True, the skate franchise has kick-flipped Tony Hawk to the curb, but skate 3 -- the game's third release in four years -- borders on overkill. Instead of major gameplay upgrades, skate 3 focuses on teamwork and social networking. You can now build your own team of skaters -- either with AI or other gamers online -- and complete challenges as a crew to help develop your own new skate brand. The new "skate.feed" functionality helps you track your friends' custom parks and board graphics online. Gameplay is largely unchanged, except for an Easy Mode that dumbs down the analog stick controls for first-timers. skate 3 upholds the franchise's lofty standards, but the game doesn't feature enough new elements to stand out from the first two builds.
Photo: Electronic Arts