When it comes to skating games, there’s generally one well-known leader – the Tony Hawk series. Named after one of the most prominent practitioners of the sport, the series has seen great success and popularity among gamers, delivering a unique arcade experience that takes the best from what skaters find fun about their sport, and wraps it in a package suitable for a gaming crowd.
One of the most interesting changes in Tony Hawk: Ride is the change of controller – or rather, the addition of a special new one designed exclusively for the game. The controller simulates a skateboard on which the player rides, accomplishing the tasks the game presents them with. The basic premise of the game remains the same – you’re given a time limit under which you must perform as many tricks as you can, scoring combos for even greater scores and accomplishing various quest-like tasks that differ from level to level.
The new controller makes the game a completely different experience – not only does it make it much more convenient for playing, but it also brings you even closer to the skating experience. The controller has some great feedback functionality, letting you feel like you’re truly riding on a skateboard deck as your character jumps all around the screen from ramp to ramp, scoring impressive combos and amazing the crowd. It will take you a bit of time to get used to the new style, but that can be said for any game that brings a new control scheme to its genre.
Graphics and System Requirements
“Ride” looks more stylized than its predecessors, with slightly more cartoon-styled graphics and an overall emphasis on colorfulness. The levels are designed very cleverly, and none of them feel like a skating park with some residential buildings thrown around to make it look like a real neighborhood. All of the skating elements, such as ramps and rails, have been incorporated as parts of the environment, making the game look a lot more realistic.
The feedback functionality on the controller proved to be a bit annoying at times though – expect to actually fall off a few times if you’re not careful. There’s no possibility to tone down the force at which it delivers said feedback either, so you’ll have to do with what you have.
The scoring system has been changed a bit and it’s now a bit harder to score large combos that give you several millions of points in one go. Your character will now begin to lose balance a lot more quickly as you reach the larger numbers and multiplier values, so the game feels more challenging as a whole – don’t expect to be good at it just because you’ve mastered all the previous Tony Hawk titles.
With an original new style of action and an adrenaline-pumping soundtrack typical for every TH game, Tony Hawk: Ride should be great news for fans of the series.