Here in the Calandro Clan we like to say, “Go big, or go home.” Well, this weekend was absolutely huge and not once did we have the desire to leave.
We got the opportunity to travel to Carlsbad and go to Tony Hawk, Inc. to try the new video game Tony Hawk RIDE. To get straight to the point- this game is absolutely AWESOME! It’s interactive! It’s innovative! It’s fun! It’s easy to use! I’m a total spaz! But when I talk about this game I get twitter-pated like some women talk about shoes. That’s just how cool this game is.
I’ll give more details about the game, but first, you need some background about me and how I feel about video games: I’m not too thrilled about them, usually. If I have the option of playing a video game or reading a book, the book will win nine times out of ten (unless it’s a book for my book club and then I usually blow it off like a college course). So, for a video game to have me as impatient about waiting for my turn as a kid waiting to sit on Santa’s lap -that’s saying something. And I will admit it. I’m a 41 year old woman and I wanted MY TURN!
When playing the game you stand on the controller because it’s shaped like an actual skateboard deck. You don’t hold anything in your hands. The board is shaped so you can rock side to side and back and forth just as if you were riding a skateboard. The terminology for skating is used, but accompanied with graphics, so if you don’t know the language, you still can understand what you need to do. (I learned what an ollie is this weekend. I don’t even know if I’m spelling that right!) I can ride a skateboard, and used to own one as a kid, but it wouldn’t matter if you had never stepped on a skateboard in your life. You could still use this game and have a lot of fun with it. That’s how well it’s designed. Like skateboarding for dummies, only cooler and with awesome graphics, so maybe it’s nothing like that, but you get the idea. It’s really easy to use.
You have to stand up to play the game. Sitting is not an option. I love that! Any video game that gets my kids off the couch is already heads and shoulders above the rest. M3 (my four year old) jumped on the game and proceeded to totally ROCK IT! One of the game designers from Activision was laughing because M3 was better at the game than some of the guys who have been using it for months! What mother wouldn’t love to hear that her child is a Tony Hawk RIDE prodigy? I loved that. But I could tell he wasn’t just saying that to make me feel good. M3 was owning the game. He was getting the screen to light up and do all kinds of special moves. And this was his FIRST TIME PLAYING IT. This isn’t to say the game is easy and can be mastered in a few weeks and then will be put on the shelf and become one more thing you resent having to dust. (I make that easy. I don’t dust at all.) But what I’m saying is, you feel comfortable with the game quickly, and then want to keep playing to improve your skills and score.
They thought of everything with this game. They took their time in the development to do it right. They brought in rocket scientists to write the code for this game, people! They are not messing around here. The technology that was used to create this game is unlike anything out there that I’ve ever seen before. The infinite possibilities of the movements, options, and combinations makes my brain cramp. Sometimes I can’t even decide what I want to make for dinner. I can’t imagine what it would involve to create this game. You can play as Tony Hawk, or as your own Mii. Your character can look realistic or stylized. You can choose where you want to skate (I skated in Central Park). You can choose to skate for recreation or professionally. The possibilities are endless. And then the combination of your own moves as you play the game at your own skill level are infinite. I told you -brain-cramping, never-before-seen technology going on here.
How you move the board is what shows up on the screen. A yellow arrow shows you the direction you should aim for and graphics give you clues on what moves you should do at that time of your run. If you don’t steer in the right direction you could crash into something and fall over. The graphics for the crashing aren’t violent. You just kind of fly in the air and fall down. Your limbs don’t look twisted or broken. There wasn’t any blood. You just fall down in a heap and your turn ends. If the graphics were horrible or the players looked tortured in the game I wouldn’t have let M3 play it. That isn’t a problem with this game. The E-10 rating for the game says there is “animated blood”, but I didn’t see any. It also says there are “lyrics” and “mild suggestive themes”. I didn’t hear anything because I was YELLING TOO LOUD as I played the game. As far as “mildly suggestive themes” I didn’t see anything that alarming and most of those things go right over my kids’ heads. (We’re thankful for cluelessness sometimes.)
Even if I hadn’t been shown such a wonderful time by Tony Hawk and the Activision people I would say get to Toys R Us and stand in line at 7:00AM for this game for your kids. You will be the coolest parent on the block. Every kid is going to want one of these things -and not just kids who ride skateboards. They will want it because it’s fun, it’s cool, it’s interactive, and there’s nothing out there that even comes close to what this game can do.
I give this game the M3 Calandro Clan Seal of Approval. Our boys will be anxiously waiting their turn and LOML (Love of My Life -my husband John) and I will be playing it after the boys are in bed (then I won’t have to wait so long for my turn). The game comes out in November. If you can pre-order it, I would. You don’t want to have to explain why your kids are the ones who won’t be getting one. Get it and enjoy. And tell them the Calandro Clan sent you.
This post is only about the game. I haven’t even told you what it’s like to have dinner in a halfpipe (I got to do that), how amazing Tony Hawk is (he sang happy birthday to my son), and about the fabulous organization that is building skate parks in neighborhoods that really need them (Stand up for Skateparks). This just scratches the surface of the awesomeness that the Calandro Clan got to experience thanks to the genius that is Tony Hawk. Truly. The guy is a superhero. As I heard someone else say today, “The guy should be wearing a cape and a mask.”
There’s more to this story -and you probably know this about me already -I love a good story! Stay tuned.