|System: X360, PS3, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Robomodo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: E10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While I enjoyed besting the challenges, posting my name to the local leaderboard, and opening up customizing gear and new cities, Road Trip really isn't the deep experience I was looking for. In fact, this game mode is about as profound as the decidedly kid-centric Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip for Wii. Truly, the format is essentially identical to that Ubisoft series. Old-school Pro Skater players will be miffed by the lack of complexity found in Road Trip.
There are two multiplayer game modes to play through. Party mode lets you and your friends compete in any of the venues and in any session type. Of course, only one skateboard peripheral can be connected to your console at a time, so you'll be playing in hot-seat rather than head to head competition. Still, trading off the board between players is a good bit of fun when bragging rights are on the line. Speaking of on the line, you can get some head to head action if you jump online. This mode plays nearly identically to Party mode in that you can select the parameters to your liking. However, the big difference is rather than waiting for other players to make their runs, you will challenge each other simultaneously. Getting online also gets you access to the server-maintained leaderboards.
That's it for Tony Hawk: Ride. If you were expecting a ton of modes to blow through, you'll be quite dissatisfied. However, considering it will take most players so long to get accustomed to the controls, there's probably enough content to see you through. Disappointingly, the lack of depth doesn't end with the modes. Visual and aural presentation in Tony Hawk: Ride is also sparse. While there are a ton of cool cities to discover from around the globe, there is a stunning lack of detail bringing them to life. This also applies to the stylized art, which makes characters and bystanders look artificial and unpolished. In terms of sound, the ambient effects are good, yet nothing special. The musical themes are made up of some quality tunes, but they repeat with an annoying amount of regularity. Voice work offered up by the many pro skaters you'll meet in Road Trip is painfully done. This even goes for Tony Hawk, who's been making video games for nearly two decades.
Tony Hawk: Ride is not the broken junk heap some critics would have you believe. However, it is far from the revolutionary title Tony Hawk and Activision were counting on. In fact, it is actually a less enjoyable outing than lackluster games in the series such as Project 8 and American Wasteland. Still, if you're a skater, have the patience of a saint, or are a glutton for punishment (and frustration), there is a novel, skate-sim experience that can be uncovered.
CCC Editor / News Director