Latest Game Reviews

Skate It Review - Wii

5
Gameplay: 6 stars 6
Graphics: 4 stars 4
Audio: 5 stars 5
Multiplayer: 4 stars 4
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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Introduction

Skate reinvented the skateboarding genre last year – wait... 2007 – by rethinking the controls and coming up with the intuitive FlickIt system. It breathed life into a genre that was growing staler by the minute. Now EA has seen the success of Nintendo’s console and is bringing a Skate game to the Wii, hoping to grab a piece of the (rather small) Balance Board market. Does Skate It stack up, or stack it?

Gameplay

Skate It is set out pretty much as you’d expect. You can skate aimlessly in Freeskate mode, but the meat of the game lies in the Career. You start off as a (customisable) rookie skater and need to progress through a series of challenges around your home base, San Vanelona. You can complete each mission at a basic level, but dedicated players will want to ‘kill it’ by fulfilling additional requirements. Unfortunately, you can’t save a success at the lower level and then keep trying to get the ‘killed it’ rank. It’s all or nothing, baby.

The very loose story is that San Vanelona has been rocked by a massive Roland Emmerich-esque disaster that has forced everyone to flee the area and left the ruined city to the skaters. Conveniently, the collapsed rubble is great for skating, so it seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get some amazing footage with your pals. Once you start getting noticed, you’ll be invited overseas and unlock more and more places to skate. It’s linear, but there’s nothing particularly wrong with the system.

So, with a game that fits rather neatly into the established skating game formula, the most important issue is therefore how it plays. EA wisely included several control settings in the Wii version to cater for most tastes; the one group they excluded are those who like to play skating games without motion control. Yep, you can’t escape it movement in Skate It, so you’d better get used to it quickly.

Most people will gravitate to the Wii remote and nunchuk configuration pretty well straight away. Steering is naturally done with the control stick, while the Wii remote becomes your board. That means to “ollie” (jump), you have to give the controller a flick. To do spins, you twist left and right, or flick sideways. You even tilt forward to “nollie”. Yeah, I know the lingo.

It’s not bad. It’s honestly not as bad as you’re imagining, and it’s not as bad as it could have been. The main problem I encountered is that I like to luxuriate along my lounge when playing games, and that generally involves the Wii remote being in a vertical position. This doesn’t work so well. Jumping can be finicky too, which is unfortunate given the game relies on precision jumping. It’s true that it is satisfying when you pull off a massive trick, but half the time you can just do a bit of waggling and some amazing combo will happen by itself. That being said, the Wiimote by itself (with steering controlled by tilting left ...

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