Tony Hawk's Motion (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew



We've come to expect a Tony Hawks game just about every year now and, although the past few releases have been of varying quality, there was a considerable amount of excitement generated around summer this year when Activision 'leaked' the fact that there was a new DS version on the way with the intriguing title of 'Motion'. It went onto reveal that added hardware would allow users to control Mr. Hawk by tilting their DS from side to side. As gamers ourselves we are always up for anything new and this appeared to be taking the existing DS hardware in a new and exciting direction.


The first thing you'll notice about this latest Tony Hawk outing is that not only are you Skateboarding (as you'd expect) but mysteriously you'll also be able to have a stab at Snowboarding. This is where the problems begin because even though there are two different sports here, the end gaming result is surprisingly short and, what's worse, less than satisfying. The events themselves take place in a variety of skate parks and on snow covered mountainsides but what really spoils the gameplay are the various bland and pointless challenges, one of which, for example, involves you collecting red and green spots. It's also a very linear affair with no Multiplayer, no Board Creator and, worse still, no real sense that you are progressing through a career of any description.

The other half of this package is Hue: Pixel Painter which was clearly designed to show off the motion cart's features, which despite being an incredibly simple piece of game design, manages to be much more enjoyable than the Tony Hawk section. You control a small cuddly creature called Hue as he attempts to bring color back to his otherwise dull world. To do this you must activate one of the many cracks in the ground to unleash a colorful geyser that you must then use to paint around a variety of objects. Do this quickly enough and the object will magically transform into color. Paint the whole level and it's on to the next. There are enemies and other pitfalls along the way but this is the basic concept and, while enjoyable, it bears little relation to the 'main' skateboarding section of the game.


The actual Motion Cart works very well with the tilting of the DS perfectly mirrored within the game. Unfortunately when you combine it with the other controls, in order to pull off tricks, it becomes a little too clumsy for its own good. They are unintuitive and unresponsive and there's not nearly the depth of control we've come to expect from Tony Hawk games. It all feels somewhat rushed and unfinished.


Tony Hawk's Motion uses the Vicarious Visions Alchemy visual engine, which has proved so popular with the handheld Spider-Man titles but there's not nearly enough texturing within the environments, making them appear bland and without depth and some of the character animations are even worse.


There's not much in the way of sound and music at all and while both the Hue and Hawk sections have a few instrumental tracks playing in the background they are generally forgettable. Elsewhere you'll get the expected sound effects but again, nothing outstanding.

Dual screen

The touch screen has been put to use here to allow you to pull off some of the tricks. Simply press one of the icons and your skater will do his thing. Unfortunately, and as with most of the control here, it simply feels awkward and as a result breaks up the gameplay. Unfortunately simply allowing your user an unlimited amount of control options is not nearly as effective as fine tuning one.

Final comments

You'd imagine that given how long Activision have been producing Tony Hawk games, every release should be a must have, even if it did include an 'experimental' control system. Unfortunately this package feels unfinished as if they bowed to pressures to release it during the busy Q4 period rather than fine-tune the gameplay. To make matters worse it's all over in a very short time indeed and, while the bundled Hue: Pixel Painter is far more engaging, it's debatable whether it will find an audience with the Hardcore Tony Hawks fans. The end result is a bit of a mess really making EA's new Skate-It franchise a much better option.

Pro: Hue Pixel Painter is Quite Entertaining.
Con: Bland Gameplay, Terrible Controls
Final score: 3.5


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Boxart of Tony Hawk's Motion (Nintendo DS)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Sports
Developer: Create Studio
Publisher: Activision