Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Yanya Caballista City Skater (PlayStation 2) artwork

Yanya Caballista City Skater (PlayStation 2) review


"As dawn approaches San Francisco, the city awakens from its slumber and begins its morning routine. The fog slowly creeps out of the streets and into the bay, revealing countless one-way streets and sprawling neighborhoods. A street-sweeper is churning down an avenue, a bell clangs as a cable car lurches forward, and the smell of baking sourdough bread wafts through the breeze. A lone car travels cross the Golden Gate Bridge, the first of hundreds of thousands of daily commuters. The fishermen h..."



As dawn approaches San Francisco, the city awakens from its slumber and begins its morning routine. The fog slowly creeps out of the streets and into the bay, revealing countless one-way streets and sprawling neighborhoods. A street-sweeper is churning down an avenue, a bell clangs as a cable car lurches forward, and the smell of baking sourdough bread wafts through the breeze. A lone car travels cross the Golden Gate Bridge, the first of hundreds of thousands of daily commuters. The fishermen have already started to unload the day’s catches and the subway is rumbling to life underneath the streets. It looks like it’s going to be just another average day in the city…

…That is, until the aliens start invading!

Apparently, a bunch of interstellar blobs have decided to choose San Francisco as their primary target. You’d think they’d go after some place more important, like Washington D.C. or New York, but apparently these villains like chilling out on the West Side. Luckily for us, these little buggers aren’t out to completely wipe out mankind. They just happen to be really, really annoying. They’re just floating around in random places, staring wide-eyed at humans, and offering a few high-pitched squeals. Despite their best efforts and weapons, the military can’t seem to get rid of them. But after extensive research, the alien’s sole weakness has been uncovered. The only way to send them packing doesn’t involve firearms, explosives, or cliched sci-fi plot twists; the key to victory lies with skateboarding!

Yeah, you read that right. Humanity’s salvation revolves entirely around skateboarding. We are so screwed.

In a final stand against the pesky invaders, the military has drafted you as a Caballista, one of the city’s elite skateboarders. Your mission is simple: use your mad boarding skills to impress the aliens and restore peace to the city. Though these freaks are nigh invincible, they are easily entertained. If you come upon one of the creatures, you’ll have to skate up to it, get inside its field of vision (conveniently indicated by the flashy circles of light surrounding it), and perform a few skating tricks. Some of these beings will only be wowed by certain moves, such as grabs, spins, and flips. The aliens are strategically placed throughout the levels, forcing you grind along railways, leap over huge gaps, and make the best use of your made skating skills. Should you get rid of all the aliens before the time expires, you’ll be granted access to additional areas of a level and eventually take on some troublesome bosses. Rinse and repeat a few times, and you’ll have rid San Francisco of the alien scourge.

The whole defeat-aliens-with-tricks concept was already a departure from the likes of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and other skateboarding games, but Yanya Caballista: City Skater takes the initiative to become even crazier. Not satisfied with the control schemes of current skating sims, the designers of this game opted for something far more bizarre: the Fingerboard. Instead of using the buttons on the PS2 controller, this miniature skateboard can be fastened to the analog sticks. Once you’ve turned the controller on its side and have the little attachment pointed at the TV, you’ll be able to control the on-screen skater with realistic movements. In order to go forward or back, you’ll have to slide the Fingerboard accordingly. Should you want to do a jump, spin, flip, or grab, you’ll have to apply pressure to one of the appropriate analog sticks. Though this sounds pretty cool in writing, actually using the Fingerboard is a pain in the ass. It’ll frequently become detached from the analog sticks, forcing you to frantically pause the game and carefully reattach it. If you’re not careful, you’ll accidentally un-pause the game and find yourself too busy fixing the Fingerboard to notice the remaining time limit dwindling down to zero.

The new ideas didn’t end with the controls, either. Yanya Caballista depicts San Francisco as a gigantic cel-shaded cartoon. You’ll get to skate through part of the downtown Financial District, wander through the docks around a wannabe Pier 39, and explore a few other places that will stand out to tourists. The buildings, cars, and all the other features of these levels are presented with bright and cheery colors, a far cry from the bleak and gritty atmosphere of the real city. Where are all the crazy drivers? What happened to al the hobos that beg for spare change near the subway entrances? And where’s a cable car when you need it? At least the game comes with a wide variety of unlockable Caballista, allowing you to kick alien ass with a generic anime dude with spiky yellow hair, a funky Chinese girl, a fat blue guy, a psychotic granny, and a femme fatale clad in pantyhose. Needless to say, this isn’t your typical Tony Hawk game.

In retrospect, Yanya Caballista could have been great. It’s one of the few titles that doesn’t feel like a recycled skateboarding game. Its simplistic style and utter lack of complicated mechanics make it far easier to pick up, but the shallow gameplay will be a turnoff to skateboarding game enthusiasts. Though its story is quite possibly the most ridiculous piece nonsense ever conceived, the wide variety of overly styled characters adds plenty of personality and zest. As a native of San Francisco, I can’t say that I like the cartoon rendition of my city. However, any redeeming qualities that this game has are automatically wiped out by the horrendous control scheme. Yanya Caballista may have an incredible amount of creativity and originality, but this is far too much of a good thing.

Rating: 5/10

disco's avatar
Community review by disco (September 03, 2006)

Disco is a San Francisco Bay Area native, whose gaming repertoire spans nearly three decades and hundreds of titles. He loves fighting games, traveling the world, learning new things, writing, photography, and tea. Not necessarily in that order.

More Reviews by disco
Pokémon Conquest (DS) artwork
Pokémon Conquest (DS)

The realm of Ransei is on the verge of destruction. Its people live for only two things: war and Pokemon. There are countless warriors roaming the land with their trusted animal companions, each seeking the glory and authority rewarded to the victors. Legends say that if a single warlord were to conquer all 17 kingdoms...
Mario Tennis Open (3DS) artwork
Mario Tennis Open (3DS)

Mario Tennis is one of the most underrated spinoff series ever conceived. Ever since its debut over a decade ago, it’s gained a small, but devout following. While not quite as addictive or challenging as the Mario Kart titles, the games won over audiences with a blend of wacky personality and creativity. ...
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) artwork
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

Eons ago, two titans clashed in the middle of an endless ocean. The Bionis and the Mechonis – essentially the deities of natural and mechanical life respectively – fought each other for reasons unknown. Neither side prevailed; locked in an eternal stalemate, both beings eventually died with their bodies petrified in mi...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Yanya Caballista City Skater review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Yanya Caballista City Skater is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Yanya Caballista City Skater, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.