We hope you're ready for a world in which all games are controlled with your feet, because following the success of Wii Fit and the welcoming of the game's Balance Board peripheral by third-party developers, it's only going to ramp up from here. Fortunately, in the case of the Skate It at least, playing games with your feet may not be such a bad thing. It has the potential to be about as awkward as any attempt to ride a skateboard, if it's your first time, but you might be surprised at how easily one can pull off nose manuals and nollie kickflips within minutes.
Obviously, one isn't required to have a Wii Fit Balance Board to play Skate It. It can also be controlled using only a Wii Remote. And that, somewhat surprisingly, works rather well, too.
Still, it's a bit unnerving at first. It's simple, though, with little in the way of button pressing. Simply press A to accelerate, down on the D-pad to stop and B to perform grabs. Everything else is motion controlled — kicks, flips, ollies, turns, everything.
Turning your board with twists of the remote requires a steady hand. Skate It will require just as much extremity agility and concentration as the original Skate and sticks closely to the formula established by the first. You won't be doing as much wild waggling and joint-killing shaking as some of the Wii's other offerings. Instead, because Skate It's controls are about finesse and precision, you'll find yourself looking a bit more zen as you try to avoid unintentional board slides and the not-uncommon faceplant.
As with the original Skate, I had a bit of trouble shaking off my Tony Hawk Pro Skater past and becoming reaccustomed to EA's approach. But after a few minutes with the Wii Remote and the Balance Board schemes, both rewarding in their own way, it was very much a peaceful, enjoyable experience, similarly sandbox-y and mostly pressure free — editors from other outlets waiting in line notwithstanding.
My only complaints with the control scheme lie in their unfamiliarity. The Wii Remote would perform well in some parts, with nose manuals via a quick remote hop and downward angle working like a charm. But in other instances, I'd find myself steering wildly out of control. It was also pretty easy to lose one's centre on the Balance Board and feel the strain of fake skateboarding on the underdeveloped calves. (Perhaps that possible skateboard-like frame could address this, but we'll have to wait to find out.)
Still, I left Skate It pretty impressed, admiring the control scheme and seemingly smart implementation of the Balance Board. We're looking forward to spending more time with it at E3, but for now we'll just soak in the screen shots and become more familiar with the controls.