Skate 2 takes to the streets this season as the only skateboarding game on the market. Its predecessor, Skate, practically reinvented the skateboarding game, making huge advances in the genre, so Skate 2 has a lot to live up to. Was developer Black Box up for the challenge?
One problem we saw with the original Skate was that you spent most of the game learning how to skateboard and doing challenges then actual skating. This was an issue that Skate 2 definitely sought to fix and it did so well. After you learn the basics, most of your learning comes on the pavement. There is a huge city with many different environments to tear up. You can literally skate for 30 minutes in any one direction and just keep finding new hot spots.
There is technically a plot that you can continue to follow, or you can just skate and complete random challenges that are fun and difficult. This new open style of boarding does have its downfalls. Because so much time was spent on making it such a freestyle game, the plot really has lost depth and flow. However, if you strive to continue with your career and reputation as a boarder, you can do just that. But this time around, it’s not like the game is waiting on you to go to a certain place or complete certain challenges. However, after awhile you will find yourself teleporting from challenges to races to vert competitions.
Almost every aspect of Skate 2, from the virtual physics to insane possibilities, and realistic controls to endless combinations, the game is flawless. Once you start playing you’ll notice that it’s much more than a button masher when you’re in the air. The flick-stick allows for great control of your boarder and purposeful moves in order to “own the spot” (achieve a certain number of points at a spot) and complete great combos.
This time around skateboarding really is the goal. What makes Skate 2 fun is that it is really your game to make up. You can pick up ramps and move them into position to get the highest combo, the most points and the sickest air. The new addition of the “Hall of Meat” is something only a true skateboarding game would think of. “Hall of Meat” is a constant measure of how much physical damage you can do to your body. After you own that huge air spot, try picking up speed and bailing in the middle of the air to inflict as much pain as humanly possible. It’s just one example of the endless possibilities of making the experience new and exciting.
You can take Skate 2 online with up to six players for various competitive and co-op challenges. You can take action shots of your own created hot spots and let your friends see what they can do. You can see other skaters’ profiles and skate head-to-head to see who is the real king or queen of the street (yes, players can choose to be female this time around).
Skate 2 has lost a little bit of the depth and flow in its career mode, but what’s wrong with that? It broke the mold of having a boarder come from nowhere and make his way to the top. But for those who don’t like change, I guess you can follow only the career mode and never see the real potential that Skate 2 has to offer. Those who want to skate the city and wreak havoc, this is your game too. It may be slightly different then original skateboarding games and the controls take some getting used to, but it is definitely worth a ride.