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Tony Hawk: Ride
Xbox 360, PS3, Wii

For much of the late '90s into the early '00s, the Tony Hawk: Pro Skater series was pretty much the only skateboard videogame ticket in town. Soon EA's Skate series gained ground and the Hawk franchise needed a jump start. 

Tony Hawk: Ride gets you off the couch, and onto a controller shaped like a skateboard deck. You control your skater with bodily movements similar to actual skateboarding; lift the deck's nose to ollie, lean left and right to turn, and pivot in midair to pull off various tricks and grinds. The deck's quite sturdy, and, though it's not quite a cross-fit workout routine, you might work up a sweat.

So we have a pretty cool controller, and some interactivity, so let's get playing the game, shall we? 

After a comprehensive "create your skater" mode, your virtual thrasher goes on a worldwide tour, hitting up all the prime skate spots and entering skate competitions. Unfortunately, the wheels begin to fall off. You've three gameplay options to choose from: casual, confident and hardcore. And on any setting higher than casual (where steering is computer controlled), you can expect your skater to careen all over the place, out of control. Also, each time you ace a trick, the response is a quarter of a second off, which leads to misses. 

The game must be played on the skateboard, so there's awkwardness using your controller while standing. (There are controller buttons on the board itself, but they're so awkwardly placed it's best to ignore them.)

Overall, Tony Hawk: Ride is a slick-looking product with a fine premise, but it's a shame things fall apart on execution because this could've been a lot of fun. Hopefully a sequel will see a tightened up gameplay.

Tekken 6
Xbox 360, PS3

Tekken has been a pre-eminent brand of the fighter genre, but its latest is a mixed bag. Boasting the largest roster yet, it's a solid head-to-head banger, sure, but it crumbles in the one player experience. A brief arcade mode, a lame scenario campaign, long load times = boo. Bring pals and you're fine, though.

Assassin's Creed 2
Xbox 360

The original Assassin's Creed was good but flawed, so Ubisoft learned from its mistakes and created an incredible experience this time out. In Renaissance-era Italy, Ezio Auditore dons white assassin robes and wreaks havoc against those who've wronged his family. Open world game experiences are rarely this good.

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