Every now and again, I’m visited with the pleasant and usually unexpected revelation that there are people in this world that A. have more time on their hands than I do, B. have less pressing matters on which to spend said time, and C. are possibly bigger dorks than I, in a general sense. I know, heaven for-fend. So it is with the cottage industry of recreating skate video parts via EA Skate, known to some as the best skateboard video game since Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. And, it’s not even classic video parts, I mean, of course there’s Guy Mariano’s “Mouse” section and a whopper of a three-part version of Marc Johnson’s “Fully Flared” closer, but beyond these you’ll find such head-scratching esoterica as Furby’s Berrics clip, Jake Brown’s X-games mega-slam (sans helmet), and a remake of YouTube manual sensation Aaron Kyros’s part.
(On a side note, I would be inclined to say that Aaron Kyros could have been the Soulja Boy Tell’Em of YouTube skate videos, if he would have thought up a name for his manual twirling dance, and made it into a ringtone.)
So as Electronic Arts releases the meticulously titled “Skate 2,” let’s look over a few parts recreated with the original “Skate.”
Antwuan Dixon – “Baker 3”
This entry, if not 100% faithful in size and scope trick-wise, is sort of innovative in that it cribs the soundtrack from the video itself in recreating young Antwuan’s Baker debut. The medium drives home the notion that we are looking back on a more innocent time for all of us, with nice use of the Suburbs picnic tables and a suitable stand-in for the Carlsbad gap.
Nick Trapasso – “Suffer the Joy”
This one gets points for dredging the Suburbs for a passable schoolyard setting for Trapasso’s well-loved bigspin blunt line, but couldn’t fit in the wallie – bummer, brah. The minds who put this clip together give into the all-too-strong desire to boost the stair count on some of the hairier rail/gap stuff, but EA Skate’s “loose style” does a decent Trapasso impersonation and they replicated the wonky landing on the kickflip backside 360 pretty good.
Alex Chalmers – “Sorry”
Probably one of the most impressive EA Skate knock-off parts considering how hard it is to do transition shit in this game. With the Faction pop-punk and general contempt shown for gravity, the Canadian fly-out wizard’s little-loved Flip video makes for a convincing update to those old Tony Hawk clips they used to toss you when you completed the game with such-and-such pro. The only thing holding this back from a perfect five rating are the hilariously awkward telephone voice interlude and the fact that the wits behind this couldn’t figure out a way to recreate Renee Renee’s late back foot flip thing. For shame.
Guy Mariano – “Mouse”
It kind of looks like him, if you squint your eyes, and hit yourself over the head with a whiskey bottle for a few hours. Back to the Suburb playgrounds for the bump-to-picnic-table, which is okay minus the lengthy hangtime, and while I can’t think of any particular spot offhand I have to imagine he could have found a better bank-to-ledge to stand in for the Lockwood bench. Plus the awkward rotations on some of the techy ledge stuff. (There are several recreations of Guy Mariano’s “Fully Flared” opus, but if I’m going to bear seven minutes of Band of Horses music and not actually watch Guy Mariano skate, well, I need to get something out of it besides a lengthy blog posting.)
Ronnie Creager – “What If”
Under the video details it says “I needs me a life.” He got the slow-mo kickflip backside tailslide 360 out, when the song stops, so that’s something. User “BriDenSkates” has several other such parts to his name, as well as a couple super cute kitten videos, which as we all know are the lifeblood of YouTube. For this reason I bestow upon this clip a full five-up rating, and encourage BriDenSkates to get to work on “Trilogy” and “20 Shot Sequence.”