Tony Hawk says Ride was 'a bit rushed,' still thinks critics didn't give his board a chance

Even after all this time, Tony Hawk's stance is firm regarding the poorly received Shred and Ride games. He thinks critics made up their mind before giving the games and associated peripheral an honest chance -- even in the case of Ride, which he admits "was a bit rushed" due to time spent prototyping the board.

"I think that Ride was a bit rushed for a number of reasons, mostly because probably for about the first half of the development process it was just figuring out how to make a board and how to make it work -- we were in uncharted territory," he told Joystiq during an interview at GDC. "So the game was a bit rushed, but I still feel like the critics never really gave it a chance in terms of learning how to play. They got on it and went straight into expert mode, because supposedly they're expert gamers. And they didn't really learn the mechanics of how the board works, and so I felt like they already had their mind made up before it came out. It was a gimmick and it was a peripheral and whatnot, and they never really took the time to learn how to play it."

Its sequel, Tony Hawk Shred, was the game he thought Ride should've been, Hawk said. "I thought Shred was the game I wanted Ride to be, because I really felt like the board was more than just a skateboard, and it could be used as a snowboard. But by the time Shred came out, the peripherals were fading away, so it was bad timing in that respect, I guess. But I'm proud of the idea and I'm glad we took a chance because it was something bold to try and it was bad timing in the end."

But why make a board peripheral in the first place? Hawk said it's because of the dominance of peripheral-based gaming at the time -- remember Guitar Hero? -- the introduction of the Skate series, and because the Pro Skater series had become "diluted."

"It was mostly because the series had gotten really diluted," Hawk said. "Skate was coming into play and that really split the market for us. So I thought it was really time to do something new and peripheral-based games were very big right then and I felt like we could do something that is more revolutionary -- that's what we set out to do. I really do feel like the board we created was ahead of its time. It read your every motion." And if you're one of those individuals hoping for another peripheral-based skateboarding game from the vert champ, don't hold your breath.

Hawk has no hard feelings toward the Skate series. EA would ultimately bail on the franchise after its third installment -- though EA hasn't publicly said it wouldn't return to Skate in the future -- but Hawk lauded the series for its unique control scheme. "I appreciated that someone could come out with a new control scheme for a skaterboarding game. That was very unique and progressive. Honestly, I was happy that skating had come so far as a genre in video games that you could have two main titles. Prior to that, some people had tried to do skating games, but they were just copying us." Thrasher: Skate and Destroy, anyone?

Hawk's primary focus now is on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, something he hopes he'll be able to build upon through DLC characters and levels from other Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games.