Session: Skate Sim Review - Screenshot 1 of 5
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Pocket/Disconnected)

What immediately comes to mind when you consider skateboarding video games? If it’s effortlessly doing super cool tricks, grinding rails at high speed, doing screaming spins at the top of huge vertical ramps and putting together insane combos to get results, then you might need to slow down on your board a bit. deciding whether or not to go to Crea-ture Studios Session: Skate Sim.

Where does love Professional skater Tony Hawk series i The world of OlliOlli With dedicated tracks and epic tricks from the get-go, this is an experience that puts a strong focus on the simulation aspect of the sport, creating a game that minimizes the frustration, repetition, and constant failure required to pull off even the simplest tricks on a real skateboard. It revels in its complexity and requires you to dig deeper and adopt a proper skater mindset if you want to overcome its technical demands, become good, and make the most of the city’s various venues.

Players familiar with the arcade-style mechanics of other skateboards will take some getting used to the control setup, with the left and right feet set to the ‘Y’ and ‘B’ push buttons respectively. for acceleration, as well as binding to the left and right joysticks to perform tricks. Pull the right stick down, then press the left stick to crouch, then heel flip, for example.

Session: Skate Sim Review - Screenshot 2 of 5
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Pocket/Disconnected)

Turning is done with either the left stick or the left and right triggers, you’ll also need them to get off the top of jumps, and braking is set to the ‘A’ button. It takes some tweaking, but the controls seem pretty intuitive and become more self-explanatory once you’ve got a few basic tricks down your sleeve.

On one hand, you’ve got to hand it to Session: Skate Sim, it delivers what we think is a pretty accurate representation of what it’s like to grab your board and hit the unforgiving concrete streets in search of places to perform tricks. There are no conveniently lit grinds or unusual ramps to gravitate towards. You’ll need to explore the environment and use realistically placed benches, curbs, steps, handrails, etc. to then start pulling off your best moves. However, in terms of enjoyment of the game, it will all depend on how much patience you have and whether you want to spend the time to start from scratch, very slowly mastering the basics and building up to a fantastic ending. scale

Session: Skate Sim Overview - Screenshot 3 of 5
Shot on Nintendo Switch (plugged in)

Fair enough. There’s a certain place in the genre (not to mention the simulation genre itself) for this kind of hardcore skating sim, and we can totally see how getting stuck in here can be very rewarding as you overcome obstacles and improve to the point where you start to master your environment. At least it would be if it weren’t for the fact that this game—and especially in Switch form—combines the frustration of failure and replayability with blurry visuals that make the terrain harder to read than it needs to be. The bland urban environment lacks any joy or spark. The dreary mission structures feature a bunch of dumb NPCs that only serve to create the next list of tricks to win. Also, there are the aforementioned controls that could benefit from a lot more finesse, given how much punishment Session: Skate Sim expects you to endure.

Yes, even though we are ready and willing to endure the trials and tribulations required here, it all seems like too much of a headache, too much of a struggle when we are faced with technical deficiencies and a total lack of atmosphere. or enthusiasm to keep you coming back for more. The three sandbox playgrounds you have to explore, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, are certainly big enough and offer plenty of room for experimentation, but — and you can easily see it in our screenshots, really — they’re just too much on the Switch. low resolution, blurry and soft so we want to explore them.

Even excuse the visuals, there are also mechanical issues and bugs to contend with. You stop at curbs for no reason, you stop when you roll over grates, you automatically jump out of a crouched position without moving a thumb, and you often see your character fall in the street for no reason at all. . To be honest, we spent the first few hours blaming ourselves for a lot of these things, but as we got more used to the controls, it became apparent that there were deeper issues here. Even simply taking simple steps up or down a few steps can be excruciating when a combination of blurry images and clunky controls get in your way.

Session: Skate Sim Review - Screenshot 4 of 5
Shot on Nintendo Switch (plugged in)

Once you get into the more technical stuff, well, we see people giving up in the early stages of learning as they struggle to find tricks in manuals that require perfectly precise finger movements when it’s so hard to read what’s going on the screen. We’ve also had issues with certain missions marking a small area in which they want you to do a certain number of tricks, but then not being able to register you doing those tricks unless you follow an exact unmarked line within their designated area zones It’s extremely frustrating when you’re already trying to just wrap your head around the inputs needed to perform the moves.

On top of that, missions in general tend to be poorly explained, and with too few ways to communicate the movements needed to perform the next list of maneuvers, there’s no way to quickly call up the necessary inputs other than digging into menus and guessing at things. This is something that should always be on the screen in such a difficult game.

The options menu also has a number of experimental features that allow you to enable beta features that haven’t made it to the game yet. But we found that, for example, enabling pedestrians so that some people were walking around an empty environment caused the framerate to start to drop noticeably in both docked and handheld mode.

Session: Skate Sim Review - Screenshot 5 of 5
Taken on Nintendo Switch (Pocket/Disconnected)

In the end, you have a game that you have to applaud for its commitment to a very straight-forward simulation of the art of skateboarding. We can imagine that playing Session: Skate Sim on a platform that offers crystal clear visuals and more responsive controls could be extremely rewarding for players who really want to dig in and spend time learning to master what’s on offer. There’s definitely a place for a silly simulation of the sport. However, this Switch port is too sloppy, the visuals are muddy, there are control issues, random bugs, and it all becomes too difficult to ever be called fun.


Session: Skate Sim is a brave attempt to recreate the trials and tribulations of real-life skateboarding, eschewing the arcade flashiness of other skating games in favor of slow and methodical repetition and mastery of both your board and your environment. Here’s a deep and engaging game for skateboarding fans who want something to really sink their teeth into, or at least it would be if it weren’t for the blurry visuals, control issues, poor mission design, and frame rate issues that create an uphill struggle that is not worth the pain in the end. If you have a ton of patience, there’s still some joy to be found here, but it’s going to take some tweaks and updates to get this particular port to where it needs to be for a full recommendation.