After an underwhelming runaround with the demo, I decided to take a leap and buy "skate 2" for XBOX360. Thankfully, I've made a great decision. The first game in the series was a huge breath of fresh air from the dead-horse Tony Hawk series, and I continued to play it on and off up until just recently, when I bought the sequel.
For the most part, nothing good from the first game was omitted in the second (except for coffins god dammit!), but the EA team wasn't content with leaving the game 'good enough.' This time around, you can do hippie flips, fingerflips, footplants, judos, and assorted lip tricks, among other things, including finally being able to get off your board and move stuff around. If landing tricks isn't your sort of thing, they've also added a number of bail controls, allowing you do cannonball, bellyflop, or land straight on your head when you're flailing through the air, and you're rewarded with money and achievements for inflicling grevious bodily harm on yourself. The perfect companion to these new controls is the online "Hall of Meat" mode, where players take turns ollieing off of roofs and super-ramps to see who can wreck themselves the worst. Needless to say, it's a blast, especially when you can hear the other compettitors ooooh-ing, aaaahhhh-ing, and wincing through their headsets.
"skate 2" is also notable for another addition, one which I've found an particular use for, the graphics creator. Using a flash-based drawing interface on the skate 2 website, you can create custom graphics for your skate decks, t-shirts, and hats. It is slightly limited in its options, but having the option is awesome. I took it upon myself to create a handful of Bloody Good Horror related designs, which you can see here. If you're so inclined and you own the game, you can add my designs to your game and rock your own BGH gear in the game! If you end up doing it, send me a still or a video of you representing Bloody Good Horror! Until then, you can marvel at my ability to ruin the day of skate park bench-sitters while rocking my custom BGH gear: