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Skate It is the Wii version of the new skateboarding franchise famous for it's low slung camera and gesture controls. This makes it an ideal fit for the Wii's various motion controllers - whether balance board from Wii-Fit or the standard Wii-mote.
Sports games recreate a wide variety of real life competitive activities. Depending on the sport, these will either have an action or strategy focus. Popular sports games are often released on an annual basis, each year the game receives new player rosters and game improvements.
In addition to the novelty of the focus on the skateboard rather than the skater (as reflected by the camera angle), Skate It on Wii adds a couple of unique control scheme.
You can use the balance board (positioned sideways - skater style) to control both steering around the world and pulling of various tricks. The peripheral's insistence that you are not allowed to jump is counter intuitive at first and the general control can be very frustrating. Once you have taught yourself not to actually leave the board when you jump, and spent enough time to get in tune with the unusual interaction playing with the balance board can be really rewarding.
You can also control the game with the Wii-mote. The controller essentially represents a miniature skateboard. Tilt it left or right to steer and back or forward to manual. The flick-it controls make most sense here, where different gestures are closely related to the real world activity.
The game as a whole is less graphically impressive than Skate 360, and removes the other people from the game world to keep the action running smoothly. It also limits play to separate arenas rather than a unified game world. Apart from this though the action is fast and slick with a real sense of tiny-skate-wheels on tarmac.
Players are attracted to Skate It because of the novelty of the balance board controls. However, they are more likely to persevere with the Wii-mote gesture scheme as this yields quick results and is less problematic.Here, players of pretty much any age and ability can steer and perform tricks. It was great to see out three year old pick up the controller and instinctively get around the game. This is up there with Family Ski Wii for ease of controls.
If you are using the balance board you need to set aside a good evening - and be willing to work through some frustrations and short comings - before you can really get on with playing the game. As said above, the Wii-mote will get you going quicker and is in many ways just as much fun.
From there the game can be played in short sessions, although the instinctive nature of the controls and the memorization required to hit tricks in certain spots makes it more suited to sessions of over an hour.
Even very young players can control the game with the Wii-mote. Our kids have played this and Skate 360 and it is the Wii version they prefer.
Intermediate players may want to opt for the balance board - particularly if they have enjoyed Wii-Fit. But this system is more problematic in a full game environment that demands quick response times.
Experts may berate the game for loosing graphical fidelity and the open world, but this is more than made up for by the gesture controls. and in many ways Skate on Wii is the pinnacle of the flick it control system many hard core gamers so praised on 360 and PS3.
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