Skate It Updated Hands-On

We take a deeper look at the story mode, replay editor, and customizable levels.

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Since Skate It was first unveiled this past May, we've had the chance to take a few different looks at the game: initial balance board impressions, a quick run through the career mode, and some hands-on time with a few multiplayer aspects. Recently, though, we spent some quality time with a virtually final build of both the Wii and DS versions of Skate It. Besides getting a better feel for what each game's unique control schemes have to offer once you settle into them, we've been able to pick up on a few other features that we hadn't seen.

Wii Version: Prepare to travel to exotic locales such as Shanghai, China.

We've talked about the control schemes before, but here's a rundown for those who aren't familiar with the way EA has seen fit to bring skateboarding controls to Nintendo's unique inputs. In the Wii version, you'll be flicking the Wii Remote just like a skateboard deck to pull off ollies and flip tricks--for example, ollies are a normal flick, and kickflips are a flick with a slight twist of the wrist. Grabs are done by pulling on the B button, while grinds are a matter of landing on a rail or ledge in your preferred position. You can also choose to use a Wii Balance Board along with the remote to steer and pop the board with your feet while relegating your hands to doing grabs and turns in the air. It's a fun way to control the game, but you lose out on a bit of accuracy compared to using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk setup, which became our favorite control scheme.

The DS version works a bit differently, given the absence of motion controls. With this one it's all about the touch screen, and it works surprisingly well. On the top screen you'll see your skater cruising around fully 3D levels, and on the bottom screen you'll see a skateboard deck. To push, you'll tap anywhere on the touch screen that's not the board--just like how a skater puts his feet on the ground to kick. Doing an ollie is a matter of dragging the stylus from the tail of the board to the nose, doing kickflips requires you to swipe at an angle off the board, and shuv-its are performed by doing a semicircle originating on the tail. It sounds a bit complicated, but it comes together quite well. It should be said, though, that the Wii and DS versions both carry one important hereditary trait from the original Skate, which is that the controls are a lot of fun and really stylish, but they aren't accurate when it comes to fancy moves like laser flips and hard flips. You can do nice-looking moves time and again, but performing the same nice-looking move twice in a row is a bit tough.

While the two versions of Skate It have quite different control schemes, the way you progress through each game is very much the same. Rather than offering the free-roaming San Vanelona of the original Skate, Skate It offers a series of individual levels much in the vein of old Tony Hawk games. Scattered around each of these levels are challenges to perform, ranging from filming sessions to proper contests. You start out with a handful of locations in San Van, like the community center, elementary school, and library, but eventually you'll befriend pro skaters who want to fly you to exotic international locales, like Rio, London, and Barcelona. As you unlock new levels and challenges, you'll also unlock sweet new gear for yourself, such as clothes, shoes, boards, wheels, and trucks. The type of gear you collect ranges from typical branded skater attire, like Girl boards and Emerica shoes, to other, more comedic attire. Want to skate in Paris wearing skin-tight jeans and a baggy American-flag T-shirt? The option is yours.

Once you get outside of the career mode and start cruising on your own in the free skate mode, you'll notice a few more features that carry over from the original Skate. One of these is the ability to access replays on the fly. At any moment you can pull up a menu that has kept track of your last 15 or so seconds of action, and you can trim the footage down and save it for later viewings. (Only the Wii version lets you save; the DS game just allows you to look at the replay.) The editor is pretty bare-bones on both systems when compared to Skate, but to even have the option on systems with no hard drive is very cool. Another feature that has made the transition to both Nintendo systems is the transport marker; you can lay down a marker at any time and then immediately transport back there whenever you like. This comes in handy since the levels tend to be fairly big.

DS Version: Create your own levels in the level editor.

Even with these similarities, Skate It isn't all about the nostalgia that comes along with a faithful re-imagining of a popular game. There are points when it takes the Skate formula and throws it into a blender, like your ability to jump into a level and customize it to your own liking. In the Wii version, there are areas in certain levels where you can move benches, tables, and various obstacles into the configuration that best suits your skating needs. This can be done just for fun or to help you rack up the points with certain objectives that take place in these zones. In the DS version, you can design your own levels from scratch, adding things like ramps, stairs, and rails, and then plop down your own challenges to add some longevity. After that, you can even share the levels online by using the DS's Wi-Fi capabilities.

All in all, it looks like Skate It has managed to hold on to a lot of what made Skate so appealing, while still venturing off into some unexplored territory. We'll have the final word for you when our review hits right around the time of the game's November 19 release.

Discussion

34 comments
Ryan10901994
Ryan10901994

the DS version makes me want to cry.........But the wii version looks sick!

mightychir
mightychir

i hope the motion controls dont get out of control

pinkpAcat
pinkpAcat

the controls for the ds need some getting used to, but the first few minutes on it is really promising. fun game.

lukedadukeToKeR
lukedadukeToKeR

i just picked this up for the wii and let me tell you its awesome. the graphics are pretty good for the wii, especially close up on your board. the controls work great with the nunchuk and wiimote but im looking forward to trying the balance board if i can find one

Sodney
Sodney

Yeah. Map editor, love it

gaminggirl8
gaminggirl8

Sweet, I am totally getting this for my DS, it sounds AWESOME

Sevey13
Sevey13

I don't know...the DS controls at the very least sound irritating at best. I like the Tony Hawk games because they let me mindlessly traverse places and button mash awsome combos. Some games, like the Mario franchise, or Sonic and the Secret Rings for Wii, or Guitar Hero, etc. have me on the edge of the seat. These games, however, are my guilty pleasure games, games I play when I just want to sit on a couch and zone out. This sounds a little to involved, at least for games of this genre. Don't get me wrong: it could be fun if you want this for your game system, but I think I'm gonna pass.

Esk8ter
Esk8ter

i can wait eny more the first viseo was in may and sins then every day i look on the computer for more videos.

xtiansk8
xtiansk8

looks like a cool game. Also the graphics look sweet for a wii.

bmlawson10
bmlawson10

I'm only getting this if it makes good use of the balance board on the Wii...otherwise, it doesn't sound very interesting.

blankshore
blankshore

can't wait. I need a good skating game. Tony Hawk's Underground 2 is getting quite old.

kitty
kitty moderator

Sounds like they made good use of the level creator by letting you use it on wifi. I think I might look into purchasing this in the future.

waZelda
waZelda

teknic1200: You don't need to enjoy motion control to like the wii. SSBB do not use motion control and Mario Kart Wii can be played with game cube controller. Galaxy and TP makes little use of motion control, so some of the best games on wii don't use motion controls that much.

king_bobo
king_bobo

The level customisation sounds very similar to that of Tony Hawk's Project 8, where in certain areas you can move objects around.

gamerjerome
gamerjerome

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

teknic1200
teknic1200

AAwilddog, you complained about motion controls with shaun white also, why do you have a wii if you do not like motion controls? that is just silly, i would expect a wii game to be playable with motion controls. tilt with wii+nunchuck, just no tilt turning.

genral_ayman
genral_ayman

oh i love skate games such as tony hwak"s its sick

red_sovereign
red_sovereign

i wanna drop in a mini-ramp on my balance-board and see how that thing rlly feels! put a lil concave @ the nose and tail then go to town!! haha

Flaming_Spoon
Flaming_Spoon

I can't wait! and i agree with tannerw1 METALLICA FTW!

tannerw1
tannerw1

doctorwang12s pic is awesome! death magnetic rules

doctorwang12
doctorwang12

this looks pretty sweet mite check it out

AAwiidog
AAwiidog

when they say wiimote and nunchuk control scheme they mean like normal controls with no motion control right

Mustang_Gal
Mustang_Gal

Hey this is looking better and better. I'm def. getting this one.

Speuj
Speuj

Nice! Level editor! WOOOOO!

teknic1200
teknic1200

THPS3>>>>>>>>>>>>THAW, man THAW is awful. Skate It is looking really good for the wii!

snake2215449
snake2215449

Wow this game looks better than normal games on the DS.

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

There is no TH good as THAW and I don't think there will be.

craigshrmp
craigshrmp

The game looksway better than the 360. Hope the graphics are the same also...

xblane
xblane

I'll be getting this if it reviews well... been itching to try the balance board with this and Shaun White Snowboarding :)