When Skate arrived it was a breath of fresh air. A game that brought life to the tired skating genre and ripped up the template set by the Tony Hawk franchise. Despite its problems, all that played it cried out for a sequel. A year later we have it.
In game development a year isnít a very long time so itís fairly obvious that not a lot was going to change in the game. Before I move into a description if the more fundamental changes I will highlight two areas that frustrated me with the original. In the original you could be happily doing a challenge and fall off your board, after all we are not all masters at the game upon first playing it. Despite having only travelled a few meters the game would have to reload. This was extremely frustrating especially as some challenges required many attempts. Gladly this problem has been removed. Load times are only really seen if you are teleporting between locales. A second issue that seems to have been tweaked are the races. I found the races in the original frustrating and often ill thought out. In Skate 2 they are a joy. They arenít easy but you donít seem to respawn trapped behind an item of scenery and the routes seem more obvious and natural.
So far I havenít really told you a great deal other than the stuff Iím glad that they fixed or tweaked. In truth thatís the key difference between Skate and Skate 2, fixes and tweaks. The majority of the game is unchanged, in fact the game takes place in the same city that has received some alterations. To be honest Iím glad that this approach has been made, the first game fell a little short of what we wanted but was very close to the mark on each occasion, the changes are enough to make the game far more enjoyable and with a greater amount of depth. New Moves
Our skater has picked up some new moves since the first game. Lip tricks and plants are now available. This may seem like a minor addition but in really opens up the potential for combos. The move that changes the game more than any other is getting off the board. Gone are the staircases that are impossible to climb or the annoying curbs that force you to the ground. One nice addition is that itís possible to get knocked off your board without falling over. Quite frequently I will lose the board from underneath me and end up jogging away, a simple button tap immediately recalls the board to your feet.
In addition to new moves you can also play around with certain items. Certain rails, ramps and other scenery can be moved and positioned to help make some challenges easier (or possible!) or help you create your own line.