Tony Hawk Shred

Shred-led redemption for Tony Hawk?

There were plenty of things the accompanying Tony Hawk Ride board peripheral was good for - dinner tray, pretend hoverboard, maybe even a giant's shoehorn - but unfortunately the game it came packaged with wasn't one of them.

So follow-up Shred doesn't have to do too much to better the first outing for Tony Hawk's 'new' direction and, as expected, it betters last year's version with consummate ease.

On a fundamental level, the game's menus now work well with the board. That's improvement number one straightaway.

It's easy to pick and choose what you want and there's no silly recalibration needed before each new event. Hurrah.

Hopping between modes is quick and easy and there's a better variety of things to do - not least of all being the new-yet-strangely-familiar snowboarding which, given the lack of flatland tricks, is actually a better fit for the peripheral than the actual skateboarding levels are.

The hardest mode may hurt your thighs, too, as the steering is tough to master.

As before you need to lean backwards and forwards and flick the board in various directions for tricks.

A bigger on-screen display lets you know precisely what moves the board is registering, so it's now easier to judge your performance.

And as this year's effort is geared towards younger players the levels have been made simpler - and therefore more fun to explore.

But there remains a big disconnect between the board and the game still. Even with the more forgiving trick system, there's still the feeling your character isn't doing what you want them to do.

And as there's hardly any content here; when compared to the missions on offer in EA's Skate 3 the price is still a huge stumbling block.

A better buy for gamers who already own the deck, but newcomers should think again.

Order Games Master here and have it delivered straight to your door.

The verdict

A big improvement over the first effort but still miles from Skate's quality.

Xbox 360