Disney Sports Skateboarding is what it sounds like: a game featuring all your favorite Disney characters--including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy--grinding it out on skateboards. Obviously the game is meant to cater to a younger audience, and as such, it tries to simplify the gameplay of many popular skateboarding titles. Instead, it somehow manages to do the exact opposite, making the game's control scheme and goal system needlessly complicated, and ultimately making the game nothing more than an unplayable mess.
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2003/gc/disneyskate/0414/0001.jpgIt represents everything that can feasibly go wrong with a skateboarding game.
Disney Sports Skateboarding's control setup is relatively inoffensive by itself. You move your skater around with the left analog stick and use the A button to ollie and give yourself some air for tricks. The other buttons execute different sorts of tricks--B executes grind tricks, X executes flip tricks, and Y executes grab tricks. Each skater also has a special trick that can be executed with the Z button. All of this is well and good, except for the fact that none of the game's controls are particularly responsive. Most of the trick buttons have a pretty rough delay between when you hit the button and when the trick is executed, and the ollie button has an even worse response time, leading to a lot of missed jumps. The analog control is also extremely loose, making it impossible to keep decent control of your skater. Additionally, the only way to spin your skater in one direction or another is to hit the R and L triggers in their respective directions. Coupled with the lousy analog control, this makes performing decent vert tricks an exercise in futility.
The game's goal system is also quite bad. Each level has a set of goals that must be completed in order to advance and unlock new levels, skateboards, and outfits. Most of these are the run-of-the-mill goals found in essentially every skateboarding game available, such as scoring a certain number of points, knocking over random items, or reaching a series of checkpoints. Some of these can be achieved fairly easily, but many of them are insanely cumbersome, especially the checkpoint goals. Even on the first level, players must collect hundreds of checkpoint gems in a single run. Granted, many of these gems are set up in a row, allowing you to hit a bunch at a time, but trying to locate them all, as well as perform the timed jumps and grinds necessary to get to them all within the time allotted, is mind-bogglingly difficult.
On top of all of this are the game's poor physics. Grinding, for instance, involves absolutely no skill whatsoever. Simply executing a grind will allow you to grind on that object indefinitely, without any need to worry about balance or loss of speed. You can also begin grinding on object off a vert trick if there happens to be a bar or rail nearby, as your skater will just sort of immediately gravitate to that object as soon as you press the grind button, regardless of your positioning. Momentum is also not an issue in any way, as you can skate up hills or staircases without slowing down at all.
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2003/gc/disneyskate/0414/0002.jpgMuch of the game looks like a latter-day Nintendo 64 title.
As far as graphics and sound go, both are on par with everything else in the game. Much of Disney Sports Skateboarding looks like a latter-day Nintendo 64 title, with all the washed-out colors and classic fogging effects intact. The game's levels are all reasonably big, but none of them have much going on in the way of interactivity, and they're all laid out pretty poorly. Moreover, there are only around 40 tricks in the game, so there's a distinct lack of animation. The game's audio is equally limited, consisting of a lot of cheap-sounding effects and a very, very small amount of dialogue from the characters. The infamous Disney Sports announcer also makes his presence known, and he is just as shrill and disagreeable as always, only this time without the benefit of decent audio editing.
In summary, Disney Sports Skateboarding serves no purpose other than to exemplify and showcase everything that can feasibly go wrong with a skateboarding game. Even if you are a fan of skateboarding and Disney, do yourself a favor and forget that Disney Sports Skateboarding even exists.