I got Tony Hawk: Ride the day it came out, I've spent enough time with it to review it, so lets start with the good and bad:
- Manuals on the board feel great.
- Grabs are tough, but rewarding.
- "Mii Skate" is a great addition in the Wii version.
- Graphics and level design on all versions are bright and pretty to look at.
- Menus look really slick.
- Half pipes are enjoyable.
- Good soundtrack.
- Better than other skateboarding titles on the Wii.
- The bails are pretty realistic.
- Online multiplayer and online leaderboards on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
- No online multiplayer or online leaderboards on the Wii version.
- No "Nail-the-Trick"
- No interesting "mission" type goals in the story mode.
- No one will be able to play in the Hardcore difficulty, unless they have been playing the game for more than a year or so.
- A few small glitches in the game, but are easily surpass-able.
What could have been in the game to make it better
- Levels from past installments
- The New York Nut Buster :)
So this time around, there is a story mode in Tony Hawk: Ride called "Road Trip". In this mode, the player sets out to find out what Tony Hawk has been up to for two years (a reference on how the Tony Hawk series skipped 2008 from releasing a new game and instead took 2008 and 2009 to create Tony Hawk: Ride). The player starts in Southern California and ends up in Japan, only to find out that Tony Hawk has just finish building the ultimate Japanese game show-type skatepark with a vert obstacle course and a street skating obstacle course that player has to complete to go pro.
Along the way, the player meets up with pros who give advice, who have the player session a spot, and various other things. The cutscenes are actually live action videos with some sort of a animation.
"Road Trip" can be both short and long, which depends on which difficulty you are playing on.
The skateboard peripheral looks very cool. Now the first time anyone plays this game, it wont be easy. Some advice is to start on the Casual difficulty, because it's more important to get your tricks right than the steering.
Now there is that bullshit claim that many reviewers make that "the board wont work right if you are playing in a cramped room". That's complete bullcrap.
I was watching a video review of Tony Hawk: Ride by GameSpot, the dude was saying that the board is unresponsive, and that it was a bad peripheral, and all that shit, but here is the funny part, while he's saying that, its also showing him furiously stomping and jumping on the board. So I said to myself, "what an idiot", of course the board isn't gonna work if he is jumping on it, it says that when you start up the game. The board can be damaged if your stomping on it or jumping on it if you suck at the game. That is why there is something called practice, that can keep you from getting pissed off, it also decreases your frustration level when playing.
Is it "party game material"
Tony Hawk: Ride is most definitely "party game material". Of course your gonna want to play the game in the "casual" difficulty because not everyone at your party may be a gamer or skateboarder. You can also try playing this game with your family, unless you have those adults that are really stubborn to play any video game, other than Wii Sports.
The soundtrack for Tony Hawk: Ride is a win. I'm more of a punk guy, which surprised me to find that the only real-punk bands that were on the game was NOFX, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and TSOL. So I thought the soundtrack was gonna be not as good, but not at all is it like that, there is alot of rhythmic music in the game that is easily enjoyable.
If I were to list all skateboarding games for Wii from "good" to "not as good, but not bad" in a top 5 list, here is how I would do it:
- Skate or Die! was released for the Wii on the Virtual Console through the Wii Shop Channel, but that doesn't count.
For Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers, this game is not a rip off, good graphics, online play, far more interesting objectives, what's not to love?
This game isn't a "must have", or the "release of the year", but it's certainly a GOOD GAME if anything else.
UPDATE ON 2/14/10: The developers spent more time on the board than the game, but the game doesn't disappoint either, awaiting the release of Tony Hawk 11, it should be what we have been waiting for.