Gonna Take You For a Ride: A Review of Tony Hawk: Ride

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Here it is in all its "glory."

Here it is in all its "glory." You do not want this.

Do you like skateboarding? Do you like video games? Okay, let me stop you before you make a terrible assumption that if you like both you’ll like Tony Hawk: Ride since the game is awful. Lots of potential, but utter failure of a game. You want to know why? Because the game doesn’t work, and when the whole point of buying a $90 game with a peripheral shaped like a skateboard is to have it function like a real skateboard and it doesn’t, you’re getting ripped off. Wanna know more. Read on for your warning.

New Controller; Same Old Problems

Does this look cool? Too bad, because you probably won't get the controller to let you do this.

Does this look cool? Too bad, because you probably won't get the controller to let you do this.

So the big thing about Tony Hawk: Ride is the actual controller. No, you don’t just use a standard controller like you probably want to. Instead, and because it seems like every developer thinks we want “realistic” games, we get a controller that actually looks like a real skateboard. Just, you know, without the wheels. The Ride controller is stood upon and used to perform all the tricks that “real” skateboarders can do, such as ollies, grinds, and grabs, plus some other jargon I’m not even going to attempt to pretend like I know (“Late 360 shove-it to boneless!”).

As you watch your character on screen move, you can adjust the controller to make him do something, like hop, by doing the correct motion on the board. Despite the fact that the whole point of the board controller is meant to make it more real, you do not have to flick the controller out from under your feet and then land on it again. You just tilt back and forth until your on-screen character does something that may or may not be a trick (faceplants are not tricks, though they look just as cool).

The Problem Is Deeper Than Commitment

To do this trick you'll have to grab the controller and hope it works after the hundredth attempt.

To do this trick you'll have to grab the controller and hope it works after the hundredth attempt.

I could care less how good the game looks, because it doesn’t matter: the game is broken. The controller doesn’t work with any sort of precision and if you can make it work to do what the game’s asking you to do, why don’t you just learn to ride a real skateboard? I’ve heard the argument with Guitar Hero that you’ll spend all sorts of time learning to play a pretend guitar when you could just learn the real thing, but with Guitar Hero the core game is fun and requires significantly less time, effort, and money to pick up and acquire than a real guitar does.

Tony Hawk: Ride is completely off from the target it’s shooting for. It wants to make skateboarding accessible to a crowd that simply can’t get into real skateboarding but with all the effort you put into learning how to play the game you’ve just wasted learning how to ride a skateboard extremely poorly. And don’t say the upside is you don’t hurt yourself because standing on the Ride controller is extremely tough and will result in you falling off and looking like a goober. Do not even attempt Tony Hawk: Ride without enough space to fall over and not break things in.

Actually, don’t attempt Tony Hawk: Ride at all. There is an easy mode that allows you to forget worrying about steering and just focus on the tricks, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a controller that wants you to replicate actually riding a skateboard. And of course if you try playing the game on anything harder than said easy mode then steering becomes the least fun thing you’ve done in a video game since having to buy a replacement Wiimote (those things are spendy!).

Just so we’re clear here, Tony Hawk: Ride doesn’t work. It doesn’t work and it doesn’t work. It makes absolutely no sense as a game since the point is to have a game where you skateboard, but learning to use the controller in an enjoyable fashion takes as much effort as going outside, dinking around on a skateboard, and learning how to actually ride one. Plus, parents, consider the difference of price. Tony Hawk: Ride has gone down to $89.99 after failing to sell well at $119.99, yet a real skateboard can be found really cheap (we’re talking $30), and a helmet to go with it costs roughly $20. Do some math there and you’ll see the better price, even with kneepads. Oh, and to close this out with an ultra corny pun-filled line, “If Tony Hawk: Ride is the next biggest thing, then I want off.” You know, because it’s a ride and…never mind.

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About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

2 Comments

  1. i think much of the problem is tony hawk himself describing the controller as a peripheral,implying that it would mimic real skating moves by the user while he went back saying it would not for thosewho maybe cant skate,it combines skater vs gamer and vice versa,then turns the skater’s abilities and gamer’s desire of a fantasy world into cons somewhat from what i heard

  2. yeah it sucks. i searched element for reasons why it wouldnt work and found this. my friend collin has the game too and we tried to play it because we couldnt go snowboarding after we broke two straps on the cheap bindings. it just kept saying lost connection and wouldnt start. 45 minutes later we got it working and its just garbage.

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