With e3 over all the articles you'll be reading will be summing up Project Natal or big game announcements like Left 4 Dead 2 and Crackdown 2. I however have been checking out as much news as possible on Tony Hawk's latest game, TH Ride. As I have been skateboarding for 5 years I naturally love to play the games and the prospect of being able to now stand on a deck and actually do the tricks is great, however it's not going to work.....
After seeing it be demoed at e3 thanks to Gamespot's live feed I was able to see how crap the deck is going to be. They must have been very impressed with the Wii board when designing the deck as when I saw the guy using the board it looked just like what you do on a Wii board. Every flip trick I saw the guy do was done by simply leaning in a direction as I've seen be done on a Wii board (have never played one so I am just assuming). This is not good as it really does not mimic skateboarding as every flip trick done in real life has a certain position your feet need to be in to do it, seeing this be done infuriates me. It also makes me think the inclusion of Nollie and Fakie tricks will be removed from the game as the guy simply stood in the middle of the board (where the bolts would be) and never moved, making it impossible to tell what stance he was in.
I'm not too confident grabs are going to work either. Now for people that don't know if your in Goofy stance (right foot forward, left foot behind) like I skate and you grab the side of board toe side where your feet point with your left hand it's called an Indy with the right hand being called a Mute. I can't see the sensors being able to realise which hand is grabbing the deck which will limit the amount of tricks significantly. This also brings me on to the fact that the guy wasn't even grabbing the board, just putting his hand in front of the sensor which yet again is not realistic.
My next complaint is the vert skating mode they were showing. What they've done is gone and made vert skateboarding a different mode all together where the only direction you can go is up and down! Now it's given that they have added some lip tricks such as Blunt Kickflips out and stuff which looks cool but being limited to not move across the ramp from left to right is really going to frustrate me. If you go and watch Tony Hawk or any other vert skateboarder in a run you will see that they make use of the whole ramp, hitting raised bowls in the corner ect which is now not possible due to the limitations they have forced.
Finally in this mode (vert as described above) I saw that when the skater did flip tricks it was always done late! It looked ridiculous as the skater meets his optimum height and then flips the board, that's not how it happens!!!!! I would have loved for the developers to have implemented this properly, something that EA haven't managed to do yet with both the skate games. You see in real life when a skater does a flip trick to grab on vert they don't catch the board on their feet and then grab, instead they flick the board so it flips and then grabs it with their hand and places under their feet. It's a silly minor complaint which I've had with every skateboarding game to date but for an avid skateboarder like me it is a shame that the true realism of the sport hasn't been captured correctly.
So after all of those complaints I think it's fair to say that Tony Hawk Ride is not going to get good reviews. I appreciate the transformation in the genre (done simply because they realised EA's skate was waaaay better) however it's just not been done to the level it needs to be done to in order for a consumer to spend £100 on. I'll be buying the game for sure, just how long it will be kept for is another matter.