Reviews

Tony Hawk Shred

The skate franchise does one final grind into the grave

Here's the good news: it turns out that Kinect has lowered standards of dignity to the point where this doesn't seem nearly as stupid as it did last year. In fact, wobbling your way through skating and, now, snowboarding moves on the supplied plastic board seems almost normal.

Here's the bad news: the fact that you can now control games quite successfully without any peripheral at all makes the Tony Hawk board even more crashingly redundant than it was before. Having to pay £90 for single game makes £130 for Kinect seem like a bargain.

As with last year, this eye-watering price gets you a wheel-less skateboard which is very hard to balance on, and a game that's been crippled in order to support it. The latter does show some improvements - there's a brighter, more cheerful colour palette, the levels feel less grim and uninhabited, and the supportive videos of Hawk are a nice touch if slightly alarming at first sight. But it's still fiddly and simplistic, shunning the freedom of skating in favour of wobbly on-rails runs through heavily signposted tricks and jumps.

Zoom

The board itself, meanwhile, feels less responsive than last year's game: basic ollies and flips work reliably, but more elaborate moves happen seemingly at random and you never feel like you're in control.

It's the exact opposite of the satisfying feedback that made Guitar Hero so enjoyable. Activision has decided to solve this with the magic of marketing, considering this not as a game but as a kid's toy. It's a crafty idea: put this alongside the overpriced tat being flogged in Ben 10 ad breaks, and suddenly it doesn't seem nearly as daft. If you've got a child's boundless enthusiasm and a low centre of gravity, it's probably easier to master too. But judged alongside real games, it's an overpriced and unrewarding novelty.

The verdict

Clunky, frustrating and irrelevant

  • Brighter and more cheerful
  • Just about defensible as a toy
  • Really dull as a game
  • Board too hard to use
  • Ridiculously expensive
4
Format
Xbox 360
Developer
Unknown
Publisher
Activision
Genre
Sports

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