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Gamer Tuesday

November 1, 2011

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure

Developed by: Toys for Bob

Systems: Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance

In the late 90s, a new genre of gaming took the world by storm: the extreme sport simulator. Spearheaded by Tony Hawk and his own series of games, many fans took a deep appreciation towards the world of extreme sports. Everything from skateboarding to surfing and rollerblading were great subjects for a solid to fantastic video game effort. Disney Interactive took notice of this and created their own take on this new and exciting trend in gaming. The end result was Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Game Boy Advance.

Disney teamed up with Activision, the company behind the Tony Hawk games, and developer Toys for Bob, and created an interesting take on the skateboarding genre. Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure was based on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 engine, assuring that players familiar with that game series would get into the intricacies of the gameplay right away while those that never played a game before would easily understand how the game played. There were several control schemes featured in this game. One of them is the Pro Controls, which are borrowed from the Tony Hawk games. If expert players want this game to be more of their liking, choosing this option will grant their wishes.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Disney game without a solid cast of characters behind it. Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure features around 12 characters from three classic Disney stories: The Lion King (Simba, Rafiki, Nala and Timon and Pumbaa), Tarzan (Young Tarzan, Terk, Young Jane and Tantor), and Toy Story 2 (Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Emperor Zurg). In addition to these classic characters, two brand new skaters were added. The main importance behind them is that they are real kids that were selected to appear in this game through an audition process held during the development of this game. Alongside the Disney characters and the new characters, players can also create their own skater by selecting his or her looks as well as the board they use and the equipment they will sport.

Much like in the Tony Hawk series, each character features a set of stats that affect how he or she will perform on the skating rinks, such as �Speed,� �Ollie,� �Trick,� and �Balance.� Each character controls differently from the other, giving players the opportunity of selecting one character and mastering him or her, or choosing the right character for some of the missions featured in the game.

Speaking of which, there are ten tracks pulled from the different Disney universe. Some of these include the Pride Lands, the Elephant Graveyard, Andy's Room and more. These worlds would come with missions, such as collecting all of the meat pieces in the Lion King world and more. The familiarity of these characters and worlds would make the game very appealing to even the most casual of Disney gamers. This is further fueled by how the game is presented.

Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure's graphics are solid throughout. Even if the game wasn't meant to be a graphical showcase, the characters look great in their 3D form and animate just like in their animated films. There are even film clips playing throughout the menus. In terms of music, this being a skating game, the game's soundtrack features an eclectic selection of pop rock tunes. Some of the bands features include Smash Mouth, Reel Big Fish and even Simple Plan. Fans might be shocked by the absence of classic Disney tunes, but considering the high octane gameplay, the music does fit the �sporty� atmosphere of the game very well.

Overall, Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure may not be as deep or tricky as the Tony Hawk games that inspired it, but for the young and Disney audience, there is no better way to enjoy this game. The bright, if slightly limited, selection of Disney characters as well the flexible control choices and ease of play make this an unique gaming experience that also serves as a memory of gaming's past. Don't be a shoobie and give this game a chance, dude!


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