Tony Hawk: Ride (with Wireless Skateboard Controller) Playstation 3
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Released on 04/12/2009
Tony Hawk: RIDE features a wireless skateboard controller designed in conjunction with the game to offer a dynamic gaming experience built from the ground up.
Using a combination of accelerometers and motion sensors, the intuitive controller allows players to physically control the action by performing various movements and gestures on the board that directly translate into amazing tricks in the game.
Without complex button combinations or analog sticks, gamers of all skill levels can literally step on the board and play!
Experience the True Thrill of Skateteboarding
Tony Hawk: RIDE’s revolutionary motion sensing skateboard controller allows players to physically control the action by performing movements and gestures that directly translate into amazing tricks in the game. The game’s intuitive controls and multiple difficulty levels make it easy to pick up and play, making this an exciting party game for people of various ages and skill levels.
The Wireless Motion-Sensing Skateboard Controller features:
- Motion Sensing Technology
- Rotate, tilt, and lift the board to pull off amazing tricks
- Smart Sensors
- Push for speed, pull off grabs, and set up for bigger tricks using the four smart motion sensors
- Contoured Base Curved bottom for stability, a full range of motion and unparalleled control Grittty Surface Similar to grip tape on a real skateboard
STEP ON THE BOARD AND RIDE
- No complicated button controls to master
- Drop into the action right away with the intuitive movement based control scheme
RIDE WITH AND AGAINST YOUR FRIENDS
- Eight player multiplayer and online play let you and your friends feel the thrill of skateboarding
- Multiple difficulty levels make the game a fun and challenging experience for people of all skill levels
SKATE HOW YOU WANT TO, WHERE YOU WANT TO
- Four different modes to RIDE – Challenge, Speed, Trick, and Free Skate – in epic locations across the globe
- Over 100 moves to master in both street and half-pipe environments
Jump On Board
Tony Hawk, who's in his forties, must be getting stiff knees and a wonky back by now, bless 'im, so it's just as well he can extend his skateboarding career through the medium of videogames. It also means we get to join in the fun.
Previous Tony Hawk games have relied on handheld controllers to translate the player's desires into on-screen tricks. This all changes with Tony Hawk: Ride, which uniquely comes with its own motion-sensing skateboard peripheral, a decision perhaps inspired by the success of games with bundled hardware such as Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Wii Fit and the like.
An Easy Ride?
The board itself is quite a nice piece of kit. It feels nice and strong and looks the part too. While standing on it players can use the various tilt mechanisms for movement and activate motion sensors around the board for grabs. In theory, this should enable the would-be skater to pull off any tricks you would on a real skateboard.
In Tony Hawk: Ride, a move that's tricky in real life is similarly difficult to pull off in-game.
And that's where a bit of a problem lies. You see, other Tony Hawk games, in letting you use your fingers and thumbs on a controller, allow you to pull of elaborate tricks and stunts with relative ease. Which, if you're not a professional skateboarder, is just what you want. Games after all are supposed to provide a bit of escapism. In Tony Hawk: Ride, a move that's tricky in real life is similarly difficult to pull off in-game. Simply keeping the board level and travelling in a straight line is a challenge in itself, then you have to flip up the nose and activate various grab sensors to pull off the tricks. It's not that the control system is badly implemented, it's just unforgiving. You just need to be aware that this is not a game for the faint hearted.
Play Modes a-Plenty
To help matters there are three difficulty levels. On the easiest setting you have no control over movement and simply have to pull off the stunts. The medium difficulty setting puts you in control of both movement and tricks but the complexity and responsiveness is tailored accordingly. Expert difficulty is, well, something you won't want to attempt until you've been playing for a very long time.
On your travels you'll get to skate in a variety of major cities taking on a number of challenges.
As well as graded difficulty there are several play modes. On your travels you'll get to skate in a variety of major cities taking on a number of challenges. These include a sort of career mode, in which you perform well in order to unlock new venues and bonuses, and Free Skate, in which you can just throw yourself around the game's environments and get to grips with that new-fangled board. There are also assorted challenges to take on. The first of these is the SpeedRun, which involves completing a course in the shortest time possible. Trick Runs present an against-the-clock challenge in which you have to score as many points as you can. There are also fixed challenges in which you have to pull off a pre-defined set of moves with as much grace, style and skill as you can muster.
Tony Hawk: Ride is a brave attempt to do something different with the skate game and, while it doesn't always work (thanks to the high difficulty level in controlling your skater), there's plenty of fun to be had. And hopefully, the next game will support multiple controller setups which will give us the best of all worlds.
- Nice board add-on.
- Variety of play modes.
- Special challenges.
- Punishing skill level.
- Traditional Hawk fans might wish they'd included a joypad option.
- The controls could do with a novice option.
After Activision claims that it wouldn be releasing a skateboarding title in 2011, some wondered whether we see another Tony Hawk game. Yet despite disappointing sales of Tony Hawk: Ride and last year follow-up Shred, it seems another game is slated for a 2012 release at least according to the man himself.
Speaking to website Pixelated Geek, the legend known as The Birdman said that whole new planfor the series was in the offing.
"We're right in the middle of making a whole new plan right now," Hawk claimed. "We're going to do something probably for next year, but I can give too much away. But definitely we're going to make new games, yes."
Though venturing into motion control territory didn seem to work for Activision, the publisher suggests the Tony Hawk brand is still popular. "Tony Hawk does really still have relevance and tremendous appeal for people," said the company's Eric Hirshberg, adding "He is a lasting icon."
"That doesn mean that other great skaters haven come up who are younger and more current, but he really is that kind of Mount Rushmore-level guy in that category," Hirshberg elaborated.
The series' high point, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, remains one of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time, with a whopping 97 per cent average on Metacritic. Here's hoping this next Hawk game can recapture that brilliance even if we have to wait until next year to play it.
Olympic fever has gripped the planet, and we're only just over halfway through a year that has already been defined by amazing sporting action. From regular favourites like Wimbledon and the UEFA European Championship, to the glitz of the Olympics and surprise wins in the Tour De France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous face certainly helps to catch our attention (although Mario and Sonic don't really count...). Here's our look back over the history of sporting heroes in games.
You can almost go back to the dawn of gaming and find examples of famous athletes promoting games. Daley Thompson's Decathlon was one of the enduring classics of the 8-bit home computer era, a keyboard-bashing run through ten track and field events overseen by the ghostly white pixellated face of digital Daley.
It was inevitable that a footy-loving nation such as ours would attract a flood of cheesy football endorsements as well, with everyone from squeaky scouser Emlyn Hughes to telly pundits Saint and Greavsie, to top flight players like Gazza and Beckham, putting their name to digitised kickabouts. We even had the bizarre sight of a Peter Shilton goalkeeping game, cheekily renamed Handball Maradona after the infamous "hand of god" incident at the 1986 World Cup. And while there's no name on the box, there's no ignoring the key players endorsing both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer even today.
Ever-obsessed with sports and strategy, it didn't take long for American software companies to follow suit. John Madden had already retired as both player and coach when his name first adorned the Madden NFL American Football simulation in 1988, but it kicked off a series which endures to this day and is widely considered to be the benchmark of gridiron gaming. Madden was part of the EA Sports stable, a label that knows the value of the right endorsement. In 1999 the company's popular PGA golf series became Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and the fairway superman has been the face of golf games ever since. Indeed, the close tie between game and name may soon become a problem, as the digital Tiger performs better than his struggling real-life counterpart. Will the series revert to plain old PGA Tour when Tiger's star fades, or will EA find a new golfing hero to carry the torch?
That's the gamble when signing a player at the peak of their game. Sometimes, a games company will sign an up and coming athlete in the hopes of backing a long term winner. That worked for Nintendo, when it paid a young Mike Tyson $50,000 to use his likeness in the NES Punch Out boxing game. Within months, Tyson was on his way to being the world heavyweight champ, and the retitled Mike Tyson's Punch Out benefited from his success in the USA.
In the UK, meanwhile, Punch Out was ported to home computers with our very own Frank Bruno as the main character. Punch Out returned to Wii minus its star, while Tyson makes a surprise return to games this year in WWE '13, re-living the brief sting he spent using his name to boost the wrestling company's ratings.
Often, a sport will bubble up to the top of the popular consciousness thanks to the eye-catching feats of a particular sports-person. In the late 1990s, it was Codemasters that perked up long-running, but fairly obscure rugby and cricket sims, by shrewdly putting hot new stars like Jonah Lomu and Brian Lara above the title. Likewise, it was only when legendary racer Colin McRae put his name to the publisher's rally games that they became the owners of a blockbuster franchise, and while the DiRT series has continued to thrive without him, it was his name that got the customers through the proverbial door to begin with. Such moves weren't restricted to cult UK sports either. In 1999, Japanese firm Namco quickly rebranded the latest entry in its fledgling tennis series as Anna Kournikova Smash Court Tennis in order to attract European gamers.
It's perhaps notable that the area where celebrity endorsement paid off most spectacularly was in the rise of extreme sports, where off-beat personalities are more openly celebrated and the players are more likely to be gamers. Tony Hawk pioneered this with his skateboarding games, lending not just his credibility but also his insight and expertise to ensure maximum authenticity. Snowboarder Shaun White and BMX rider Dave Mirra quickly followed Hawk's example. Hawk's back this year, too, in an HD re-jigging of some of his classic titles for Xbox LIVE; he's gone from extreme rebel to a traditional figure, but we still love him!
Whenever sport becomes national obsession, you can bet an enterprising games developer will seize the opportunity. Gold medal-winning swimming star Michael Phelps has got a head start on his Olympic peers this year, with his Push The Limit game for Kinect already on shelves. Will we see Bradley Wiggins grace the cover of next year's Tour De France game? Will Jess Ennis and Mo Farah be running alongside us in the next Kinect Sports? Whoever is next on the podium, it's a good bet that gamers will be the winners.
Tony Hawk Ride Review (03/12/2009)
Jump On Board
Tony Hawk, who's in his forties, must be getting stiff knees and a wonky back by …
After Activision claims that it wouldn be releasing a skateboarding title in 2011, some wondered whether we see another Tony Hawk game.…
From the Olympics to the Tour de France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous…
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