Eight things you must know about Skate

Aug 22 2007

Skate is easily one of our favourite games of the year. It's solid, gorgeous, incredible fun to play, and now those brill chaps in charge of Xbox Live have uploaded a 30 minute demo of the Electronic Arts skateboarding sim. You really have to play this.

If you're already a fan, like us, you've probably nailed through the demo's tutorials and challenges by now. But there's plenty more to discover. So here's eight things you must know, in order to squeeze maximum satisfaction out of this teasing taste of Skate's fantastic action.

How the ollie works...
The tutorial gives you the basics - move right stick down then up. But you might not know that ollie height is dictated by how low your rider ducks down, not by how quickly you flick the stick. For a satisfying jump, give the rider time to hunch down properly. Holding up longer at the end of the ollie can also help tweak out that extra inch.

How to ride the Coffin...
Some of you might spot this in the pause menu's tips, but for those that don't here's how to perform a silly but fun little move called the Coffin. Hold both triggers to grab the board, then press B. You'll lie back fully on the board, gaining muchos speed on slopes, and even enabling you to zip under high rails. Clever.

How to preserve your flow...
Skate doesn't work like Tony Hawk. You have to use the environment to keep your speed up, and to preserve the satisfying flow of your line. Plan where you're going to enter and exit a trick, and aim to use the natural contours of the concrete. This will keep you rattling along nicely.

Then try popping small ollies down slopes, or manual down ramps to pick up extra speed. And learn to pump properly - don't hammer or hold the push buttons, instead you have to build up a flowing rhythm by hitting the button as your pushing leg swings forward and off the ground.

How to practice a line...
By hitting the left bumper button, you'll see two options pop up: Place Session Marker and Go To Session Marker. Use these to set a spawn point at the start of a line. If you mess up, just hit Go To and restart the line - or use the spawn point to play turn-taking H.O.R.S.E. with your mates.

How to pull off a 360 flip...
It's one of the most satisfying tricks to perform, as well as being one of the most amazing flips to watch. This is how to do it: Hunch down by pushing the stick left to about 8 o'clock. Then roll around anticlockwise to just past 6 o'clock, and quickly flick the stick up to 1 o'clock. Job done.

How to pump properly in the pool...
This is straightforward, but requires a little practice. As you approach the 'roll' of the pool - the arched transfer between the flat bottom and the vertical wall - push forward on the left stick. This will 'pump' the curve. Let go before you hit the lip, or you'll exit at the pool edge. Repeat for super air.

How to backflip...
Once you've got enough air, try this trick for size: Perform a jump as normal, then hold either trigger to grab the board. Now pull quickly back on the left stick (or forward, for a front flip) and hold it until you've rolled all the way over. Ta-da!

How to quick reset the demo...
Half an hour is generous enough for a demo, but it'll never fully satisfy. But how to avoid the time-wasting promo material that pops up after the clock runs out? Easy. Hit the Guide button at any time - then select 'Back to dashboard', quit the game, then jump straight back into the demo. Painless. 

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