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  • Tony Hawk Ride, First (and last) Impression

    Posted on March 15th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Let’s set the scenario. It’s Christmas afternoon.  My youngest brother has received Tony Hawk’s Ride for Xbox 360 as one of his gifts.  He brings it over my house to try it out on my 54″ plasma TV.  The family (age ranges 3 – 55) all take their seats on the sectional couch, as my brother plops the Ride board on the carpet in front of the TV. My brother has already tried the game out at his house, and warns us that it’s impossible to do any tricks.  So, now we fire up the Xbox 360…

    Graphics and sound are good, I’ve seen better but not complaining. My youngest brother (the one who got it as a gift) takes 10+ minutes getting the board calibrated for my TV. Calibration (in general) really sucks, especially for the non-gamer or very casual gamer. Things get calibrated and it’s Ride time. My brother likes to skateboard (real ones) and has a good sense of balance. He does OK for a rookie on this pseudo-board/game. Slips off the board a few times, and gives us all a little scare that he might fall on us or into the TV.  Keep in mind, the room we are playing in is big (2-3 times the size of an average living room), at 23″ x 23″ with the couch set back about 10″ from the TV.

    Now, my middle brother steps up. He’s a bit more like me, a musician and a little clumsy on new things. He wobbles all over the place and falls off the board a few times. He comes within inches of the stereo system and TV, really putting some fear in me that something/someone is going to break with this game.

    So, the first takeaway  is Tony Hawk Ride is not a realistic game for home users.  Most people do not have a big enough or safe enough living room (game room) to set this up and play. My room is pretty big, and still gave us some worries.

    Now compare it to the Wii Balance Board for Wii Fit.  Yes, there are similarities. You need some space, to need to keep balance.  A difference with Ride, is you actually move the board around the floor with your feet.  The Wii Fit Balance Board is stationary, not requiring nearly the footprint or balance of the Ride board.

    A second observation from the onlookers was the watching experience. No one was overly excited to watch someone play. No one was overly excited to give the game a try. Why was that? Maybe the excitement of Christmas day was overwhelming for everyone. Maybe everyone was worried about someone falling into the TV? Maybe it looked too confusing and intimidating. I can say, the watching experience wasn’t compelling enough for most people (including myself) to get off the couch and try it out.

    To sum up my first impression of Tony Hawk Ride.

    • The majority of players will not have a space large enough (safe enough) to set up the Ride board. That is a huge killer to this game.
    • The game play wasn’t compelling enough to just about anyone in the room (young or old). I guess the game play just didn’t grab enough people to give it a shot.

    My brother returned the game and used the money to buy Modern Warfare 2….he plays that game constantly.

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