Shaun White Skateboarding review

  • The art style's certainly different
  • Brings something new to skateboarding games
  • Cool shaping mechanic
  • Controls are in the gutter due to the jump
  • Makes you look like a demented fly swatter
  • Sk8er attitude is consistently bogus

This article comes courtesy of GamesRadar sister magazine 

Get the tissues ready, because this is a semi-tragedy. Shaun White Skateboarding is a partly a bad game, but it’s painfully close to being a good one. The fatal flaw is one option. One mystifyingly absent option. Controlling your skater can be done with the balance board or a Wii remote and Nunchuk combo, and most sane gamers are likely to plump for the latter. Movement’s handled by the analogue stick (so far so good) and grinding is dependent on twisting the point of the remote, which works well enough. But jumping is mapped to an upwards flick of your wrist, and stunts depend on you to tilt the remote at the same time. It’s a city-sized disaster.

It’s not that it’s unresponsive – it’s just you need to jump and do stunts all the damn time. The levels are large open areas filled with grinds, half pipes and stunt opportunities: it takes bread-and-butter jumping skills and the fancy stuff just to cross the road. Because the game punishes repeated tricks you end up looking like a demented fly swatter as you try to vary your movements, and in the more intensive later areas it gets worse. It’s unintuitive, sore on the wrists, and needs too much thought for such an otherwise breezy game.

This reliance on waggling is the sticking point: there’s no configuration option where the buttons control the basics. Ubisoft has made an original skateboarding game that brings some color to the genre, and then plastered a ‘thou shalt waggle’ decree over it. There’s great structure to Shaun White Skateboarding, a breadcrumb trail of small missions (with their own rewards) taking you around each area, and it’s stuffed with loot like costumes and tunes.

The big moments occur when you trigger an ‘orange zone’ and pull off tricks around a prescribed course to restore the area’s color, much like in Okami. It’s a beautifully executed touch that visually nails a sense of ownership over the levels. The ridiculous settings produce some memorable rides, though the ‘plot’ and sk8er attitude are consistently bogus.

But everything is overshadowed by those controls. How did it get shipped without an option to use buttons for the most common move in the game? Does everyone at Ubisoft have wrists like melons? We’ll never know, but know this: seriously dude, wait for the sequel, or if you can, go for the PS3 or 360 versions.

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Oct 25, 2010

More Info

Release date: Oct 24 2010 - Xbox 360
Oct 29 2010 - PS3
Oct 24 2010 - Wii (US)
Oct 29 2010 - Xbox 360, PS3, Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Genre: Sports
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Mild Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:


  • JayBeat - October 26, 2010 10:10 a.m.

  • ShaneCedt - October 26, 2010 1:52 a.m.

    holy crap my eyes are bleeding. Look at them graphics.
  • KielbasaNinja - October 26, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    So, do we curve that score to a 6 or 7 for the PS360 versions?
  • ThatGamerDude - October 26, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    Bet you this will be in the bargain bin by next week. Long live Skate! ReCAPTCHA- Senate Vacknou (never heard of him)
  • johngrybos - October 25, 2010 10:33 p.m.

    I thought the header image was an iphone screenshot. Yuck.
  • batmanboy11 - October 25, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    Didn't expect the wii version to be good.
  • abbottfrizzell - October 25, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    O the wii.. nvm this game looks amazing
  • abbottfrizzell - October 25, 2010 9:56 p.m.

    Sweet it's finally the week of the gamecube....o wait... nvm i was confused by the horrible graphics in this screen shot.. I bet they spent more money on that trailer with him riding down a building than on the game. They tried to restart a new Tony Hawk game and they ended up with the shit that tony hawk ended on
  • IvanI - October 25, 2010 9:27 p.m.

    Well I like the TV commercial Outtakes no matter what.... Have you guys seem them? Shaun White Skateboarding | TV Commercial Outtake: Wall Transformation [North America] Shaun White Skateboarding | TV Commercial Outtake: Terrain Transformation [North America] Shaun White Skateboarding | TV Commercial Outtake: Rail Extension [North America] Shaun White Skateboarding | TV Commercial Outtake: Building Transformation [North America]
  • Larinah - October 25, 2010 7:57 p.m.

    Shaun White skates in the off-season, and he's just as good at it as he is at snowboarding. I'm kind of upset that ubisoft would epic fail on the controls. I might have to rent this for one of the other consoles though just to check it out.
  • PlainLikeVanilla - October 25, 2010 7:36 p.m.

    I thought Shaun White was a snowboarder...
  • tacoman38 - October 25, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    Ngamer? not a really good review if I might say myself. and what about the non-wii versions? not counting ps3 with the recall, but the 360 one is still viable.
  • ZenRobot - October 25, 2010 7:31 p.m.

    wow, can't believe it sucks so bad. i stopped playing skateboarding games after 'skate' though. That felt like a highpoint in the genre and it still didn't hold my attention for more than a week.

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