I was MIA for most of the Wii Fit-style fitness controller phase, but Tony Hawk Ride did briefly catch my eye when it was released in 2009. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) I didn’t have a console when it was released, otherwise I’d probably have picked it up as I’ve been a fan of the Tony Hawk series for many, many years.
Despite a near-unanimous critical bashing of the game, I’ve always wanted to give Tony Hawk Ride a try, if only because it seemed like a good marriage of hardware and concept – and I don’t trust gaming nerds to dig physical gaming much anyway.
Today I finally got my chance – I landed a complete Tony Hawk Ride game and fake skateboard controller for $5 at a thrift store.
So let’s get the obvious out of the way: the critics are partially right. Tony Hawk Ride isn’t the best Tony Hawk game around, though it is heads and tails better than Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 – though no one knew that in 2009.
Ride isn’t a complete waste though. The skateboard controller actually works rather well, albeit a little slower than I would like, and the game is fun in small doses. The calibration and training sections of the game are a bit lengthy, but once you get into playing the actual game, it’s not terrible. Having been a skater for a few years in my youth, it’s as decent a representation of the real thing as you’re going to get from a hung of plastic with sensors on it, without breaking a leg or nearby furniture.
That said, I’m very happy to have it in my collection. Whereas games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band are a dime a dozen and widely available, I suspect unique hardware like this will be generally hard to come by as years go by. Now, will anyone be chomping at the bit to get a hold of a vintage 2009 Tony Hawk Ride setup for Xbox 360 in the year 2029? Probably not, but I’ll have one anyway.
Now all I need is a copy of the ill-fated Tony Hawk Shred…