skate (360) – Demo Impressions

I know that right now Tony Hawk’s skating games are trying to work their way back from the THUG and THAW titles, and Project 8 was pretty decent.  But at the end of the day, it’s still a Tony Hawk game and its very obvious that the usual methods aren’t going to go away soon — Project 8’s only major interesting addition was the create-a-trick aspect of skating but even then, that took a lot more work.

skate takes a different approach to the skate games.  The first major difference is that instead of pressing a button to ollie and jump or land a grind, you have to use the right thumbstick to initiate most of these.  A quick down and up flip gives a short ollie; a long movement gives a bigger jump , and depending which way you flick the stick back will give you a flip trick or the like.  Landing a grind is actually a matter of landing a jump onto a rail, instead of being 4 feet away from it and being rewarded for it.  Buttons, for what I’ve played in the demo, are mostly to build up speed (which includes which specific foot you use to do so).   It’s definitely different, but feels a bit more in control of your skateboarding.

The levels, within the demo, don’t feel as artificial as  many Tony Hawk levels.  I’ve yet to find an infinite grind line, for example.  Here’s a game where bloom looks like it helps as it takes the hard edge off everything.  Of course, the demo seems limited to the skate park, but the (UNQUITTABLE) movie when you quit the demo shows some pretty interesting other areas.