Its funny, out of all the things that could and did capture my imagination at E3 I did not think that Tony Hawk: Ride would have stuck with me the most. I remember when I first heard about a Tony Hawk reboot with a skateboard peripheral, I wasn’t interested in the least. Now after seeing the Microsoft press conference and Tony Hawk’s all too brief presentation of the game and its unique peripheral, it is firmly on my radar, all $120 of it.
Though it has been a few years, I once was heavily into Tony Hawk Pro Skater games. In fact, even though I have been a gamer for over 30 years, I don’t think it would be a stretch for me to say that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 were the games that truly ushered me into ‘hardcore gamerdom’. I played and I played those games until I literally hurt from the strain I was placing on myself trying to better my runs. I hurt, but it hurt so good and I kept coming back for more. Tony Hawk was owning my gamerspace. Once the 3rd and 4th iterations hit I found myself loosing interest in the series as the games began to feel less and less like the games I fell in love with. I had a brief fling with Tony Hawk: American Wasteland on the DS a couple of years ago, but other than that Tony Hawk has been a gaming wasteland for me.
So why Tony Hawk: Ride? If I am to examine my personal sensibilities towards the series and superfluous peripherals it would seem that I wouldn’t give this game a second glance, especially in a year where its later half is choked with must have, must play games. I do not know how to express my interest other than it looks like fun and I want to play it. Now that can change if the game comes out and it is a complete dog, but I suspect that will not be the case. My wish is that Ride will take me back to that place in the late 90’s when I discovered how much fun a skateboarding can be.