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Skate 2 demo impressions

January 9, 2009

Skate still stands as one of my favourite titles of this generation with its simplistic stick tricks and the fantastic feeling of accomplishment after a succesful run, it took skating down to its basics and offered a more realistic alternative to Tony Hawk and his arcade inspired 100,000 point combos. The demo for Skate 2 hit Xbox Live yesterday and will be rolling onto PSN next week and my expectations were high as I went through the impressive character creation and took my ex-prisoner(?) onto the streets of New San Vanelona.

First the look, all the colour sliders have been pushed to the right giving Skate 2 a vibrant look, the camera is still focused on your board and apart from the expected changes to menus and a polished frame rate it’s very much the game you remember seeing a few years ago.

Tweaks and changes abound gameplay wise as soon as you realise buttons have been added to the old control scheme to make it both easier and add plenty of the manouvres missing from the first game such as lip tricks while other buttons let you deliberately bail and curl into a ball, or perform a judo kick whilst flailing through the air.You can also get off your board and while this controls as well as an iguana on square wheels, the ability to move ramps and rails around opens up more opportunities for creating your own lines.

The final point of note is the improved video editor, which boild down to one simple adition, the tripod camera. While still limited to having the lens staring at your berk on wheels for the whole replay you can place the camera where you want to create some more interesting videos than the static and samely replays possible in the first Skate.

So, Skate 2 is exactly what you’d expect from a sequal, more of the same plus some spangly new additions. While the off board activity is a little sketchy the core skating and trickery remains superb and well worth anyone’s time… If you’re not out of money after the goliath year that was 2008.

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