A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game, as with past Tony Hawk games, isn't too controversial in its "Teen"-rated content. Along with some animated violence and a little bit of blood seen during a bad spill, the game is quite tame -- except for some background song lyrics that suggest sexual activity or alcohol consumption.
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What's it about?
The first in the 10 year-old series to ship with a dedicated peripheral, TONY HAWK: RIDE allows gamers to pull off tricks, such as grinds and ollies, by stepping on a motion-sensing controller that resembles a skateboard. This wheel-less, wireless accessory was designed for players to control the entire game without a gamepad, and features two tilt-sensing accelerometers and three infrared sensors along the sides of the board for hand grabs and foot propulsion. The game challenges players to master more than 100 skateboarding moves, and includes four different modes – Challenge, Speed, Trick and Free Skate – spread throughout many locations across the world.
Is it any good?
Tony Hawk: Ride isn't a very good game. It can be difficult to control because movements are either unresponsive or overly-sensitive, resulting in a frustrating skateboarding experience. Some moves are simple enough to perform -- such as ollies (by tilting the skateboard nose in the air) and nollies (by popping up the tail of the skateboard) -- but most other tricks aren't easy to pull off at all. As a result, Free Skate is somewhat gratifying because you can explore the virtual world and try out new moves at your leisure, but the other modes can prove aggravating when the board isn't responding how you like. Keep in mind you're spending $120 on this game and the peripheral doesn't work with anything else -- unlike EA's Skate It that works with the Nintendo Wii Balance Board. Perhaps skateboarding enthusiasts who want to first try this game should rent it for the weekend before laying out the cash to own it.
Online interaction: There are a couple of online modes but wasn't really able to find anyone playing to interact with. You can chat, however, so parents should be aware their kids might hear inappropriate language.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether these games that ship with plastic peripherals have reached their peak. Can gamers -- or rather, their parents -- justify spending $120 (or more) on a new game because it includes another accessory in the box? Do you even want another guitar, drum kit, microphone stand, Wii Balance Board, or skateboard in your family room?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.