Skateboarding in the Living Room

Skateboarding in the Living Room

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Janel Laban
Nov 18, 2009

When I picked up this birthday present (for my husband, a skateboarder & gamer) I had no idea that I was purchasing a Yves Behar design....but but I was. This new controller (just launched yesterday - we preordered) looks and feels like a skateboard sans wheels and makes your carpet into a full fledged skatepark.

Designed by Behar, it comes packaged with the new Tony Hawk Ride game and is available for the Wii and Xbox 360. It is equipped with motion sensors that allow you to control the game as you would with a "real" skateboard, by pushing off for speed, tilting the board and shifting your weight to steer and do tricks.

After dinner last night, we all gave it a go and following some back and forth about the best way to get it set up (my son liked regular style, my husband rides goofy foot) we were doing the "Ride" versions of ollies and flip tricks while skating down the L.A. river.

This is by far a much more physical controller than any we've tried before, including the Wii Fit balance board. We shifted the coffee table and side chairs out of the playing zone completely as we realized that we were veering somewhat wildly around the carpet while virtually skating, although we're hoping to gain a little bit more control as we improve our skills - I'm guessing we need to get a lot more mellow about it all to improve our skating!

I love this new era of gaming, where the whole experience is designed to allow you to enjoy the physicality of the action along with the challenge of the game. It is similar to Rock Band (another favorite in our home), where part of the fun is that you feel like a drummer or guitarist because you are "rocking out" while playing. It adds another dimension of gameplay when you take on the physical mannerisms of the character you are inhabiting while playing, be it a Beatle or a pro skateboarder.

Things we liked:

  • The laidback vibe of the game - it seems (a least at early levels) about riding around and having a good time. Tony Hawk does the narration and urges you to "enjoy!" when trying something new.
  • The challenge. Even though the game doesn't put on the pressure, using this board controller is a whole new skill, one that we think will take some time to get the hang of.
  • No hands! You can run the game interface from the board, allowing your feet to do the work instead.
  • One of my favorite songs is part of the soundtrack...Lovely Day!

    Has anyone else taken a ride on Ride yet? Plan to give it a go? Let us know...

    More info: Tony Hawk Ride

    Photo via: MocoLoco

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