Skater Nation is a full featured skateboarding sim that is similar to the Tony Hawk console games. Take control of a skater, and skate around town doing tons of tricks from a 3D perspective. Bust tricks all across town from the skate park to the beach, and even the construction yard.
Eight characters are included, with a few as unlockables. A bunch of decks, trucks, and wheels are provided as unlockable to customize your skateboarding. Also Gameloft live is included for online achievements, and chatting.
Two gameplay modes are included: career and free ride. Career mode is the heart of the game where you hop around between locations, and complete the challenges given to you. There are 10 locations to skate in, and each one has between five to ten challenges. Free ride allows you to skate anywhere to do any tricks you can without the pressure of time or failing with a fall.
In career mode the challenges vary, and each provides something different. There is fan trick list where you have to do certain tricks in a given time without falling. Another one requires you to collect all of the decks in an area in a certain time. Then there are reaching certain combos, achieving a total score, and a couple others.
The controls are prototypical for a gameloft game. The virtual stick is in the bottom left, and the action buttons A & B are in the bottom right. When you’re on a grind you use the accelerometer to keep the balance in the green section that pops on screen. A moves list is included that tells you all of the combinations like A plus left arrow while in the air does a kickflip, etc.
Skater Nation’s best thing is the gameplay. The set up where you travel around town, and complete varying challenges in different environments is classic skater gameplay that was yet to be seen on the iPhone. As you progress from site to site you’ll want to complete all of the challenges, and it becomes quite addicting to do so.
I’m not much of a skateboarding game fan, but gameloft has made this game fun for a mass audience. A number of moves are included that are relatively easy to pull off, especially in comparison to doing them in real life. It’s great to do grinds with the accelerometer control, and especially fun to maintain trick combos.
There are many different environments that each seem to be a skateboarder paradise all set up for multiple tricks. Many different challenges are available per location giving you a lot of time with this title. A lot of boards, trucks, and wheels are included as unlockables that allow you to customize your ride each with pros and cons in terms of pulling off certain tricks.
The game is definitely enjoyable, and it gets addicting to keep redoing challenges until you complete them. It’s so easy to just go again on your current challenge. For the most part you’ll have a good time doing each, and every one of the challenges provides a unique task simply because of a different area.
The visuals are very nice as has become par for gameloft. You skate through 3D environments that are all rendered nicely. The movements of the skateboarder seem relatively natural, and flow well. Each of the environments are finely detailed, and really put you there.
A nice soundtrack is included that would be stereotyped nicely as skater music It is nice to listen to, and fits with the action of the game. Gameloft live is included for achievements that are connected just like in Plus+ or Open Feint. The game saves your overall career progression for your chosen character.
The control method is frustrating. It seems easy enough with virtual stick, and two action buttons, but in actual use it doesn’t work as well as it looks. The main problem is that it doesn’t allow for quick movements which is necessary for the multiple button presses you need in a skateboarding game. The game just doesn’t seem to pick up the button presses you make which is very frustrating when you’re trying to complete tough objectives.
The control method does remove you from skatebaording as it just becomes proper button pushing. Touchgrind provides a tech deck like feel of a skateboarding game, but Skater Nation is more like a console type skate boarding game.
Gameloft live takes awhile to connect to in comparison to Open Feint and Plus+. Also in comparison it’s pretty basic in features. No live skate challenges, online high scores, or career progression comparison.
Skater Nation is the closest thing to having a console quality Tony Hawk game on the iPhone. Gameloft has made another high quality title that makes skating fun for a wide audience. The game is nicely designed, and the career challenge set up is top notch.
A bunch of skater moves are right at your finger tips, but sometimes the controls aren’t as responsive as they need to be. Skater nation is a should buy for $6.99, and provides skating fun for all.