In case you haven’t heard, Tony Hawk is releasing yet another video game based on his extreme skateboarding franchise. I’ve played a few of them, and found them very much the same. This new one, simply known as Ride, comes with a very unique accessory.
The board peripheral is motion-controlled, which would make it a more advanced version of the WiiFit Balance board. There may not be any wheels on this board, but the player can manipulate it as if it was a real skateboard. More advanced stunts, such jumping and grabbing the board, are accomplished by kneeling and touching the buttons on the side.
Tony Hawk: Ride is planned to be released later this year for the Xbox 360, Ninetndo Wii, and Playstation 3. There is supposed plans that the board peripheral will be used for other games like snowboarding and surfing.
This seems to be a trend among video game peripherals to be used for more than one game. For example, the WiiFit Balance Board can be used with other games where balance is important, and has recently been incorporated in the Wii version of Punch-Out. So not only can the player use the Wiimote and Nunchuk like boxing gloves like in WiiSports, but this new version of Punch-Out allows the gamer a chance to dodge blows by shifting weight on the WiiFit board.
Perhaps we are seeing a dawn of a new age of video games where the accessory is a heavy part of the action. After all, Guitar Hero and Rock Band were simply complex controllers that were in need of a game, and they have swept the nation. The soon-to-be released DJ Hero will have a turntable peripheral that could be just as popular.
Sadly, this was not the fate for Steel Battalion. This was an X-box game which required an advanced peripheral with two control sticks and forty buttons. Granted, it completely immersed a gamer into playing a vertical tank, but sales of units were quite limited due to its complexity. The high price didn’t help it, either.
I would like to suggest other games that would come out, though it would require a huge peripheral.
Starbucks Barista: The game comes with a very complex controller that can make virtual coffee, espresso, lattes, in many forms. Players must compete as the morning rush comes in, and points are given as they meet all the orders exactly.
Folk Hero: Imagine that you are mythical American heroes Paul Bunyan, John Henry, or Johnny Appleseed. It is easy with the axe, hammer, and seedbag peripherals.
Crazy Climber 2000: I realize that we are long past the year 2000, but an update of the old-school Crazy Climber video game is long overdue. Of course, this version requires the user have their own climbing wall and a Virtual Boy. Now the question you have to ask yourself is: which is harder to obtain?
Rifle Squad: This game is made for all the cadets at the academy that have to do those rifle drills like at the beginning of A Few Good Men. Some of you might not remember that film, and I suppose it would not help to mention the film Stripes. Maybe you should catch the end of the Hillary Duff classic Cadet Kelly. Anyway, the motion-controlled rifle peripheral along with the game will make you feel like you are a part of the spinning and stepping rifle team.
I can’t really think of any more of peripheral-based games right now, but I am certain that the video game developers will. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if similar ideas are under development.
So does this age of peripherals do to the video game industry? It will encourage more gamers to get off the couch, and immerse themselves in the game. In short, it is preparing us for virtual reality gaming.