Skatebird is a superb concept. A skateboarding sport starring lovable, puffy birds! Wonderful. But sadly, whereas the fowl a part of Skatebird is ideal, the skate half is a janky and irritating mess.
The good: The birds! They are wonderful. If the principle cause you need to play Skatebird is to hang around with some birds, watch them squawk and hop and do different fowl issues, nicely, you’ll be happier than a lot of the birds on this sport. (Which is spectacular as a result of most of those birds are very pleased certainly!) They are all cute too, which isn’t one thing I used to be ready to confess as I’ve lengthy mentioned that birds aren’t cute and are, the truth is, demons of the sky. But these birds are rad and lovable and I’m sufficiently big to confess that. Best of all, Skatebird enables you to create your individual fowl! Make the cutest or coolest fowl skater you want.
Unfortunately, after making a fowl, you then should play Skatebird, and that’s the place all of it type of falls aside.
Skatebird is clearly impressed by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. The controls are practically equivalent, utilizing the identical buttons to drag off grinds, flips, stalls, and manuals. Even the combo and scoring programs are immediately pulled from the favored skating collection. But whereas the THPS video games are all about precision motion, fluid movement, and responsive gameplay, Skatebird is, nicely…a fowl on a skateboard. The birds in Skatebird flap round as you skate, making it arduous to really know what you’re doing. Tricks don’t actually appear like tips because of this and as a substitute simply appear like a fowl freaking out. Grinding and manuals really feel terrible as a result of they haven’t any friction to them. Landing a trick is basically a roll of the cube. Sometimes I’d land and suppose “Wow, they let me land that!” and different occasions I’d crash for what appeared like no cause. It results in a irritating expertise, particularly as you wrestle to place up with an annoying digicam and finicky steering controls. (The variety of occasions I attempted to stand up a ramp solely to overlook it over and over as I attempted to show my fowl round…)
But, you might be nonetheless a fowl! And as a fowl, you are able to do stuff that the Birdman might by no means do within the THPS video games. (Birdman is a Tony Hawk reference for you children on the market.) For instance, you possibly can faucet the ollie button whereas within the air and get a second ollie, letting you do larger combos. You can even squawk, which is taken into account a trick and allows you to construct combos faster. These are neat bird-exclusive additions to the THPS method, however the skating is so tough and annoying that even these skills are hardly ever satisfying to make use of.
There is a narrative in Skatebird, however the writing may make you toss your controller on the display screen, assuming you haven’t already completed that already over your fowl lacking a easy 50-50 to kickflip. The dialogue could be very meme-ish and internet-ish. This is the form of sport the place phrases like “doge” and “birb” and “spoopy” are an ordinary a part of the lexicon. Then once more, these are lovable birds so I don’t thoughts that an excessive amount of. But if that sounds terrible to you, be warned that all the sport’s uninspired missions use this model of writing.
But once more—you are a cute fowl driving a skateboard! That’s received to be value one thing? And it’s, for a really brief time. After about 20 minutes I used to be forcing myself to play extra Skatebird. Perhaps if the digicam wasn’t an out-of-control ache within the tail feathers and the gameplay was extra dependable and exact, I might have had a greater time. Perhaps a sequel or a patch will enhance issues.
For now although, Skatebird provides a number of moments of satisfying absurdity, like after I crashed and my fowl endlessly rolled round on the bottom till I hit a button. That was enjoyable. The relaxation…nicely, not less than it’s free on Xbox Game Pass.