Posts Tagged ‘XBox 360’

Late to the Party: Skate 2

July 20, 2010

The Game

Skate 2 came out in March 2009 for the PS3, XBox 360. It’s the sequel to the 2007 game Skate and the 2008 spin-off game of the series Skate It. The game is developed by EA Black Box and published by EA. It’s the biggest challenger that the Tony Hawk franchise has ever had and at the best time: The decline of the Tony Hawk series. Not only is it the biggest challenger, I think it’s bett- You know what? I’ll just get to the review 🙂

Story

You are Unspecific Name-Man, a character of your own creation that is meant to be the same protagonist from the 1st game. At the start of the game, you’ve just been let out of jail and your “side-kick”, Reda, is filling you in on everything that has happened in the time that you’ve been gone.

A new company called “Mongocorp” has moved into San Vanelona and renamed it “New San Vanelona”. They’re an anti-skating company and have basically banned skating in most places in the city. The game focuses on your rise – through magazine shoots, videos and competitions – back to the top. It’s like starting out as an amateur skater since you’ve been in prison for so long.

Gameplay

If there’s one thing that Skate has got nailed down it’s gameplay. Remember Tony Hawk’s’ controls? Just button mashing until you ended up doing a good move? Well Skate 2 completely changes that in a way that Tony Hawk’s could only compare to if they stole the whole concept. Instead of button combinations for moves, ollies and flip tricks are mapped to the right analogue stick while grabs and inverts are on the trigger buttons on the back of the controller. This makes gameplay harder and more complicated which is a great thing, actually. We’ve had button-mapped controls for skating games since conception, it’s about time somebody changed it up and tried something different. After all, it payed off for them!

There is one aspect of the controls that could do with some work, though. Moving around without your board. Walking and running can be glitchy and get even worse when you try to call your board (if you’ve dropped it) or get back on your board near an object. Also, moving things in the environment is a great feature and can really help with challenges or just fun but this is the worst of the glitches. You will constantly – for absolutely no reason – fall over and bail or “glitch out” while moving an object, it’s inevitable.

Challenges and Missions

Alot of this game is filled with trial and error and if you won’t commit to this game and really try then you won’t get anywhere with it. I’m not going to lie, this game can get hard and with no difficulty setting to make the experience easier for you. You need patients. And if you’re prone to flipping out over things then you’re not going to like the pedestrians in this game. Ugh.

On the bright side the game provides a good mix of different types of challenges between competitions, races, pro challenges and even more variations within the bigger categories, you won’t get bored if you stick at it. One feature that I like in a game and that you see in Skate 2 is the ability to choose whatever you want to do i.e. you don’t have to do missions in an exact order, if you find one hard you can choose to do another one and come back later, which really helps without making it too easy.

Now, I’m not a big fan of side-missions, I don’t know why. But there’s just something about the side-missions (of which there are alot, so yay!) which made me want to play and beat them. Actually, I get the urge to want to completely 100% this game! And I’m never one to do that (trust me) but this game is just different… in a great way.

Free-roaming

This game is a free-roaming game and acts as such. The sandbox is pretty damn impressive. It mightn’t be a Just Cause or a Grand Theft Auto but it’s still impressive and the visuals in areas like the woods and… Everywhere actually, are very good!

A handy thing if you’re just looking to mess around are spawn points. You get the ability to use spawn points after you beat all of Danny Way’s challenges and then unlock extra ones for other specific achievements. They’re areas that you wouldn’t usually be able to get to and that are brilliant to skate and they’re integrated into your map so you can teleport to them whenever you want.

The fun aspect

If you want to mess around and have a laugh then you are reading the review for the right game. I’ve had Skate 2 for a long time and haven’t found it boring at any stage, there’s always something to do. The abundance of skateparks really helps and so do the side-missions. Then you also have own and kill the spot challenges, throwdown challenges and the Hall of Meat. Don’t want to do challenges? No problem! Just have a skate around, explore the city! Mess with cars or get chased by guards. This really is – and I’m taking everything into consideration – the most fun I’ve had in a game in years. And the soundtrack is great so no matter what you’re doing, you won’t be bored and have to listen to your MP3 player or something.

Hall of Meat

The Hall of Meat is a set of challenges that you have and all the challenges are things to do by bailing. When you bail, you have a little meter telling you how many points that bail you just did was worth. The more bone-crunchingly brutal, the more points you get! You can also get points by adding your own “formations” to your bails. While you’re in a mid-air bail you can point the right analogue stick in one of four directions to make your character do different formations and these get you extra points. And you don’t have to hit something to bail, you can bail on cue by pressing the two trigger buttons and the two analogue sticks down.

The Break-down

I could go on and on about this game for longer but I think I’ve said as much as I could without rambling about things you don’t really need to know or starting to make irrelevant points about things, so I’ll wrap it up now.

The Pros

  • Challenging
  • Variation of missions
  • Fun
  • Visually impressive
  • Great soundtrack

The Cons

  • Glitchy
  • Infuriatingly annoying pedestrians
  • You will need to repeat things over and over to get them right
  • Not everyone will like the difficulty
  • Easily forgettable multiplayer

The Conclusion

9/10

“A great game from every angle that won’t get boring very quickly!”

Advertisements