Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

[Review] SkateBIRD – Nintendo Switch

Developed and Published By: Glass Bottom Games
Categories: Sports 
Release Date: 09.16.21 

Skatebird is like those old skateboard games that flooded the market back when Tony Hawk Pro Skater was super popular on the PSone. In all sorts of ways.

I love, love, love the presentation of Skatebird. First up, I’m always going to love games that have the whole “you’re small and normal every day objects are giant” theme. I loved it as a kid, I love it as an adult. Skatebird also has some fantastic music. The THPS games always had top of the line OSTs, and I’m glad a game aping that franchise has music that is just as good. Gives those nice 90’s/early 2000’s nostalgia feels.

Make your bird. What breed do you want? Pigeon supremacy for me. There’s a lot of clothing options, from hats, neckwear, capes, belts, etc.. Lots of ways to customize your bird and even more to unlock, very nice.

So now that we got what I like out of the way…Skatebird does not play well. At all. The biggest reason comes by the controls and how it feels to move the bird. Your bird seems way too heavy for it’s own good. Jumps never feel right, bumping ANYTHING knocks you down, and it takes way too much effort to even get up a ramp. The camera is also way too low for it’s own good, making going uphill on anything an uncomfortable experience. The camera as a whole even has a huge issue when you get into tighter places, with it spazzing out.

Each level has it’s own challenges, hidden items, and all of the things you’d hope to see in a game like this. The challenges end up being much harder than they have any right to be with how awful the controls are however. You have a rather generous time limit for missions, but I struggled to even grind on a bowl without my bird crashing and losing me time. You build up speed by doing more tricks, but just BUMPING into anything reverts any progress. Gotta do these to unlock more levels too, good luck.

I really wanted to like Skatebird. I love everything about it, besides how it actually plays. It has a truckload of accessibility options, but none of them felt right, and even some like auto tricks made the game feel MORE finicky. The fact the game had parodies of “Thrasher Magazine” was golden. I just wish it was in a better game.

2/5

Buy Now: $19.99

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*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review

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