Bring on Skate 2

Before EA skate was on the horizon I started a post about how the THPS series was no longer cutting it, but I never got around to posting it.

While they’ve obviously done something right, THPS has never been about realism and I think there are plenty of players (probably mostly skaters) who’re looking for a more challenging simulation-like experience. The Project 8 trailer gave me some hope (tricks are done at more realistic heights, with more accurate board motion and foot placements), but the interviews seem to confirm that gameplay isn’t going to change much.

It didn’t, nor did THPG.

Grinds/slides should slow you down depending on the materials in contact; board slides on handrails should be quickening, grinds on an unwaxed concrete planter should slow you down quite a bit but still give a satisfying growl.

Landing tough tricks should be harder and depend more on your speed, energy, timing and the environment; rough, uneven, slick or wet surfaces should require more precise moves, and deep sidewalk cracks, metal gratings, handrail kinks should add a little risk of random board-stopping. You should get a real sense of accomplishment even landing a short run.

A spot shouldn’t be a collection of grinds/slides linked one after another for miles. You might have to maneuver around some tight corners while setting up for a handrail. Spots should be laid out naturally, but inspire creative lines instead of spelling them out. School 2 (THPS2) still stands out as a great level in this respect.

EA skate really pulled most of this off. It feels like real skateboarding (enough to give me that fix when you finally land a line after trying for hours) and has spots that look natural environments. After experiencing skate, THPG looks like a cartoon world where every surface was a quarter pipe. As for skate 2, the trailers still look like real skating and it seems they’ve only extended (not screwed with) the gameplay, but the city’s starting to look a little cartoonish.

3 thoughts on “Bring on Skate 2

  1. says:

    I thoroughly disagree and like everything to be super-easy and super-unrealistic! But then, I am a girl and also have never skateboarded! :) I like SSX3. TOTALLY unrealistic. And whatever that jet-ski game is where you can basically fly. Love that.

  2. says:

    I dig the SSX, too, and I like the Tony Hawk games for 2-player. Skate just gives that feeling of accomplishment I used to get from skateboarding. You’d think up a line and try it over and over and finally make it, and maybe a friend was filming and you’d go back later and edit them into dumb videos. It’s built into the game. It has the tiny details of skateboarding down so well that it’s starting to have an influence on real skating.

  3. says:

    I think that THPS is now pretty much dead in the water.
    Unless they can come out with something amazing (which is rumored to be the case with some sort of add on controller device type thing) – then Skate will be the winner.

    Skate 2 is moving more towards being a TH type game with the ability to get off the board and move stuff around to make a better environment to play in – but lets hope they don’t go too overboard with it all.

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