Review according to purchase from Gamestop:
So, I was reading Game Informer one day, when I saw this game. I used to be a diehard skater, that's all I ever did, so needless to say, I was pretty stoked about this game. It's the reason why I bought an Xbox 360.
This game, the first in its series, brought the 11-game Tony Hawk series to its knees. It also has one of the most active communities and community involved devs. The community is very strong creatively as well, there are many people making in-depth videos, logos, and teams with their editing and Photoshop skills. There is also now a graphics creator that you can use on the website. You can make things and them send them to Skate 2 and put your creation on either your hat, shirt, or deck. (Yes, the graphics creator is exclusive to Skate 2 and cannot be used with skate.)
Now, a little about the gameplay: You should probably know by now, but if you don't, this game uses a system called "FlickIt." It's not the typical button-mashing Tony Hawk game, you do tricks by flicking the right stick in certain ways according to what trick you're trying to do. This makes it very unique, and it is much more popular with skaters such as myself since it captures skateboarding in a much more realistic way.
It has a pretty good storyline, but that isn't the focus of the game, the innovative gameplay is. Flickit takes a little while to get used to, and quite a good amount of time to master, but it's way more fun and rewarding. You complete photoshoots, video parts, compete in competitions, and skate with pros to progress through the story which earns you more spots, clothes, boards, shoes, shirts, etc.
I love the soundtrack as well, it consists of artists such as: ZZ Top, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Slayer, N.W.A, Nirvana, Motorhead, Gang Starr, Devo, David Bowie, Cheap Trick, Black Flag, Booker T & The MG's, Band of Horses, Valient Thorr, etc.
There's also online play, but I really don't do anything except freeskate with my friends. I only played the competitive modes for the achievements, which give you a good amount of gamerscore.
Speaking of gamerscore, the achievements are fairly easy, but they do take time. The career is pretty easy, once you get used to Flickit. The online achievements will take the most time, even with a boosting partner.
I always enjoyed Tony Hawk because it was the only skating game out there. Now that I have this, I seldom play my 10+ Tony Hawk games. I strongly suggest that you buy this, but if you're skeptical about the new Flickit system, rent it. The reason I suggest this one over the second, is because this one was honestly more creative in terms of how the spots are designed, and it, for the most part, is the same as the sequel, just different locations.
So yes, definite rent, highly suggested buy, especially for the average skater.