I played the demo of Skate, the game I didn’t like the first time I glanced at it. My experience went something like this:
- Start game. Do I want to do a tutorial? Sure, sounds good.
- Learn controls. Hey! This actually seems kinda logical.
- Randomly fumble my way through the tutorial stages. The tutorial dude, who from the audio quality appears to be calling me on his cell phone from somewhere on a small island in the Pacific, bids me to perform ‘ollies’ and other bizarrely-named moves I cannot remember. I flail around like a madman. I have no clue why tutorial dude accepts certain moves and not others. His comments are repetitive and make no sense to me. (“Keep that pressed just a bit longer” – dude I hit the ground.)
- I somehow get through this Kafkaesque ordeal to get to the final stage of the tutorial. I have to do 3 precise moves in fifteen seconds. Reading the list of moves takes me about 5 seconds. Remembering what they are, let alone planning how to execute them in the given space and time, then practicing until I get it right, might take, I dunno, more like fifteen minutes.
- After failing twice, I decide I just want to play the demo and free-form around a bit and bring up the main menu.
- “Retry” / “Quit Skate”. What?
- Quit Skate.
- At least a minute of non-skippable video sequence and marketing barf. Are you kidding me? I want my Xbox back!
- I now hate everyone even vaguely associated with this godawful piece of crap (sorry Mark).
The Burnout Paradise demo didn’t go much better. After driving around for 5 to 10 minutes, looking for fun, I realized I had better things to do with my life. Honestly, I don’t get it. Was there a bug in my demo or why were the races and stunts missing? Woo-hoo, drive around and go to gas stations and repair shops. I can do that in real life.
(Editors of game magazines: Contact me for game reviews. I am way more efficient than other reviewers. You won’t regret it.)