Tony Hawk Ride is the next iteration of skateboarding brought to your living room with a very cool controller, but how will it translate to the average gamer? i had a chance to watch some people play Tony Hawk Ride and a couple of things jumped out at me quickly: I have a strong concern for both the safety of and the longevity of the controller.
There was a wireless board set up for gamers to hop and give Tony Hawk Ride a whirl, which the majority were small kids. As the children played the controller that was being used slid across the floor as the children tried to maneuver and perform their kick flips. Quite often the staff would have to slide a kid back onto the carpet and let them know not to actually jump on the board. The bottom of the board is smooth and allows for lots of give to mimic turning on a real board but I can see how someone could take a spill especially if they had never been boarding before or had bad balance. As I watched the different kids take turns playing they seemed to pick up the gameplay quickly and had a good time hopping and grinding around the demo, but the board itself had seen better days. The board that was being used was tattered to say the least and I worry that this board may not last the test of time.
The game currently is being touted for children ten and up but by the account of the young lady running the booth and from everyone I saw playing the game, it was more like ten and under. I asked the 9 year old playing how he liked it and he said it was pretty cool and then rushed over to play some DJ Hero. During the time I watched people play I did not see one gamer over the age of twelve even go near the demo, hell even I was a bit skittish to jump on this thing.
The peripheral although cool will probably be a limiting factor as many parents will not want another piece of gaming clutter in their homes. Skateboarding has become pretty mainstream, but this title is one that will probably stay with a small group of gamers until it sees some kind of price cut. Tony Hawk Ride looks to be a fun mix with good execution of a new controller, but does not have the strong pull to get adult gamers to make the purchase, but perhaps enough kids can convince their parents that this is a holiday must have.