When it comes to sports games they usually occur in one of two forms: over-the-top or simulation. Tony Hawk: SHRED seems to be Activision moving as far as they can from simulation by delivering huge air and steep slopes. Can’t wait to break out your new motion-sensing board controller and grinding some rails? Then head on over to the SHRED website to take your game to the next level.

“The new SHRED web site is packed with exciting gameplay tips!  Kids will be on the deck mastering killer moves after viewing dozens of training videos that demonstrate over 50 jaw-dropping in-game tricks, including everything from kickflips and grabs to Tony’s signature 900!  The site also showcases talent profiles of all the pro riders featured in Tony Hawk: SHRED, as well as a developer blog to keep fans up to speed with all the latest and greatest game news right from the source!”

Tony Hawk used to have a tight stranglehold on the skateboard game genre a while back but, after Skate entered the fray, he lost a lot of his pull. Since then, the focus has been placed on the over-the-top tricks and the motion sensing board controller that accompany his newer games. While it is definitely a counterpoint to Skate, SHRED doesn’t feel like it is doing anything to reestablish the franchise.

After seeing so many Tony Hawk games come down the pipeline it was only a matter of time before consumers began to grow tired of the formula. Developers tried to add life to the property by making the game more story based or by making the sport seem larger than life but nothing seemed to work; they even went so far as to begun including snowboarding, a sport Tony isn’t even involved in.

For me, there will always be a place in my heart for one of my favorite game franchises. From collecting that final, almost impossible, E to spell out skate to grinding for what seemed like half a mile, all that went into making the Tony Hawk games great will continuously keep me coming back for more. It might not be the most realistic of options but can you pass up your own skateboard controller.

What do you think of the Tony Hawk franchise? Does SHRED look to be carving a new niche for itself in the wake of Skate’s success or are you done with “The Birdman”?

Tony Hawk: SHRED drops in on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii on October 26th in the U.S. and October 29th in Europe.

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