I've always enjoyed watching pro skaters on tv. I even tried getting into skateboarding myself till I slammed my head on the ground. It really amazes me what people can do on a skateboard. Thanks to videogames I've had the chance to simulate this experience. No, I'm not talking about the Tony Hawk games, which I've definitely played my fair share of. I talking about one of the best, reality-based, games I've ever played. The simple title "Skate" says it all.
For awhile I very closely followed new demos as they were released on Xbox Live. One day I see a demo posted for Skate 2 and decided to try it out. Playing it for the first time the fairly realistic physics and controls took a fair while to get used to. I had to completely retrain my brain after years of Tony Hawk games. After my time expired in the demo I booted it back up and tried it again. I can say with absolute certainly I have never play a demo as much as I did that one. Each time I played I got better; I was bailing less, pulling off hard tricks, and creating my own lines. Sounds a lot like what a real skater would experience doesn't it.
Let me explain what makes this game so different. You steer with the left analog and trick with the right. Hold down and flick up to ollie, hold down and flick up and to the right to kick flip. The buttons you press aren't link to tricks but instead are used to simulate your body as a skater. The left and right trigger buttons are your left and right hands while the X and A buttons are you feet. Hold the right trigger to grab your board with your right hand. Push X while on the ground your and your left foot pushes you forward, push the same button while performing a grab to release your left foot from the board. Push the X while holding the right trigger on the ground to grab your board and kick yourself up to perform a boneless! Clearly a lot of thought went into making this incredible game!
For those who haven't played Skate 2 I beg you to give it a shot (the third game is pretty good too, but personally I wouldn't recommend the first one.). This isn't for those who just want an over-the-top, arcade-like, experience like the Tony Hawk franchise. However, if you like more realistic(ish) games this one will give you an extremely fun challenge. Just like in the real world its going to take a lot of practice and you'll fail several times. Once you finally begin to pull off a lines you've been practicing its going to feel that much more rewarding. This is a truly innovative game with a wonderfully crafted feel.