Xbox 360, Skate (EA Sports)

"Skate", released December 2007 is a game which I own on the Xbox 360. For me, "Skate" is the only game, which has exceeded the standards of the popular "Tony Hawks" games. "Tony Hawks Pro Skater" was released on the Playstation in September 1999 and until 2007 when "Skate" was released "Tony Hawks" was the only worldwide known skateboarding game. "Skate" offers innovative controls to create a more realistic feel to the game which allows it to differentiate itself from its competitors, as it is the only skateboarding game available which has this new and interesting control system.

The new control system consists of using the analogue stick to do the skateboarding tricks. The reason this appeals to users is because it differs from the typical tap of a button to do a trick. In order to do a simple trick, such as an ollie, the user has to flick the analogy stick down for the player to bend down on the board and then to flick the stick up in order to pop the ollie. More technical tricks involve a more advanced motion when flicking the analogy stick back up, such as flicking in a diagonal direction or in a triangular formation.

In addition to the specialised control system "Skate" also offers new and authentic camera angles which adds to the realistic feel of the game. Another aspect of "Skate" which is really appealing is the fact that the way the tricks in the game are pulled off are very similar in terms of how life like they are, whereas in "Tony hawks" the tricks are extremely unrealistic. For example in "Tony Hawks" when you grind a rail you continue to gain speed which is obviously not the case and you can pull off tricks which no human could. On the other hand, with "Skate" most tricks could be performed in real life and certainly look and feel more realistic.

"Skate" was so successful that EA Games released "Skate 2" in January 2009. "Skate 2" offers a new game known as "hall of meat" where the objective is to 'bail' (fall off of the skateboard) and to try and brake as many bones as possible in order to get a high score. The idea originated from the original "Skate" where one of the missions in the career mode was based upon the "hall of meat" idea. "Skate 2" now has a wide variety of new levels created just for that aspect of the game. This new idea has been a great add on to the game and offers endless hours of fun, watching the players hurt themselves.

EA Games are now currently in the production stages of "Skate 3", which along with the above points shows the concept of "Skate" truly gave EA Games a unique selling point and allowed them to penetrate the market for skateboarding video games, which after the great success of "Tony Hawks" seemed impossible. by Toby Matthews

Skate 3 out now on Xbox 360 and PS3

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