Activision invited us to check out a handful of upcoming titles last night in midtown New York City. Among all of the titles we had hands-on time with, Tony Hawk: Ride certainly stood out. Not only was it fun to play, but the fact that Mr. Tony Hawk himself sat in to tell us about the game added another dimension to the experience.
Jeff: I thought I had heard someone say "Tony Hawk is here" as Scott and I entered the Activision demo, but I just brushed that off as "Oh, the new Tony Hawk game is here." Sure enough, the legend himself walked into our private game demo room and explained to us the process in which Tony Hawk: Ride came to be.
Hawk was honest, saying the franchise had run its course with a conventional controller. Now that game peripherals are becoming much more commonplace, it was clear that a skateboard controller needed to be introduced as an obvious evolutionary step.
After hopping on the board for the first time I was immediately transported back to 1994 when I had a brief stint with the sport. The accessory itself is simply a skateboard deck without trucks or wheels. It feels solid, though it may take a minute or two to find your balance.
The board is an impressive piece of hardware that's loaded up with motion sensing technology and four infrared sensors. When your hand breaks one of the IR beams coming out from the board, the game interprets that as a grab. When you've stopped, a drag of the foot on either side will get you moving again. The motion sensing comes into play when you want to do spins in the air to increase trick points. … Read more