Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Retroblog: Skate 2 (Xbox360)

Originally posted: Feb 2, '09

Move over Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, here comes EA's Skate. This is the statement that can be said with the first Skate game and it still remains true until now; and the fact that Tony Hawk's Proving Ground doesn't prove anything but just stay with the same thing from 10 years ago did not help either.

I don't know how to say this but EA's Skate (in skateboarders' terms) has more pop in it. You know that this genre must cater to what skaters in real life would like, much like what NBA Live or 2K should do to basketball fans; and the Skate game delivers more in that area. Yes you can do crazy tricks in this game also but it's not like the 360 boneless late flip to nose bluntslide to 360 flip overcrooked to 180 varial kickflip backside smith to inward heelflip to manual to impossible to 180 nosegrind to you-get-the-idea-now in Tony Hawk's games. Tricks in this game are more realistic in the sense that you use your controller's flick stick to pop and drag your board so to accomplish what I've just said in the THPS games it will take you more effort and in the sense removes the fun that you should really experience in this game. I can't explain in words how fun it is for me to do 360 flips in this game (as you know in real life that's one trick I'm still frustrated I haven't landed yet) compared to down, down, square (correct me if I'm wrong) in Tony Hawk's; here the flick motion your doing fells much the same in what you'll do with your feet in real life.

What's new in Skate 2 is that you can now leave your board and walk to places you can't reach so you can get to those really gnarly bone-breaking spots; and you can now move some objects like ramps, rails and barriers to help or hinder you with your tricks. And the Thrasher Hall-Of-Meat doesn't just tell you of how much pawned you are when you bail but is also another aspect of the game to accomplish as it now has bail missions for you to complete.

Another aspect that's great is the career mode where you'll feel like a real skater looking for sponsorship in a wide sandbox city. In here there are no stages, no SKATE letters to collect, no Films, no Hidden Items floating in air, nothing. You just do your tricks to be on the cover of magazines, do what the pros are asking you, and earn money to buy new clothing and accessories, as simple as it can be. And also, no crazy 1,000,000 sick scores to get. The career mode will take you about 30-40 hours of gameplay depending if you'll beat all the pros in their own game, but it's pretty much straighforward, do tricks, get noticed, get sponsored and you're done, much like what it should really be. No even though its that simple there's more to find in this game aside from the career part which is the online mode, where you can freeskate with friends online and play games of S-K-A-T-E, upload and dowload clips, photos and created spots.

Skate 2 is available on Xbox360 and the PS3. I gave it four out of five stars because only skateboarders in real life can relate to some of its craziness and get the most fun out of it (for me of course it's a five star). Go skate!

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