Dropping in One More Time: Skate 2 Review (Xbox 360)

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A year and 4 months after EA cut into Tony Hawk’s monopoly on the Skateboard Videogame world, Skate 2 if finally here to further revolutionize the once stale genre. SKate was one of my favorite games of 2007, so what better way to kick off our review section than with the review for Skate 2!

5 years after the original Skate and several disasters later, Skate 2 begins by reelasing your character from his 5 year jail sentence and into a New San Vanelona which was rebuilt after being devestated by the “Disaster-to-Gnarly-to-be-named.” What has been rebuilt, exactly? Well, everything. Top to bottom, New San Vanelona is as skater friendly as it ever was, and the game is better because of it. While in OG Skate it could take minutes to find spots suitable for lines and big drops, New San Vanelona has them littered all over. A new spot to sesh at is right around the corner no matter where you are in the city. Hidden skate parks and ramps are ready to be found by the adventurous, and Mega drops sit there for the dare-devils to take full advantage of when they’re feeling frisky. Overall, the city caters so much to you this time around that it never becomes boring as there is always a spot you haven’t found and a drop you haven’t broken some bones off of. You just need to find them.

The story of the game focuses on your release from prison, and the corporation that is trying to make the new city un-skateable, Mongo-Corp. After being released in the opening cinema, you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment, but in a very familiar world. One with many spots to hit, but also with more security to stop you then ever. Lucky for you, throughout the story you will meet dozens of Pros and gain many abilities that help you and your buddies session wherever you may please. These include calling Sammy to drain pools for you and ringing up Big Black from Rob & Big to hold security off while you try and nail a line in the heart of Mongo-Corp HQ.

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Progression in the story is done through a laundry list of challenges which can range anywhere from grinding a Hubba to completing a perfect line. While fun at first, these challenges can become more of a chore than anything, and some are just straight up controller-through-TV material. One in particular, named Can You Spell GIRL?, has you play a game of SKATE (HORSE with a new name) against Pros Koston and Carrol. This doesn’t seem so bad, right? Well when these dudes don’t miss ANY trick and you need to resort to cheats to beat them, it becomes really tedious and frustrating. So much so that many people have come close to quitting after being stuck on this challenge. Luckily, I beat it after a few hours and soldiered on, but it definitely knocks this game down a little bit.

After almost ruining my TV with that GIRL challenge, I was able to enjoy the rest of the activities riddled throughout San Vanelona. Death Races, street competitions, and the mega San Vana-Slamma competition are always fun and different, and much more laid back than the goal-driven Pro challenges. But while the story is a nice diversion that allows you to unlock all parts of the city and more clothes and boards with the money you earn, but the true shine of this game comes when you forget about the challenges and begin to do what the title says, Skate.

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The original Skate brought revolutionary controls, and this one just adds more goodies to the bag. Kickflips, Pop-Shuvits and the whole other array of flip tricks are still done with an intuitive flip of the right stick. In Skate 2, this feels refined to perfection as I no longer see myself pulling off tricks I did not want to like I had done so many times in Skate 1. Added to the game is a Skater’s dream arsenal of tricks and grabs. No Complys, Bonelesses, Footplants, Handplants, Judo kicks, and grinds are all handled with simple controls that make sense and are easy to handle. You will seamlessly and effortlessly go from a 50-50 grind to the a 360 flip out, right into an invert on that quarter pipe sitting in the corner. It just all feels so smooth and natural, just like it should be. The only aspect of the controls that have to be worked on are the Off-the-Board controls. While I am glad you can actually walk up stairs and the like now, moving on foot feels like you are controlling a damn tank, and you can’t even walk backwards. That got a huge WTF from me, but at least we can get off the board this time I guess.

The ability to move objects and place them for lines and runs is also a nice addition, and makes the game completely customizable. Can’t reach that ledge? Put a ramp in front of it and you’re there! Want to try an epically long grind? Line up a few rails and Viola, You’re in skate city! I find myself moving things often just so I can make that line I am trying extra sweet. And with the game running at a full 60 FPS, this all feels as smooth as it can ever be.

Skate 2 is smoother, bigger, more intuitive, and better looking than Skate 1 was. The new skate parks, city design, challenges, Hall of Meat, and online play all make for a stellar game, and one I will not be putting down for a long time. If you are a fan of Skateboarding, loved Skate 1, or are just tired of the Tony Hawk game shenanigans, do yourself a favor and pick up Skate 2. You will not regret it.

Score: 9/10

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~ by BigRedNY on January 24, 2009.

4 Responses to “Dropping in One More Time: Skate 2 Review (Xbox 360)”

  1. gaaangsta manz, he shoot u up wiv dem ak 47z
    gaangsta manz he come burn down ur houuze

  2. gaaangsta manz, he shoot u up wiv dem ak 47z
    gaangsta manz he come burn down ur houuze

  3. gaaangsta manz, he shoot u up wiv dem ak 47z
    gaangsta manz he come burn down ur houuze
    gangsta mans he skate his skateboard, gangsta manz i wudnt mess wiv him coz he shoot u down,gangstaa manz he like to eat fish alive, gangsta ,anz he kill his cat coz he was annoyed at him, gangsta man he shank u up with his pen

  4. gaaaaaaangsta maaaanz, he kill u with his pet fishyy, gaaaangsta maaanz he thinks that he is a black man but he white,
    gansgat manz he knows that u scared of him,
    ooor watch the murder of your cat when ur cat scratch his faaace ,
    he kill ur diog because it woke him up in the morninnn

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