Skate 2

Loads of PS3 DLC and two demos

SFIV, Lumines, POP, Burnout, etc.

Sony has updated the PlayStation Network store with PS3 demos of Wanted and WWE Legends of WrestleMania, along with downloadable content for Street Fighter IV, Lumines Supernova, Prince of Persia, Burnout Paradise and Skate 2.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 18

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 18

Skate 2, Silent Hill, EndWar, NFS, Sonic, Argonauts.

It's that time again. If the recent F.E.A.R. 2 and Street Fighter IV features did not sate your face-off needs adequately, we're back with the more traditional roundup format, boasting a six-strong set of releases that collectively sum up both the good and the bad of multiformat development as it stands right now. And this month's assortment adds a new meaning to the term 'cross-platform', as we get to see what PS2-era assets look like in a brand new PS3/360 game!

As per the norm, we've worked hard in bringing you the best-possible assets to show you how the games compare on both platforms: that'll be digitally lossless 24-bit full-range RGB grabs freshly and brutally culled from the HDMI ports of our PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Elite, and accompanying h264-encoded videos from the same sources. You all know the score by now - streaming video actually becomes relevant for the purpose here, by slowing down the video and zooming in on a section of the screen, with one pixel in the excellent Eurogamer video player equating to one pixel on your HDTV.

So, bearing in mind the additional title-specific coverage you've been enjoying of late, there's a somewhat pared-down roster this time, combining some of the most recent 2009 releases with a bunch of high-profile 2008 tail-enders that worked hard in avoiding our radar.

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Skate 2

Skate 2

Trick and treat.

Despite the hipster soundtrack, the subculture-savvy dialogue, the pavement-level camera that distorts your view with fisheye cool and the 'edgy' protagonist who just got out of prison, Skate 2 is essentially a game about cold, hard physics. This much is obvious within minutes, when you're told to stop posing in your new Levi's and gold aviators, get off your skateboard and, by hand, rearrange some ramps to solve a puzzle. The challenge is to 'get some air' over two dumpster bins, the game leaving you to figure out whether your arrangement of triangles will provide enough momentum and height to clear both objects lengthways, or whether you need to rethink the problem.

Underneath the style and bombast Skate 2 is a fiercely traditional videogame, one that takes an unflinching 8-bit approach to game design of which most contemporary games steer clear. For example, in one challenge you must grind two sets of stair rails in sequence, a filmed stunt that, if 'nailed', will form part of your amateur showreel. This ostensibly simple challenge requires you to approach the stairs from the perfect angle, flicking the right stick up to olly at the optimum moment, then balancing your body on the deck as you slide down, before kickflipping off to land in the perfect spot to approach the next rail. It's a sequence of button inputs that must be perfected, as in the 2D platform games of yore: make a single mistake and you'll fall off the board, smacking your face into the concrete to the wincing empathy of your cameraman.

At this point there are only two options available to you: try again or give up. There is no progression of abilities in Skate 2. Nearly every move is available to you from the start. You can't toddle off to buy a better deck that will make the task slip down a little easier. You can't go and level up your character's jump stat, or save up for some more supportive sneakers. No, you just practice, building up the required muscle memory till you've increased your own out-of-game ability sufficiently to overcome the challenge. Skate 2, like the pastime it portrays, only grants long-term success to the skilled and dedicated. Everyone else can pretty much limp off back to Prince of Persia, Fable II and others that turn a blind eye to the fact you totally suck at videogames.

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FeatureComing Attractions: Sports & Music

The games pitching for perfection in 2009.

Yesterday we talked you through our 2009 picks for Indie and Esoterica, which is us at our most self-indulgent, so today we turn to what will be some of the biggest and most profitable games of 2009. Quality, after all, is not anathema to profit.

Skate 2 demo on Xbox Live tomorrow

PSN version to follow a week later.

EA has announced a demo of Skate 2, the game about urban children's preferred mode of transport, is coming to both 360 and PS3.

Skate 2

Falling down.

Turning weaknesses into strengths is an appealingly simple approach to take with sequels. The main reason more developers don't try it is pretty simple as well: it's very hard. Much easier, then, to simply ignore the cracks that are forming, paper over them and let the problem quietly spread around the entire structure until, one day, several years down the line, it undermines the whole enterprise and you're left with a pretty mound of toxic rubble.

Skate 2

The latest from EA's boardroom.

The latest from EA's boardroom.