Customer Review

80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tony Hawk: Ride - An Honest Review, December 17, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 Tony Hawk: Ride Skateboard Bundle (Video Game)
So I own this game, have written a trick guide for it, and overall know how to play this game. I wanted to write a review so that others can see the high and low aspects of this game and not just people that give it a score of 1 and go into a rant because they can't figure out the game.

Let's face it folks, not everybody will figure this game out. This game is not for everybody. I am horrible at Madden. I have tried Madden games since Madden 93. After Madden 05, I slowed down with the games and they just got so complex to the point where I just stumbled through playing them. I will not rate those games as a 1 star because I am not good at them.

The joy of this game is that it will trick you. This game is Tony Hawk to its core. This is a completely new Tony Hawk experience, and you need to learn how to play the new experience. Most people will see a skateboard controller, see the Tony Hawk name, and assume that Tony Hawk went soft on us. They will assume that Tony Hawk just tried to capitalize on the casual gamers by making an easy game where you just stand on a skateboard controller, wiggle it a little, and do a 900.

Anybody that thinks that way will be in for quite a bit shock when they start playing this game. You should be afraid of this game. Not because it is bad, but because once you figure out how to play, you will realize that this game plays alot like Tony Hawk 1, but with the inclusion of manuals and a different way of rotating when in vert. This game is for the Tony Hawk fans. This game is not for a casual gamer. Then again, I would like to see any casual gamer dominate in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.

Every single review I have read of this game that has given it a bad review, is because of 1 of 2 things:
1.) The person could not figure out how to play, so they immediately take that as a personal attack on them, and say the game is horrible.
2.) They did not allow for the full 4 feet of space in between objects and the sensors on the controller when calibrating the controller.

Now onto the rest of the review...

Learning Curve
--------------
The learning curve is either very fast or very slow depending on how stubborn you are about learning how to play the game. The game will start you with some tutorials, but just give you a taste and not finish off the rest of the tutorials. If you go through those tutorials, the learning curve is very small. If you do not want to do that, google my guide, and I know for a fact that the learning curve will actually be smaller using my guide than trying the videos.

Not knowing how to play and then wondering why it is difficult would be the equivalent of me hitting one button on Madden 10 and getting mad that they did not map every single action to my A button. If you are willing to learn instead of just trying the game without any knowledge, than you will find the learning curve is not bad. In fact, it is very small.

Gameplay
--------
The gameplay is split up into 5 modes:
Speed, Trick, Challenge, Free Skate, and Vert

I will go into each mode and explain them along with the up and down sides with each mode
---------------
I will start by saying that to know what kind of score you need for maximum points on a specific session mode, just look at the default high scores. Try to beat the default high scores to get the maximum points (which is normally 15 points per session mode)

Speed:
In this mode, this will appear on the surface as simple, until you realize what you need to do. You need to get to the end within a certain amount of time in order to get point for your run. Most runs will give you 15 session points. Basically, you need session points to unlock new areas, skaters, and extra challenges.

What you need to do as you go through the run is collect the green bubbles which take time off of the timer going up to make your run shorter. Some of the good bubbles, like the 3 and 4 second bubbles, you have to hit a jump or a specific grind to get them.

The biggest issue with this mode is that it is a speed run. This is Tony Hawk here. We want tricks and insane, outlandish combos.

The upside is that the mode is fun. For the people that can't figure out tricks and you want to have a Tony Hawk Ride party, just let them play this mode.

Trick:
This is pretty self explanatory. Try to hit a run and get the high score.

Doing tricks is very easy. Anybody that has trouble should google my guide and see how to do tricks. They are super easy.

Once you figure out how to do tricks, on casual, unless you miss a jump, which is rare, the game present no challenge, and doing tricks is too simple.

Taking the difficulty up to Confident or Hardcore makes trick mode much more fun.

Do not complain about tricks being hard or the controller being unresponsive. I am a 250lbs man and can hit any trick in the game. I do not know what other people's problems are. I almost went into a rant again about people saying games are bad because they are bad at them, but I will hold off.

Challenge:
This is actually my favorite mode of the game. The challenges will start easy, but ramp up as you go through the later stages. The challenges will challenge you to keep up trick transitions and combos.

The only gripe I have about this mode is that you truly need to know what you are doing in the game and how to do all the tricks before this mode starts. In Tony Hawk: Ride, you will just be plopped into the challenges later on in the game and the game will just expect that you already when through all the videos.

One challenge in particular, the challenge is to do an advanced grab over a break in a QP, then jump onto small bleachers, grind them, jump off onto a manual, and then jump onto another set of bleachers to finish off the combo. The problem is that the game never explicitly tells you, "Hey, We are doing something new, go watch the tutorial video on how to do it" Because of this, even myself, I would find myself scratching my head trying to figure out how to do some of this stuff. The game literally assumed that you will go through the beginning tutorial stuff, and then choose to personally go through the other training videos and never really say anything about the fact that is a a good idea to go there since there is no other way to know how to do some of the stuff it tells you to do outside of a google search.

Other than that, challenge mode is amazing and super fun.

Free Skate:
This is what it is. Just skate a run for fun. That is it.

I don't have any gripes with this mode as it is good for practicing.

Vert:
This is also what it sounds like. Vert is pretty fun. Popping the board up at just the correct time to hit a 720 is very satisfying.

The gripe I have with this is turning in Vert. Sometimes it makes sense to tile the board back, but you should be tilting it forward. Really, you do not need to turn in Vert unless you are going for acheivements (well, one or 2 half pipes require you to turn just after you launch down, but that is it)

Other than that, Vert is super fun. The way to do big spins to to pop your board near the top of the pipe, and learning the timing is half of the fun.

Sound
-----
Like every Tony Hawk game, the soundtrack is awesome. The songs are good. The sound effects sound great.

Really, not much needs to be said since there is nothing bad. Good sound effects, good soundtrack.

Graphics
---------
This is one area where this game is getting set to 4 star from me. The graphics are not near as good as what Activision has shown from other Tony Hawk games on the 360. Project 8 and Proving Grounds (the latest Tony Hawk) put this game to shame by far. This is the latest Tony Hawk, so it should at the very minimum have graphics that are on par with its previous installment. The graphics on this make the 360 version look more like an average wii version and is definately not the eye candy we got with Project 8 or Proving Grounds.

Story
-----
Yeah, just kidding. This is not THUG or THUG 2, there is not story.

Overall
-------
This is a great game. It plays and feels like a good Tony Hawk game. The controls feel right and doing tricks is satisfying. Trust me, once you learn how easy it is to do flick tricks from an ollie setup, you will be like me and fall in love with the flick tricks. I love going from flick trick into grind (not a 50-50, but something wierd for fun, like a salad grind), jump out of the grind, hit a manual, do a pop shove-it, then jump back into another grind. That seems like a lot, but it is my favorite combo and just feels satisfying to hit.

This game is great because you are not just hitting a button to do a trick. Yes, you are doing a motion that possibly has nothing to do with the real trick, but it still incredbly satisfying to hit tricks in this game.

That satisfaction of hitting the tricks is what makes this game so incredibly fun. This game would have gotten 5 out of 5, but the graphics are very sub par for a Tony Hawk game, so it lost a star for graphics, which is a very valid reason to take a star off.
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Comments

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2010 1:51:15 AM PST
K. MCAVOY says:
Wow,I think this is the best review of any product I've ever read.I wish all reviews were this specific as to why you might or might not like something.And honestly it's refreshing to see someone mention the "sour grapes" type of comments I see so often in reviews that are never helpful and just reveal a reviewer's personality and insecurites more than anything else.Thankyou so much for writing a review that really gives me some things to consider in what I'm really looking for in a game like this.

Posted on Mar 8, 2010 8:26:57 PM PST
Robindurrr says:
One of the other complaints was also difficulty calibrating or getting the deive to connect.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2010 1:38:00 AM PDT
B. Molen says:
I had no problem calibrating or connecting.

Thanks for the tips too sega Ages! They really helped.

Posted on Mar 14, 2011 12:12:54 PM PDT
While I'm glad you've given the game more playtime and writing than most reviewers, I must politely disagree. Sure the music is great, but the hardware is just lagging behind so much it's a wonder they went ahead and released it. I'm sure you'll just assume I'm a bumbling buffoon who can't keep balance, but I really did take a good shot at the game and still hated it.

Now I have a confession...

The only reason I bought the game was for the board. I ended up converting the board into a Back to the Future hoverboard prop during halloween. It has brought me more entertainment that way then the actual game could have. I had to get it off of craiglist because Gamestop stopped taking take trade-ins on the them at the time. Apparently too many people tried to return or trade them in at the same time and they realized they'd lose too much money.

If you have the option, find an arcade with that Top Skater arcade machine from the late nineties and play for a few hours. Then go home and be happy you didn't wasn't anything on Tony. Big fan of franchise, but the hardware killed it. Hence the reason you see a ton of them on amazon...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2011 1:38:12 PM PDT
SegaAges says:
The biggest issue was calibration. I can promise you that 99% of the people that had problems either did not calibrate the board with 4ft of space, or are trying to play it in a confined area, which is messing with the sensors (think of it like the space requirement for the Kinect).

The hardware is pretty solid and I know for a fact from playing this with Tony Hawk himself (dead serious and can provide proof if you don't believe me) that these controllers are amazing and are built for more than you would realize.

A small example: the hardware detects real kick and heel flips. This means you do a real kick flip instead of tilting the board, and the controller 100% sees it happening. I am 99% confident it is the same with the ollie/nollie and a bunch of other tricks. The software disabled these from happening because of the risk, but the controller still detects it.

I do not defend this game because I was fortunate to be able to play this game with Tony Hawk, but defend it because it is one of the few instances where most people are wrong. That is not be being rude, it is the truth.

The lagginess or unresponsiveness is 100% the calibration/amount of playing space (you are not playing this in a narrow hallway).

What I tell people is that if you know it is calibrated and you have enough space, return it for a new one, because yours is broke. If a 250 lbs man can figure it out and get it working with the very first copy he bought (calibrating in tight space and not playing in enough space), then there is no reason why anybody else should have an issue.

If you want more information, simply do a Google search for "Tony Hawk Ride Trick Guide". I wrote that guide as well to help people learn to play. I noticed that way too many people would dismiss this game without doing it correctly (hence my comparison to Madden). There is no possible way anybody can just pick up and play this game. It is not that kind of game. The mechanics once you get it working feel like Tony Hawk 1.5 (a healthy mix of TH1 and TH2).

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 6:19:06 PM PDT
C. Brown says:
What is the difference and which do you recommend for a 7 yr old? This one or Shred

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 6:58:11 PM PDT
SegaAges says:
This one would be much better. Shred made many more improvements, but at the same time became much more complex. Not impossible complex, but think of the difference between Tony Hawk 1 and 2 and the differences in that, and then you will have a basis for the differences between Ride and Shred. Ride on Casual will be just fine for a 7 year old

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 6:58:58 PM PDT
GadgetGirly says:
WOW! This has to be the most thorough review ever written! Great job! Thank you! My 13yr old would love to know you probably, he's a skateboard fanatic! Loves the sport & is passionate about nothing more! He knows how to do those tricks too & it makes me nervous, but I love seeing him happy! Winter will be coming soon & I'd like for him to be able to play with this during the snow season. Is there a disk to go with this or does the board work for the skate 1, 2 & 3 games?
Thanks for taking the time to explain this, I probably would not have ordered it if I just focused on the 1 star ratings.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2013 9:00:42 PM PDT
SegaAges says:
It is a disc for XBox 360, Wii and Playstation 3.
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