimmick of this game is the ability to transform the city using skateboarding. The world starts out being grey, super clean and bland with everyone also being colorless, clean and really proper. As you travel around the city people will call you crazy and dangerous and there will be posters everywhere talking about the dangers of skating and chewing gum. That’s right, chewing gum is illegal. When the power of skating is used and the player grinds or lands a trick they give the city and people color and style. It also creates ramps, bowls and half pipes to make the city more skate friendly. Changing the world and freeing people from the man also includes turning giant anti gum chewing posters into Stride Gum ads and buildings into Wendy’s restaurants. Nothing says fight the power like corporate advertising. There is a meter called the flow meter that is built up by doing tricks and there are certain things that can only be transformed when you have enough flow. Anything can be transformed from people, railings, and cars to even whole buildings.

Another big part of the game is the shaping system. This is used by going over green highlighted spots and can be used to get from place to place and is controlled by the player. The most common shaping object will be the rail shaping in which the player grinds a green rail and can control where ever it goes until it runs out. Next there’s street shaping in which you can make the road only go up and down and vert shaping which just creates a vert ramp. The next one is ground shaping, which allows you to shape whole sections of ground either raising it to help you get to higher places or lowering it to go under an obstacle. The last shaping power you’ll get towards the end of the game is what they call savior shaping and it allows you to create short freeform rails out of thin air giving the player the ability to jump huge gaps and survive falls from very high places.

Performing tricks is a little different in this game than other skateboarding games. Jumps and tricks can be performed by flicking the right analog in different combinations and if you want to do more complicated or advanced tricks you need to hold down the right trigger because they have no quarter or half circle analog stick moves. Jumping can also be done by pressing the A button and if it’s held down a random trick will be done. You can also get off the board and walk around but it’s pretty useless since you can’t run up ramps or even jump so it ends up being pretty useless. The player starts the game with about 5 basic tricks for each type of trick such as street tricks, vert tricks and grinds. More tricks can be purchased at skate shops with experience earned from missions and challenges.

Missions in the game are objectives needed to progress through the main storyline. Missions normally consist of the player using rail shaping to get around and destroying things that ministry is using to control people. Early on in the game there is a mission where you are trying to escape the ministry which is pretty cool and culminates in the player taking out a helicopter by grinding on the bottom rail. That is easily the best mission of the game and it would be a lot better if there were more parts like this. Sadly that is the only fun and/or interesting mission in the whole single player campaign and every other one is boring at best. Later on in the game the player will encounter zeppelins which are small blimps that will follow the player around and turn him into a suit wearing tool if they’re not destroyed. Zeppelins are just simply annoying and add nothing but frustration and will no doubt cause many people to just stop playing. There are also challenges that can be found throughout the city and those are okay but nothing really worth doing unless you’re trying to get achievements or unlock all the skate tricks.

The one thing about Shaun White Skateboarding that I realized pretty early on is that it really isn’t a skateboarding game but more of a platformer that uses a skateboard to get around. Many parts of the actual skateboarding part of the game seem broken. One thing that was a big problem was being pulled toward rails, bowls and ledges when I really didn’t want to do it. I understand the game wanting to assist people with grinding by sort of magnetically pulling them towards it but this is ridiculous. I could be going from half pipe to half pipe doing tricks to build up flow and there will be a rail or another ledge close by that I just went by 5 other times and then all of a sudden high up in the air my character would stop what he’s doing and stand upright then float away from the landing of the ramp and then go sideways again as he falls and hit the ground sideways. That happened way too many for my liking and it is not something that just happens every once in a while. Another thing is if you jump in the air anywhere near anything that can be grinded on you will be pulled to it and end up grinding it. Other issues I had included my character bailing out of nowhere in the middle of a grind and losing speed drastically as I’m riding down a ramp.

The characters you’ll come across seem to all be hitting the pipe and end up being just annoying. I cannot express how annoying I found all of the characters the player ends up working with. Sounds like the voice actors tried way too hard to sound like surfer dudes under the influence. There’s an older white guy that ends up being the guide and teaches the player all of the shaping power but I swear every time I talked to him he kept telling me to open my mind and I wanted to punch him in the face. Also while skating around the town citizens will do nothing but encourage and kiss the ass of the player while saying things that make no sense. For example every 2 minutes someone was shouting, “If the streets were food then you’d be a chef because you’re eating them up,” last time I checked chefs cook and make food, not really eat it up. Another one is, “Shape it like a picture!” Seriously they never stop saying these things and I thought this game was going to drive me crazy.

Multiplayer is pretty thin with only 5 modes to play and 4 levels. Modes include; Go With the Flow where players try to get the highest flow score and Ministry VS The Rising in which players try to convert structures to sort of capture them and whichever team has the most converted structures wins. One thing that is odd is the fifth game play mode is freeskate but that needs to be unlocked using Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Which sucks since it even further limits who you can play with online and there is almost no one playing it in the first place. Playing it online on the Xbox 360 and trying for over a week I was only able to find one other person online to play with and I was only able to play one game. Which is a shame since it seems like multiplayer could easily be the best part about this whole game.

All in all Shaun White Skateboarding is just a skateboarding game that doesn’t feel like a skateboarding game. The Skateboard is just the vehicle used to harass the government, free people’s minds and build a Wendy’s on every street corner. Between the issues actually skateboarding and the frustration of actually doing the extremely boring mission objectives this game is just a huge disappointment.


The gameplay here is just plain poorly executed and there’s no motivation to keep playing but plenty of motivation to stop.


Wow this game doesn’t look good at all. The model for Shaun white is absolutely horrible, especially his hair and he’s the freaking star of the game.


While some of the songs are ok they don’t nearly have enough music, voice acting sucks and the citizens say some of the most annoying and nonsensical things I’ve heard in a video game.


Don’t bother. There’s really nothing enjoyable about this game, even the multiplayer which has promise you can’t even enjoy because there is no one online to play with.

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One Response

  1. ituturb says:

    Oh man, I think they should had worked harder on this game before releasing it. Like why such boring missions?