Session: Skate Sim Reviews
An unapologetically tricky ode to street skating, Session is packed with a palpable love for the sport, but bugs and unsympathetic tutorial and mission design decisions undermine its approachability.
Imperfect, unkind, and rough round the edges, Session captures more of real skateboarding than almost any game that has come before.
In particular, it’d be nice if the game did more in the way of teaching you the ropes, offered different control schemes, and provided a wider array of accessibility options. In general as well, it’d be nice if the game offered more in the way of incentives, excitement, and action to keep you coming back for more, regardless of its punishing difficulty.
Although Session: Skate Sim is a difficult game to get used to, the joy of pulling off tricks far outweighs the frustration. It faithfully recreates skateboarding culture of the 90s, and offers tons of freedom to play however you want.
Session: Skate Sim on Switch feels better when controlling the board, but the visuals certainly suffer in both handheld and docked.
In contrast, Session feels back-to-front: so unblinkingly focused on the technical side of riding a skateboard that it's overlooked everything that makes rolling around on a board actually fun. There’s plenty of room for skateboarding games less arcadey than anything with a Tony Hawk face on it, but this early version of Session is a bleak, sterile thing, and one that only serves as a painful reminder of my own lack of talent in most physical activities.
Session: Skate Sim is a skate simulation that forgets to be a skate game.
Session: Skate Sim is the most authentic skateboarding experience you can get from a video game. Though you will fall down (a lot) and may get frustrated, you will undoubtedly leave this experience with a greater appreciation for skating and the culture that surrounds it.
Session is the skating game I've always dreamed someone would make, where performing even a 'simple' trick is significant and challenging. There are no mile-long grinds or 900-degree kickflips here: just real skating in its rawest form. It doesn't just simulate the sport, but the art of skating too. You need to get creative, looking at the everyday clutter of a city and dreaming up ways to make something rad out of it. That's what street skating is all about, and why Session is the best virtual expression of the artform yet.
Session Skate Sim is strictly speaking by the long-awaited Skate 4 and not really a spiritual sequel. If it is indeed the simulation of this most advanced discipline on the market, it is exaggeratedly complicated to take in hand and still quite empty, closer to a big nostalgic sandbox game of the early 2000s.
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The mission structure of the game devolves into going to a place, doing a trick or route, strung along by forgettable story dialogue. The missions have a habit of being poorly explained, furthered by being unable to re-read text boxes explaining what you need to do. And rarely do the inputs needed for specific moves get shown during these prompts. For better or worse, Session is a game for the hardcore skater. While its dedication to realism is impressive, the frustration in the early hours is likely to turn most off.
Session: Skate Sim is not a casual skateboarding game - it's a simulation game designed to give you the closest experience you can get without actually getting on the board.
Session: Skate Sim is unique amongst its peers. Its control scheme, while taking time to master, is massively rewarding. Rolling around the streets and finding your own skating lines is addictively entertaining. It's a shame about the quest system, its overall presentation and some of the rough edges but do I feel Session is a few patches away from greatness.
Sim games approach their subjects with a mix of reverence and intense focus. Unlike more arcade-style skateboarding games, Session is a pure, unfiltered experience. If you want to recreate the slow, careful process of learning how to skate, this is your game. But be warned! The mix of intense difficulty and self-directed gameplay isn’t for everyone. Anything less than a pure, powerful love for skateboarding will leave you feeling dissatisfied with this game. But if you’re looking for a pure challenge, and don’t mind a few bugs, you’re in luck. Session: Skate Sim is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
With the presence of multiple pro skaters including Daewon Song and Samarria Brevard, as well as a semi-open world with legendary skate spots like Black Hubbus and FDR Park, Sessions: Skate Sim is a well-written love letter to the sport. While some may feel underwhelmed by the lack of customization and find the controls too difficult to adjust to, players that have a love of skating and are itching to dive into a new skateboarding title will eventually feel right at home.
Session: Skate Sim is a valiant attempt to recreate the trials and tribulations of actual, real-life skateboarding that eschews the arcade flashiness of other skating games in favour of slow and methodical repetition and mastery of both your board and your environment. There's a deep and involving game here for skate fans who want something to really sink their teeth into, or at least there would be if it wasn't for blurry visuals, control issues, poor mission design, and frame rate issues that make for an uphill struggle that just doesn't feel worth the pain in the end. If you've got a ton of patience there's still some joy to be found here, but it's gonna take some patches and updates to get this particular port to the place it needs to be in order to earn a full recommendation.
With a steep learning curve and bland presentation, Session: Skate Sim ends up being a disappointing package for hardcore and casual fans of the genre.
I adored the concept but was entirely underwhelmed by the reality. Session Skate Sim is enjoyable, but only if that's what you're into. It's clever but only if you're appreciative of its exacting existence. And Ultimately it is rewarding strictly to yourself, with no scoring system or a competitive edge to set it against your friends or even existing skating IP's.
Session: Skate Sim is undoubtedly a love letter to skateboarding enthusiasts that embraces the realistic aspects of the sport, but it might not appeal to everyone with its convoluted control scheme, and it still needs more polishing.
Despite the 1.0 release, Session: Skate Sim still has a few issues. However, this shouldn't keep any skating fan away from this deeply rewarding simulator that can, at times, feel just as rewarding as the real sport.