(EA for Wii)
By Mike Delano
Skate breathed new life into skateboarding games in 2007 with its stripped down, intuitive take on the genre, throwing out all of the Jackass-inspired goofiness of the later-period Tony Hawk titles without sacrificing compelling gameplay. Curious, then, that the franchise jumps its first Wii title off of the goofy premise that the fictional area of San Vanelona was hit by an earthquake, somehow transforming its urban setting into tailor-made skate parks with some decorative rubble around the edges. Other than that, however, everything else in Skate It gets it right. Save for the Wii Remote detection issues that plague all precision-requiring games on the system, the skating controls work shockingly well with the Remote/Nunchuck combo and are satisfying and easy to pull off. Tricks, grinds, grabs; none require the overly-complicated button inputs of the Tony Hawk games, so when you’re not plowing through the single-player career mode, you might actually enjoy tooling around in Freestyle mode putting together trick strings. The graphics and animations are serviceable but unremarkable (abandoning the disaster theme and opening up the color palette would work wonders), but Skate It delivers where it counts: Fun, addictive gameplay. And like any good skateboarding game, the soundtrack kills (Specials, Judas Priest, Gang Starr).