Skateboarding has dramatically evolved; just how skating in real life has evolved, so has the video game industry with Easy Day Studio's Skater XL.
From the original Tony Hawk pro skaters, to the EA’s Skate series changing the game by using the analog sticks, Skater XL has topped the industry by creating the first physics based skating video game.
In the EA Skate and Tony Hawk series, all tricks and game play are animated and lack creativity. A physics-based game sounds intense, but the controls in Skater XL are simple and easy to manage.
What makes Skater XL elite compared to others is the style of how the tricks look. Someone could do a kickflip 50 times and each one will look different than the other. They put creativity in the game where someone could flip the board tight and quick or “karate-kick heelflips like Neen.” The possibilities are endless.
As for the features in the game, there is no story mode, only four pro skaters and a few brands to choose from when setting up a character. But, the amount of detail in the maps speaks for the lack of features.
Easy Day Studios not only came in clutch with physics in the game, but also included historic skate spots. In the opening map, they show Easy Day High School, Clipper ledge in San Francisco, Leap of Faith gap in San Diego and Wallenberg four block, to name a few.
Downtown Los Angeles is the next map and just like Easy Day High School, it also includes historic LA street spots.
The LA map includes some of the most skated spots in a condensed size map. You could be doing a back noseblunt at Jkwon (Radio Korea), then hit up the manual plaza at Staples Center and finish off at the Los Angeles Convention Center stair set.
The other maps are less intriguing with the mega ramp in the middle of a desert and the small Los Angeles courthouse map.
Aside from the physics and realism of Skater XL, there has been a community that has built since the game released late July. There is a community on YouTube with the Hoodlum Family creating video parts as if they were filmed in real life and The YZ Magazine releasing a skate magazine through Skater XL gameplay.
Streamers have emerged through Skater XL, such as Garrett Ginner, Milky and Nightspeeds, and have created a bigger community in the Skater XL world. Ginner has a Discord channel that connects anyone who has the game to upload video parts, map builds or memes.
The realism in Skater XL is what separates it from any other game, the endless possibilities of creativity in gameplay or recording for a video part.
However, there is one con to the console players and that is Easy Day has yet to release a park builder or community maps. The PC players have the option to download maps and modified gameplay created by other players.
Some maps that have been created have also been real spots such as the Berrics, Stoner park, Hollywood 16, Braille house and El Toro 25.
Skater XL has been out for just over a month and has not disappointed. The small Long Beach based company, Easy Day Studios has come a long way in changing the virtual skate world and it is only a matter of time till other developers hop on the physics trend for their games.