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     " Yeah, it's painful. "

      Title: Tony Hawk: Ride by Activision

      Format: Motion-Controlled Skating Game

      Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters

      The Hype: Even die hard enthusiasts will admit that there hasn't been much happening in the Tony Hawk franchise lately. So, with lackluster sales and a flagging brand, Activision figured it was time to try something new by including a very cool motion-sensitive skateboard-deck controller with Ride. But, is that enough to revive the brand and make this game a hit? Read on, fellow monkey, to find out.

          So what is Ride? Ride is a game built around a really, really cool looking new controller. Functionally a very solid plastic skateboard deck, it incorporate motion-sensitive technology and photo sensors to give you a controller that you actually stand on in your living room.
          Way more immersive than a Wii nunchuck or PS3 control pad, in order to do tricks you actually kick up the front of the board, reach down and cover the sensors as though you were grabbing them, and generally do a kind of pantomime version of real skateboarding.
          It's a very, very cool concept
          Unfortunately, the concept is where the coolness ends. Though not bad, limitation of the board's ability to mimic real tricks is severely limited, and so play becomes more about performing the same five or six repetitive actions than it is about simulating a skateboarding experience. What's more, and by more I mean more importantly, let's face facts and acknowledge that the average gamer is not a particularly impressive athletic specimen, and if they were able to reliable balance themselves while pivoting, kicking, and grabbing the board, they would be skateboarding for real and not playing a skateboarding videogame. Needless to say, make sure you do this far, far away from any breakables, like your console or TV, and get in some good stretches or else you'll kill yourself.
          Still, it's a cute concept and wouldn't be bad if the game that came with it was awesome. Which it isn't.
          In fact, it's some kind of polar, Bizarro opposite of awesome. It's like something you would've expected to find ten years ago in one of those arcades that features a bunch of horrible gimmick-based VR videogames that's only appeal is that it makes you stand on a skateboard controller.
          The graphics are crap, the story is weak, the parks are painfully linear, and the controls...well, let's just say that game make absolutely no attempt to make sure that your elaborate physical efforts are reflected accurately in the game. And I do mean NO ATTEMPT.
          Oh and, did I mention, it's only a couple hours long? And, when I say a couple, I mean "a couple." As in two.
          Yeah, it's painful. Easily the worst skating game in recent memory. And, since you pay 120 bucks for it, that makes the whole experience excruciating.
          So while I would love to recommend Ride based on the theory of its controller, in the end it just doesn't deliver anything to make it worth the investment. And while, yes, they say that other games are coming (a snowboard game, a surfing game, another Ride), I sure wouldn't drop the money now based on what they say you'll get then.

      The Verdict:

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