Tony Hawk: RIDE Review (Xbox 360)
Tony Hawk is about to take you for a ride, literally.
Tony Hawk RIDE is the latest addition to the long-running Tony Hawk skateboarding series, but this time you are putting the controller away. RIDE’s biggest marketing point is its skateboard controller. The board has the same dimensions as any typical deck you would see in your local Zumiez and is actually quite comfortable. Too bad comfort does not cover up a terrible game.
RIDE sounds like a great idea. Having the board as a controller sounds like the next revolutionary gaming controller -- following in the steps of things like the drums of Rock Band. Wrong. Instead, the frustration with this game is goes beyond even infinity. Yes, infinity plus one does in fact exist outside of a fight between two kindergartners.
The board itself has four sensors located on it: one in front, one in back and one on each side. When you first pop in the game, Hawk will welcome you and help you get your board calibrated. According to the game, it will take a couple minutes, but half the time you need to restart the calibration and listen to Hawk’s failed attempts at humor.
Once you get past the calibration stage and the actual game starts up, nothing but excitement will fill the air -- too bad anticipation cannot last forever.
The game starts out by telling you how to use the board. To perform an Ollie, you simply have to pop up the front of the board. However, you have to do it quickly, or else you will start doing a manual.
Tony Hawks Pro Skater this game isn't.
Once you have the Ollie down, you will learn how to do some flips, which happen to be very complicated. Actually, complicated is the wrong word. There really is no word to describe how to do tricks because sometimes they just do not work. The sensors do not seem to always be working properly. You could pull off the perfect kickflip only to be told you did nothing but an Ollie. This is where the frustration begins.
There are three difficultly levels in RIDE: Casual, Confident and Hardcore. Casual was the only setting I could even begin to enjoy, but there is one huge problem with it -- you do nothing.
When in the game, your skater is on a pre-determined path to the next bench to grind. You have no way of steering your skater, with the exception being leaning towards one arrow to go left rather than right. But I guess this system does give you the time needed to focus on your tricks and actually play the game.
Moving beyond the Casual difficulty level, Confident is exactly like Casual, except you steer. Steering is an absolute joke in this game. Sure it adds to the realism, but when I start crashing into walls left and right, I want to take the board and smash it over the head of Hawk himself. And please, oh please, do not get me started on Hardcore.
There are four game modes in the game: free skate, speed, tricks and challenge mode. Speed is nothing more than getting to the end of the track as fast as possible. Trick mode is there to see how high of a score you can get. Free skate, which I thought would be my favorite mode, was a disgrace. The "free" is misleading because, once you get to the end of the track, it is game over for you unless you are doing vert (which I will get into later).
Challenge mode is actually quite fun. The game gives you up to four challenges to complete. Anything from a kickflip to jumping across the gap are on your checklist, and since there are only a few items on that list, the challenges go by at a quick pace.
Vert, or half-pipe, is easily the most insane mode in this game. When you do vert, you need to rotate your board to be parallel with your television set. Then you get to go up and down the halfpipe like a teeter-totter. If you think I am joking, just go and try it out -- just do not buy the game to try it out. If you want to do a trick when you pop up on one end, lean in a tiny bit and you will be pulling off a 900 Christ Air move, which you will land even though your skater is inside the pipe on occasion.
Simply put, the gameplay just does not feel up to par. I would much rather play the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on my Nintendo 64. The board was a great idea, and it is very well built, but the sensors are just too touchy or not touchy enough at all the wrong times.
The graphics in this game are also terrible for a Xbox 360 game. A lot of the scenery looks like it was slopped together. The skaters also have close to no details on their faces and bodies. Beyond the graphics, the music was the best part of this game for me -- with artists like Green Day and Chevelle leading the way, not much can go wrong.
There is no online play because there is not a soul to be found who plays this game anymore.
I am sure Tony Hawk had a great idea and vision when he brought this idea to Activision, but the game just did not work out. The board is a great idea, but it is not as responsive as it needs to be. Really, this game just missed on so many levels that it would cost Activision too much money to even try and make a second attempt at a motion-controlled skateboarding game.
I have to assume the next Tony Hawk game will return to its controller roots. If not, Activision may just have to put this once-proud franchise to sleep for good.
On The Board: The board's lack of responsiveness kills any and all fun to be had here.
Graphics: They are very outdated for a Xbox 360 game.
Sound: Music is the best part of the game.
Entertainment Value: You might get a kick out of it with your friends for an hour or so, but other than that, do not waste the money.
Learning Curve: The game is rather easy to learn, but it is very hard to master because of the board's limitations.
Online Play: Hello? Is anybody there?
Score: 3.0 (Terrible)