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Skate Man Meet SkateboardThe Tony Hawk franchise isn’t new, which isn’t to say that skateboard fans haven’t found a lot to love when picking up the PS3. But despite the changes between games; different alterations in gameplay and attitude and locations and graphic style and etc. - the one thing they all had in common was that you had to have a controller gripped in your hands to make anything go. Which is the whole idea behind RIDE - changing that by giving you a (mock) skateboard you can jump on and use for the moves.The game gives you different locations and different game modes - you might have seen this type of stuff before but it’ll be brand new different now that you’re standing up to make it all happen. And for Pete’s sake - who in their right mind is going to go get 8 buds to play with right off the bat without first spending some time getting the swing of handling that board? I’m worried enough about online play but at least nobody will be seeing how bad I suck on RIDE the first couple of times out.
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Feet Don't Fail Me Now
Now saying my skateboarding days are behind me is like saying the Ocean’s deep, but I still can remember the fun of balance - balanced by the pain of falling without all the accouterments of helmets and elbow and kneepads. IRDE lets me re-experience that freedom, sans the extreme pain that was too often my reward. The controller doesn’t exactly work in the same manner as a real skateboard - how could it - but what it does do is twofold. First, its wireless aspect makes perfect sense and is a necessity for being able to move about a room (carpeted works best) without concerns for 180’s or even 360’s. Second, the Ride board has a nice feeling to it (balance?) that lends itself to wanting to maneuver around on It. Practice may make perfect but better to be on this than the real thing I think. The 100+ moves built in that the manual says I can get right to playing might be true, so maybe it's my knees that aren't cooperating like they should. Can't blame the motion-sensing tehcnology I guess (or can I?). I can dig the way the board combines flat and curved surfaces so trick mechanics through rotating, titling and lifting the board becomes possible (or at least possible for me on RIDE).
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I'd be remiss if I didn't note that the game is well designed for multiple players- though that does mean sharing the RIDE controller. Activision calls it a "social gaming experience" because you can get others to join in in reality or via the Internet - me I prefer to look silly by myself. At least the create-a-skater mode lets me define myself graphically with a bit more hair... And the graphics and movement are spot on and fast enough to keep your attention (perhaps too much but at least you won't get hurt if you "fall" off the board).
And for sure wear sneakers - bare feet might be cool but you just can't get the right balance without good arch support! I tried the OLLIE to pop the board in the air and popped it better after watching some online videos the game provides. Collecting icons is there to make you feel like Super Mario on steroids. Flip tricks a bit more tough perhaps but just as fun. Heck it's all fun even if you have to learn to do things a little different in the digital "world" compared to the real.
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Now anyone who expects this to be the “real thing” is smoking something off the charts - the whole idea of video gaming is to dream big and enjoy the dream (hopefully without falling off the seat from intense game action). I can live quite fine knowing that a real skateboard and a real skateboarder won’t think I’m in his or her league from spending time on RIDE. Like I care. I want to enjoy myself and RIDE lets me do it without worry about a hip replacement...
So since the TODAY show's promise of hovercars by the 1970’s didn't pan out, at least I can skateboard again, if only in my dreams combined with video game tech.