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ALL DONE! Well, except the online stuff (although see about that in a minute).

First off: the two races. The slalomy one that ends up in the big round bit of road didn’t take too many tries, the the one in the Old Town (where 2×2 of the racers start on opposite sides of the road) was EVIL. Even though I finished in first place several times, I came last due to not going through enough markers. On the flip side, going through all the markers left me in 4th too. Thankfully, I eventually found an alternative route which, although had no markers, but me a good 25+ seconds ahead of everyone. Hurrah!

After that, I found and Owned all the remaining spots. Then, I wasted 10 minutes messing around in No Skate Zones to get the 3 Hours In No Skate Zones milestone.

Finally: I beat all the remaining Pros at S.K.A.T.E. Bloody hell was that hard. You have to hope each messes up, so you get a chance to set the tricks rather than them, and then it’s a waiting game. It’s entirely random if they bail or not (although it seems each successive Pro is less likely to), and which trick (or even how difficult the trick is) is totally irrelevant. They appear to bail as often trying a simple Ollie 360 as they do attempting a Nollie 360 Flip 360.

Once they’d been beaten, I’d done all the challenges (Achievement!) and all the milestones (Achievement!), but then something odd happened – I instantly unlocked another 6 achievements, and they’re all online ones. I got one for playing 50 online games, one for winning 6 games in a row, and I’ve reached Pro and Icon Trickster status (but not Amateur for some reason). I’m not complaining at the 225 extra gamerpoints, I’m just very confused…

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For some reason, three of the races I’d previously completed were unlocked again. So I attempted them all, but only managed to win two. That leaves the remaining one and the one that I hadn’t completed before left to do.

I then set about ticking off a few milestones – namely the smash myself to bits ones, mainly by throwing myself under cars and jumping off the megaramp at the X-Games stadium at funny angles to land on my face. After that, it was time to get chased (and escape) a lot from security, and then I went and beat a couple more Pros at the S.K.A.T.E. challenge bit.

Finally, I Owned The Spot at all the unlocked locations. I still have 5 left to find, though.

Here’s a clip of me doing a 14-bone-shattering bail on the Megaramp:

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More achievement bizarreness today. I’d completed all the tricks yesterday, but the achievement hadn’t unlocked. However, upon completing a deathrace today, the achievement unlocked. Why?!

I then spent ages trying to complete another deathrace only to find it isn’t possible. I did manage to complete the remaining video tasks, however, and owned another two spots.

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Verymostodd. I’d previously managed to complete all of the contests, and made Skater of the Year (the Thrasher cover), but neither achievement was activated. Then, today, for some reason they unlocked. All I did was a relatively minor bail while skating. I hadn’t even completed an event or goal or anything. Bizarre.

I then pulled off the last two tricks in my trick book, and the achievement for that hasn’t popped up either. What the hell is going on?

skate. (360): COMPLETED!

Well, I didn’t think I’d ever get there, but today I managed it. Unlike many other games, I really feel my skill within the game had actually improved, and it feels like a much more realisitic skill progression than the Tony Hawk style of stats and levelling up. In skate., it’s me that improves, not my skater.

That’s not to say everything is better than Tony Hawk, though. The Pro Skater games are more arcadey and less realistic, but big, ridiculous tricks are fun and impressive. skate., however, is a simulation. A real skater’s moves and actions have real control analogues, and the flick-it system is intentionally hard to master – just like a real skateboard. You have to actually try tricks, not just remember the button you have to press. Lining up, shifting your body and reacting quickly is more important here than in Pro Skater.

So I enjoyed it. A lot. However, the actual goals of the game were those parts I liked least. Some of the final ones (the 360 flip and then the 360 flip-to-FS crooked) were just frustrating and not fun at all. Thankfully, I managed them – the Rob and Big one taking three hours of attempts in the end, but I have the proof:

After that, I went on to complete some more Thrasher goals, getting the front page of the magazine (although I didn’t get the achievement – must be a bug?) and unlocked the final area of the map and another jam session, which I easily won. So that’s me then, a skate. Icon!

I have four goals (two Thrasher, two The Skateboard Mag) left to do now, but I’ve done the final events and reached the highest status in the game, so I’m considering it completed. I’ll probably play it a bit more, though.

And, for fun, here’s a bizarre glitch that launched me like a pinwheel for no reason:

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Ah! I figured out what the “ride the hubba and 360 flip” pro challenge was. It seems a “hubba” is just a platform, and a 360 flip is not a flip through 360 degrees – it’s a specific (and very difficult to pull off) trick. Basically, you have to hold the right stick at the 3:30 clock position, rotate clockwise to 7:30, then flick to 2 o’clock very, very quickly in one movement. Not easy.

Anyway, with that done (and some more Thrasher photo and video challenges complete), I unlocked the Rob and Big Black pro challenge. Oh joy! It’s another 360 flip! Only this time, you have to flip to a FS Crooked grind, and avoid Big. Clearly impossible.

As usual, here is my latest painful bail. I did some ace tricks too, but it’s actual physical pain you all want to see, isn’t it? Of course it is.

This was an attempt at a MASSIVE DAMAGE bail, but somehow, I survived:

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Amazing! I’ve really progressed today, both in terms of how far into the game I’ve managed to get, but also in my skill at the game. I finished off everything to do with the Skateboard Mag (beating P-Rod at SKATE was virtually impossible, though), which unlocked the two X-Games events – both of which I managed to get Gold in. The giant ramp you unlock after the events really helps nail some of the Thrasher videos, as high scores, big air and huge jumps are easy with it.

So I did that, and then went round a few other Thrasher events to try them. Managed a couple of videos and photos, but that’s about it.

Since I’m 100% done with The Skateboard Mag, about 60% done with Thrasher, have impressed more than half of the pros and Beat The Spot at almost half the locations, I’m wondering why I haven’t got the achievement for 50% of the game’s milestones. Is there a huge extra bit to unlock or something?

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OK, so I improved today. A lot. It seems I hadn’t actually been doing the Thrasher goals much, so had loads of them ready to attempt. Also took part in a Jam session that I easily won, and plenty more photo and video spots too.

Here are a couple of today’s bails:

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It really is getting too hard now. I can’t find any more goals (or “milestones” or whatever EA calls them) that I can realistically complete. It’s a good job the skating around aimlessly is so much fun, otherwise I think I’d have to stop playing.

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More of the same, really. I managed to get myself up to Pro status (mainly buy completing photo, Pro and video goals) though. I don’t know how to change sponsor, which is annoying. I’m currently sponsored by Zero for my deck, but I have Baker, Almost, Girl and a few others unlocked but unavailable. Anyone know?

I played online a bit today too, eventually (EA’s servers weren’t letting me in – glad to see they’ve “improved” since the bad old days of Burnout 3…). That was pretty good fun, especially on Own the Spot mode.

Here are a few pictures from today’s play:




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I like it. I really do. I like the freedom and the more realistic skating. But the fact that it’s so realistic makes me like That Other Skating Game more. The way that doing tricks is harder here just seems to make it less fun.

That said, just aimlessly skating around is more fun than in TOSG.

As a result, I achieved virtually nothing bar a couple more photo and video goals today, even though I spent ages playing it.

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I’m trying to like it. I really am. I do enjoy playing, but all of the challenges are too hard – especially those requiring you to get 700 or more points in one trick (not one line!) which is plainly not possible. Even a nollie’d kickflip 360 backflip grab will get you just 380-ish. Rubbish.

Anyway, I have a video that I uploaded this morning:

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Yes. It is far too hard. I spent ages trying to gap over the wavy platform thing and have decided it isn’t actually possible to ollie that far.

I’m actually starting to get a bit irritated with the game as a whole, actually. There aren’t many tricks you can do, most can’t be done unless you’re travelling at an exact speed and you’re exactly lined up and you flick the stick exactly right, and vert tricks are virtually impossible. I spend far to long trying to the the “pumping-then-Christ-Air” challenge.

That’s right, friends, Tony Hawk is better.

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Finally, I get hold of this! I know it came out, what, 8 months ago? I just never saw it for under £25 (I don’t buy games that cost more than £25), but now it is. And it arrived today!

Today’s play was mostly a repeat of the demo. The same training, learning the controls, and the first couple of challenges. Then I moved on to a game of SKATE with “Shingo”, which was harder than it needed to be. After that Shingo showed me to some school or something where there was another challenge for me to do which was far too hard, so I failed.

I get the feeling this is going to be VERY difficult. I just can’t string together many tricks, can’t ollie very high, can’t maintain speed, keep forgetting to ollie up kerbs, and keep pressing Y to grind. Grr!