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Having played skateboarding games since the days of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, I was curious to see how a new take on the genre would fare. Skate 2 is the second in the Skate series on next-gen consoles and has, quite simply, reinvented the formula of skateboarding console games. Gone are the button bashing combos of the past and, in its place, is a refreshing and flexible control system which makes the game a blast to play.
The menus are rather basic, featuring clear enough, but unimpressive lists of game modes. A nice touch is the skateboarding scene in the background, which gives you a feel of the game almost immediately. Unfortunately, the focus on the urban scene rubs off on the menus and makes them seem just a bit too sterile and lacking in colour. Loading screens, however, are a treat to watch. Featuring slow-motion close-ups of your character performing various tricks, the physics of the game are shown off stunningly.
Graphically, the game really is a mixed bag. Character models while on the skateboard are pretty impressive. Movement has been captured pretty well and tricks look authentic, with every spin of the board looking like it's been picked out of a skate video. This owes a lot to the new camera style, unseen in Tony Hawk's Skateboarding, which tracks the player at a lower camera level as seen in skate videos. Likewise, environments are varied and beautifully stylised, with places to skate faithfully recreated as they would appear in real life.
Off the board, however, the graphics begin to unravel. Movement on foot is poor. And I mean really poor. The developers obviously didn't spend enough time imitating proper movement off the board and the result is a juttering, rigid movement animation which is simply unconvincing. Jumping is just as buggy, and you'll often have the camera spin in disorientation at the slightest of off-the-board movements. My advice is to enjoy the game on the board and spend as much time as you can on it, as the on-foot gameplay is very poor indeed.
The audio is brilliant, and fits the genre perfectly, with a number of nice tunes giving you some accompaniment when out and about in San Vanelona. Likewise, the sound effects are very good, with the sounds of grinds, flips and bone-crunching bails all nicely recreated.
The career mode is, for all intents and purposes, rather tiresome after a while. It essentially involves the same thing every time: tackle a spot, own it, kill it, reach competition, enter it, win it, repeat. Fun at first, but annoying after the fiftieth time. On your way, you'll find security guards chasing you, pools needing to be skated filled with water and anti-skate devices everywhere. The solution is employing three different characters to solve the problems: one blocks the guards, one drains pools and the other makes areas skateable. These elements are okay, and easy enough to perform, but seemed just a bit pointless to me.
By far the best part of the game is just skating for fun. When you arrive at a spawn point or skate park or street scene, it is simply brilliant to just aim for the highest score and best combo you can get. The fact that you can save these replays and upload them on the internet via Live is a brilliant addition, and places a lot of emphasis on the need to skate well and for fun. This is made easier by the intuitive control system, whereby the right analog stick, combined with other controller buttons, performs all of the tricks. You'll find the system easy to start with and very hard to master, so the game offers a larger challenge than Tony Hawk's games. This gives you a lot of satisfaction when you pull off a mind-blowing trick after tens of times trying to nail it.
Customisation is also a mixed bag. Create a skater is way too basic: you have hardly any control over what your skater looks like and more often than not he just seems like a generic character. Where the real fun comes in is with custom graphics. Using a PC, you can design your own board and shirt graphics on the Skate 2 website and then import them via Live into the game. This really is impressive and means you can make your skater's clothing truly unique. This level of customisation has never been seen before in a skateboarding game and I for one welcome it with open arms.
Probably the most fun aspect of the game is the Hall of Meat. Offering you dozens upon dozens of challenges, this 'mode' rewards you for the most impressive bails in the game. Bailing soon becomes one of the most fun parts of the game, and as another untapped resource in previous skating games it feels like a really fresh idea. You'll look for the highest spawn points in the game and deliberately jump simply to see just how badly you can bail, and the results are often hilarious and ridiculous. Simply leaping and bailing can last you hours and never seems to get boring, and works as an interesting but refreshing 'side-game' to the normal skate mode.
Online, the game is pretty impressive. You can play in groups, perform challenges and watch people's uploaded videos with ease and no lag at all. The challenges can be fun, though you will find a lot of cheaters using glitches to inexplicably beat you in quite a lot of instances.
This is by far the best skating game I have ever played, and having played the demo for Skate 3, it doesn't seem that much has changed in the sequel to this version. At around a tenner, you really can't go wrong if you're looking for a good skateboarding game. It isn't perfect, with off-the-board movement a no-go area and the career mode tiresome after extended play, but if, like me, you enjoy trying to tackle certain areas in your own way, with your own tricks and then showing your exploits off online, this game will offer you a lot of interesting hours of gameplay. If you're a fan of skateboarding, forgive this game for its shortcomings and give it a go, for it's the best in the genre for a very long time.
Skate 2 is the sequel to the First game Skate, however it is much improved and some say much better however I believe them to be very similar.
Skate 2 doesn't seem as special as the first however it is still very good and fun to play.
The story mode is quite long, can get repetitive and start to seem boring, however I think this game reaches its full potential through the On-line Game Modes. I found it to be great fun to play with friends over the internet.
The Online Skate option for me was my favourite feature as playing with friends and having competitions against them was great fun also you can get friends to help you complete challenges.
Anyone who has lots of friends on XBL or PSN will love this game simply for how fun it too play with mates.
Skate 2 has great graphics if you like to have realistic facial features, other than that there pretty poor and look like they have not spent much time designing the scenery.
However I still believe this game is great fun and for the price of £12.45 from Amazon a great buy and definitely worth a play.
Overall a enjoyable game.
Skate 2 is the sequel to EA's entry in to the skating game market. For some time before this, that market has been dominated by Tony Hawk games. No longer, screams EA! With the introduction of a much more sandbox style skating game EA have made a game which provides a much more immersive experience than the Tony Hawks series.
I've only played Skate 2 (I've yet to play Skate) and I have to say it's much better than the tony hawks games, mainly because of its sandbox styling. It's up to you to do what you want. Wanna own a spot? Just skate over to one. Wanna jump off a cliff to see how many bones you can break and spleans you can rupture? Go for it. It's entirely up to you what you do and when you do it. You can roam around the world (skate world) via skateboard or just walking around, and if you're in a rush, jump to the event. I love the freedom you get with Skate 2, if you need to get around something but aren't yet comfortable enough skating, just pick your board up and walk!
The graphics are something else. They have a GTA, real world style that I really like and the areas and parks you can skate in are all varied and I didn't notice any anti aliasing issues or patchy textures. Nor did I see any drop in frame rate. I did notice some of the greenery looking a little low res... but when you're skating you don't really notice.
The sound is great, with the crunching of bones in Hall of Meat mode and the echo of the skateboard pounding against the wood when you're in the mega skate park. So yeah, nothing wrong with the sound, though some decent soundtracks would've been nice. 8/10
The online is very similar to the single player, only difference being you can skate along with other humans. This is great, and the difference between the two is marginal. You can complete challenges together including: Simultaneous tricks, Trick lists, own the spots and more. The games I played were lag less, which is great. The only thing I'd have liked is not having to load new areas - I'd rather be able to roam the entire skate world with my friends. The ability to unlock clothes and different boards to show off to your friends is also a nice touch. 9/10
Overall I think Skate 2 is definitely worth adding to your games collection as it's a well designed skate boarding game with plenty of character. The online is seamless and the plethora of challenges will keep you coming back for more, again and again.
Skate 2 is a continuation from the original Skate, adding new Tricks, new challenges and new gameplay features, such as the ability to get off your board and to move around in-game objects and scenery to create Skate spots and session areas, as you might do in real life!
Skate 2 takes the original control system of the original Skate and doesnt mess around with it; instead they've added tricks and abilities without compromising on the "authentic" control scheme, which still works very well. The game world appears to be huge and there are many areas for the player to get access to. The more you play and explore the world, the more you'll see and experience.
One of the most fun, newer, challenges is the hall of meat. While doing a big trick you can elect to bail from your board and crash to earth, inflicting as much damage as possible. Various awards are given for different types of bones broken as well as the overall amount. Rewards are given for especially nasty injuries; one such reward is a spawn point on top of a tower in the beach area where you can jump off and inflict yet more damage to your in game character!
After playing Skate 2, returning to the Tony Hawk games is a very negative experience, even the newer games can't match what Skate 2 does. With Skate 2 being very cheap at the moment with on-line resellers, it's a great time to grab this awesome game; that'll keep you occupied for many, many hours.