Tony Hawk Shred Review
Over the years, fake skateboarding on my TV has been one of my favorite pastimes, but that peaked with skate 2. Tony Hawk Ride wasn’t good, and skate 3 was beyond boring in comparison with 2. The question, now, is about whether or not Tony Hawk Shred can improve enough on Ride to make it, well, worth a damn to gamers who have spent so much time virtually skateboarding.
The answer to that question is a resounding “no.” Non. Nyet.
Tony Hawk Shred (XBox360 [Reviewed], PS3, Wii)
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Fundamentally, the game is the same, with one large addition and one small addition that I’ll get to in a minute, and the board peripheral is, as far as I can tell, exactly the same as last year’s version aside from a new paint job. While the two main new things do improve the experience somewhat, Shred still ends up being little more than an awkward exercise machine.
Let’s get the new stuff out of the way so we can then dwell on the negative. The big new addition is snowboarding, and it actually does a lot for the game, and by “a lot,” I mean it improved the final score I’m going to give it by 10 points. The snowboarding is better than the skateboarding from a mostly cognitive standpoint; it simply feels more correct to be riding downhill while standing on the fake skateboard than to be riding on level ground. There’s also less turning on a downhill snowboarding run, which is a very good thing when dealing with this awful peripheral.
The small new change is Casual Plus mode, which allows you freedom of movement within set boundaries. Previously, it jumped from the completely on-rails Casual mode to Confident, which gave you almost complete freedom, but Casual Plus is the ideal way to play since you have to use this — let me repeat myself –awful peripheral. Don’t misinterpret that statement, though; Casual Plus may be the best way to play, but it still doesn’t make the game any good. It’s just the least unenjoyable method for using this thing.
So, yeah, this awful peripheral. The trouble with it starts as soon as you turn on your console, as it did with Ride. You have to calibrate it, but it doesn’t go as planned; You can do exactly what the pictures tell you to do, but the game still likes to berate you for not doing it right. And then, when you’re playing the game, it generally will not respond the way you want it to. Sometimes that works in your favor, like when, in my case, my skateboarding avatar would grab the tail of the board while in the air despite me not moving at all, but most of the time it doesn’t work out that well. Here are some things the board likes to make impossible for you: steering, doing a grab on purpose, everything else.
Try hitting a score target in a half-pipe on Confident or Hardcore. You will fail.
There was one trick I was able to pull off consistently, and that’s doing a flip. I didn’t intend to do flips all the time, though. Nope. But you do a flip by popping the board up while you’re in the air, and since flailing around with the board is the name of the game here, it’s super easy to do two or three flips every time your avatar finds himself off the ground, even if all you’re trying to do is not a flip.
I’m sure there’s some asshole reading this who mastered Ride and is just as dedicated to this game who’s thinking, “If you just knew what you were doing….”
I’ll be totally honest here by saying that, no, I did not really know what I was doing most of the time while playing this game. Unfortunately for this game, though, I did all the tutorials, and despite managing to pass them I still had no idea, really, what was going on. The worst part about that is that it isn’t a new problem — the same thing happened with Ride last year.
When you put all that together, we have a game that will have you flailing around cluelessly as you try to pull of tricks. Be sure to wear shoes when playing, or you might, as I did, bloody your toes as you flail. That’s right, not only was the game not fun, but the required peripheral did physical damage to me. Yay.
- Um, the snowboarding makes it slightly less horrible than Ride, I guess.
- Can I say “everything else”?
- There, I said it.
- For emphasis: “Everything else”
Final Score: 10/100
*P.S. Don’t make any more of these games.