Tony Hawk Ride - Wii

Also known as: Tony Hawk 2009 (working title)

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Tony Hawk Ride (Wii)
Also for: PS3, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Sport: Skateboard
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Buzz Monkey Soft. Co.: Activision Blizzard
Publishers: Activision (GB/US)
Released: Nov 2009 (US)
4 Dec 2009 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC PG
No Accessories: No Accessories


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When Tony Hawk's Skateboarding was released in 1999 it changed gaming forever. Never before had a skateboarding game offered such levels of realism or such engaging gameplay. Which is exactly what you'd expect from a game that had the intimate involvement of the world's greatest skateboarder.

A few years and many sequels later, Tony Hawk's series was getting stuck in a rut. New games had new features, but they were arguably no better than previous versions, but the control method remained largely unchanged from the 1999 original. Along came EA's Skate, which had a dual analog control method called FlickIt, which was more similar to "real" skateboarding, and it knocked Tony Hawk's from the throne of skating games.

Activision had two choices, to console themselves with the mountain of cash they had made in the previous eight years, or go back to the drawing board and come up with a Skate beater. They opted for the latter option, and Tony Hawk's Ride is the result. The ace up the game's sleeve is the new motion sensing skateboard deck peripheral that it comes with.

Games have tried to use the Wii balance board to emulate real world skateboard controls, but without any real success. The problem is that the Wii Balance board, which may be superb for fitness games, feels inert under the feet of skaters, who are used to their deck reacting to their foot movements. The Ride Controller addresses this issue by having front and rear kicks, and a deep concave, so that as users move, the board moves too. The board uses infra red sensors to recognize grabs along its edge and on the nose/tail, and even lets uses slide their foot alongside the board to push.

Keen to overcome any hesitation users have about buying another expensive peripheral, Activision tells us that the board will be used in a whole range of games, and we have to expect that snowboarding, wakeboarding, surfing and fitness games to be the most obvious candidates.