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**Shaun White Skateboarding (Xbox 360)**
Shaun White Skateboarding is, as it sounds, a skateboarding game for the Xbox 360. I bought this game because, as some of you may know, I am a big fan of snowboarding and this has also lead me to become quite a fan of skateboarding too, although I cannot skateboard in real life! Anyway as a result of these sports I am always interested in the skate and board themed games so this was a must have purchase for me.
**Defeat The Ministry **
So, we shall begin with the story mode of Shaun White Skateboarding. When the game first begins you will need to first of all select whether you want to play as a male or female character and then design your skater. Once this part is done you will be taken to the beginning of the story where you will be shown a couple of videos introducing you to the story and informing you that the city has been taken over by an organisation called The Ministry. The Ministry believe that everything in the world should be grey and that colours are bad for you. The also require everyone to wear the same dull clothes and conform to The Ministry way of life. People in the city are influenced by The Ministry through the use of Influencers, Skate Blockers and many forms of advertising. The Ministry also believe that skateboarding is dangerous to health and they have banned it and kidnapped pro-skater Shaun White.
This is where you come in. Your job throughout the story is to complete quests and challenges in order to infiltrate The Ministry Headquarters and rescue Shaun. While you are doing this you will also need to skate around the city and de-influence the citizens so they will return to a normal and colourful life against The Ministry. De-influencing most people is pretty easy as you will simply need to do tricks of a certain standard to impress them and they will snap out of The Ministry way of thinking. Some people are harder to influence and will require a higher trick level or special challenges to be passed. The requirements are always displayed for you before you complete them and one thing which I find really good about the game is if you fail the challenge you will restart it with no penalties other than having to re-do the challenge itself.
The people of the city are not the only ones under the influence of The Ministry, buildings have also been influenced and have all been turned to a lovely shade of grey. As you make your way around the city you should aim to do as many tricks as possible and grind your board along every surface possible in order to de-influence the city and return colour and normality to everything possible.
Tricks, jumps and grinds can be performed on almost anything, the city literally is your playground. There are numerous pipes, half pipes, bowls, ramps and rails for you to utilise and there are even special ramps and rails which you can reshape and use to your advantage to help you get to those harder to reach areas.
**Multiplayer and Online **
Shaun White Skateboarding can be played in multiplayer mode, both online and offline. However, I have not yet tried this mode as my partner doesn't enjoy playing games and I bought the game after my little brother came to visit so the opportunity has not yet arisen. The online mode looks to be pretty decent from what I can see, however the online community for Shaun White Skateboarding is virtually dead so unless you have a friend with the game or you can find a boosting partner from somewhere then chances are you wont be doing much online play, this will also result in you missing out on 12 of the achievements available.
Ok, so far, so good. Shaun White Skateboarding sounds like a really good game, however, the controls for the game are what I can only describe as ridiculous! I have played many skateboarding games in the past so I am very familiar with how the controls for these games usually work, but Shaun White Skateboarding is the worst I have ever played with regards to controlling your skater. I find that moving the skater around is simple enough, but often the skaters reactions are quite slow compared to when you press the buttons and therefore you quite often miss the chance to perform good tricks or you end up crashing into things and loosing any boost you have built up or even worse, falling from a high place, dying and having to start the challenge you were on all over again. I often find the controls to be so frustrating that I can only play the game for short periods of time and not very often either as the frustration builds up quite quickly.
I also find the idea of pumping the left stick to gain height in half pipes a bit annoying as in other skate games I've played you simply need to have the correct amount of speed to gain the relevant height which leaves you able to concentrate on your tricks, this is not the case with Shaun White Skateboarding and again I often end up missing tricks or falling off where I need to be because there are too many buttons to press all at the same time and this really takes the fun out of what is otherwise a decent game.
**Xbox 360 Achievements**
Shaun White Skateboarding has achievements, in this particular title there is a total of 1000G (Gamerscore) to be earned. A lot of the achievements are story related but there are a fair few which are won by collecting a certain amount of collectibles throughout the game and there are also 12 which are online ones and due to the online community being virtually non-existent you will need to find a friend who has the game to complete these ones.
**Price and Availability**
I bought my copy of Shaun White Skateboarding on Amazon for around £4.50 plus postage. The game is still available on Amazon and also from places like Game and CEX for around the same kind of price.
Overall I do enjoy playing Shaun White Skateboarding, however I do get very frustrated with the controls and I find the characters to be quite slow to respond to commands given for various tricks performed or for simply swapping from one grind rail to another, as you can imagine this adds to the frustration of the controls and as a result I often find I can only play this game for about an hour at a time.
I do enjoy the story mode of the game and the idea that you have to free everything from the Ministry to return the world back to normal and I think the challenges which are set in the game are a nice mix of simple through to quite hard which keeps the variety alive.
Overall I think I would just about recommend this game, I will be giving it 3 stars as I do get rather frustrated with it and there definitely are better skateboard games available, but for the price you can pick this up for I would say it is just about worth it.
Thanks for reading :)