Livin’ in a skater’s paradise

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Skateboarding is a sport that never got proper treatment in terms of video games.  Thrasher Skate and Destroy, Grind Session and, everyone’s favorite grind the globe franchise, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater never really got down the core, but instead loaded the game with arcade fun for the whole family.  In the fall of last year, EA released Skate.  With innovative controls and a stylish way at looking at the sport EA changed the skateboarding game forever.  Then came Skate 2.

EA puts in not only tricks the first game was missing, but tweaks the graphics and joins in the creatable content revolution with a new replay editor as well as Create-a-Spot.  The story (which is completely irrelevant) goes something like this:  You are “This Guy”, as you will be referred to most of the time (Dude also works), and a pro skater sent off to jail after the original Skate.  Now you’re back, but San Vanelona, your Skater Paradise, has been clamped down on by the ugly corporate grip of Mongocore. Plus you lost all of your sponsors. Bummer bro.  Along the way you meet all kinds of skaters and other people that help you to your eventual goal of getting your status back.

Like in the first Skate, the point is to get your reputation up and find sponsors.  This time around EA has beefed up the career mode, making the challenges not only more abundant but significantly more difficult at higher levels.  Part of the increased difficulty comes courtesy of the much-expanded trick list, featuring everything from hand plants to hippy jumps.  The other big change for Skate 2 is the new ability to get off of the board and walk around.  Though the walking is clumsy to say the least, it holds a bigger purpose.  Through the city of San Vanelona random objects are thrown about.  Rails, tables, traffic barricades, dumpsters, signs, pretty much any lose object can be moved and set into positions making a once empty stair gap the perfect place for a picnic table jam session.   EA also took time to substantially work on the multi-player aspect of Skate 2.  Offline old favorites like Spot Battle and S.K.A.T.E. return with a new mode called Hall of Meat where wiping out and breaking bones is the ever so gnarly goal.  Online EA embraced a free skate mode allowing you can a plethora of buds to skate around certain chunks of San Vanelona.  Each place has challenges and goals to reach, plus what’s more fun than watching your friend wipeout in real time?  The “Create a Spot” feature lets the architect in you post the lines and spots you set up and post them online for others to check out.

Skate 2 has expanded on the first Skate in almost everyway.  More tricks, a better city, and the ability to walk and move are all welcomed additions. The best thing EA did is what Skate 2 didn’t do.  Without changing the way the controls worked, EA took a game and made it innovative and creative.  Skate 2 still feels perfect in terms of the reward for time played.  Sometimes it can be as simple as spending an hour trying to nose slide a huge rail, other times things can get a little more technical.  Skate 2 improves without rebuilding, but rather expanding, a key trait in the longevity of a sick franchise…dude.


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