I’m a big fan of skateboarding games for some reason. In High School I was an “aggressive rollerblader”, a term that I hate to this day. It just sounds so… gay. I mean, skateboard just kind of rolls off the tongue and “ag-gres-ive roll-er-blade-er” doesn’t. In fact, it kind of struggles to make it to the edge of your tongue and then trips and falls off in spectacular fashion.

At any rate, I love skateboarding games. The market to date has been totally dominated by a little series named Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. EA decided to challenge Activision’s dominance and NeverSoft’s formula with their own title that emphasized somewhat realistic moves and a real hands on approach to controlling the skater and the board. What they ended up with was skate.

I had a pretty tough time jumping into skate. I kept wanting to Press A to do an ollie or jump. This is not how things work in skate. You have to Flick-It to jump. Basically the whole paradigm of pressing A to jump and then execute the trick in the air is out the window. skate allows you and forces you to be more hands on by essentially controlling the feet of your skater with your right analog stick. Hold down and then flick up to do an ollie. Slight variations of direction combined with slight rolls of the stick create an endless stream of wicked tricks. Once I got over the massive learning curve and broke free from the years of THPS training, I really got into the title and I am loving it.

There is nothing easy about executing some of these tricks, but it takes patience and a calm, collected, composure to really stick some of these tricks in the heat of the moment. I’ve still got a long way to go in this game, but so far I think EA did an amazing job building a new title from the ground up that is going to change the genre in a big way.