Game design that is ripped from the Playstation 1 and N64 era. A schizophrenic control scheme that never defines how the game should be played. Mix in the most ironic and brain numbing story, BLAM you have a game that can easily be passed by with a Ollie or skateboard super powers.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
System: Xbox 360
Time spent: 1 campaign play through (gruelling 6-8 hours)

    I have always been a huge extremes sports game fan.  I can still remember the day when I received an issue of the Offical Playstation Magazine and a game called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was on the demo disc. Must have played the demo a hundred+ times until the game finally came out. Since then I have always been hooked. Tony Hawk , Dave Mirra, Aggressive Inline, and the recent Skate series has always supplied a game that I can fall back on. Even side games like Top Skater and Jet Grind Radio have supplied a good amount of time. The genre has come a long ways in the last three generations. Coming from the goal oriented Tony Hawk 1 to the more confident mechanics of Skate. The games have always been centered on the “sport itself is fun to play”. Shaun White Skateboarding throws those ideals out the window and replaces fun mechanics with fetch quests and one button game play.
    Shaun White Skateboarding’s premise revolves around controlling a silent protagonist gifted with a magical skateboard given by who other than Shaun White and sent on freeing a glum city from “The Man”. You are helped by a couple of Shaun White’s *** friends like a “out of place old dude”, “annoying skate shop owner”, “a woman”,”sex offender”, and “some other dude”. I am really surprised they were able to book an appearance from these stars of the genre. Every cut scene is torture to get through and so meaningless that you feel like a idiot for not skipping it. Basically the city is black and white, and you need to jump up and down on your magical skateboard to see “pretty colors and illustrated arrows”. The ironic part is fighting “The Man”, consists of throwing up corporate banners and billboards.”The Man” is against chewing gum and the only one that has your back is Stride, who is ready to kick the man right in his dirty ass teeth. The only food supplier in town is Wendy’s, so forget the food store kids it’s double stacks for the rest of the week.
    The design of the game can never define what direction it wants to go in. This is best illustrated by the controls.The first set is moving your character with left analog and pressing A(or X) to do a trick. Ollie, kicklip, heelflip or 20 other options are all designated by the A.I. This is reminiscent of Jet Grind Radio and they even give the button a name “street trick” wow give the man who came up with that name a *** raise he deserves it. The other control scheme is using the right stick and trigger to do ollies and flip tricks. Reminiscent of Skate but the way the tricks are mapped and combined with the trigger makes no sense. It is like playing skate but instead of using thumbs you use your ass chicks and pray it initiates the intended trick. Ubisoft realized the foundational mechanics of this game were shaky at best so instead of going in and fixing it they decided to hide it with horrible filler. Hey Like Skateboarding? Well how about instead you perform fetch quests, timed objectives, and random point goals. Playing through the game is demeaning because as soon as you finish one fetch quests the next one starts right back up. These are all things you have done before and almost all the game consists of from start to finish is fetch quests. One part of the game you play as Shaun trapped by the oppressive government and forced with tasks of performing random score limits but as soon as your transported out of captivation your still tasked with the same ***.
    These boring objectives are broken up with super power like moves of flying around magical rails and changing the environment. The main way of changing the environment is ollieing up and down and the game with deform in a radius. You have no control of these elements and forced to juice up a “special” meter to change different sections. I remember seeing a preview of this game and they showed a character going up and down a funbox that appeared from under the skateboard. I wondered how would they show what the player was creating on the fly. They don’t, you would have to ollie by the spot, wait for it to form, then skate it. These portions of the game are superfluous to the players decisions at the end of the day. The bending of rails really consists of time limited flying and third person connect the dots. It can be interesting at times but lacks the shine of a game with a strong focus on platforming elements, like Jet Grind. Radio
    Technically the art in the game is solid. The characters have a unique quality and the effects are nice to look at. But the art direction seems to lean on 90’s extreme more that anything else. The environment becomes cluttered by meaningless graffiti and the pallet looks like something ripped from a teenage girl fashion store from the mall. I can’t get enough of these neon colored arrows! The music selection is the worst offender, pack full of blah punk and what the fucks. Kiss is in this game, kiss, why? I know the gamers really miss them after the game Physco Circus.
    This game is just not fun. It has the potential for filing the gap left behind by the arcade fun of Jet Grind Radio or the Tony Hawk alternative work Z-Axis set forth with Aggressive In line. Heck they even have levels ripped from both of those games. The problem is Shaun White just falls in the middle of those models and seems like a collection of their worst elements. Shaun White should stick to what he does best, snowboarding and selling *** clothes at Target.

Other games you should play instead of Shaun White Skateboardiing:
-Tony Hawk 1 or 2 (possible project 8)
-Grind Session
-Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future
-Dave Mirra BMX
-Aggressive Inline
-Kelly Slate Pro Surfer
-Skate Series

-There is also punching your crotch. Yeah, it is not a game but still better than Shaun White.