Tony Hawk’s Project 8
Platform: Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: T
Rating: 4.5 Pulses
The Tony Hawk series has had its ups and downs, but with the release of Tony Hawk’s Project 8 you can see that the people at Neversoft are still on top of their game.
Tony Hawk’s Project 8 is the most redefining game of the series since Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Along with the great visuals and beautiful environments, one the most impressive parts of this game is just riding the skateboard. For the first time in the series, it doesn’t feel like your player is practically glued to the skateboard. The natural movement of the both the player and the skateboard have never been more realistic.
As for the story, the game takes place in a made up town and Tony Hawk is in the area looking for the top eight skateboarders around. Your main objective is trying to get in the top eight by completing challenges that are randomly placed throughout the game’s city. Your rank starts at 200 and the more challenges you complete, the more your ranking will increase.
The challenges are set up great; if you see a floating spray can you just go up it and initiate the challenge. Each has three different difficulties to choose from: amateur, pro or sick which are all accessible from the start. The harder the difficulty, the more your rank will increase to get into the top eight.
Some of the new features in Tony Hawk’s Project 8 are the new Nail the Trick mode, the bail feature and the addition of “stokens.” The Nail the Trick mode is something that should have been in a Tony Hawk game a long time ago. By clicking in both joysticks while doing a trick, you’re instantly put into slow motion, the sound dims, color’s get washed bright and the camera zooms in on your board. In the mode, each joystick serves as one of your feet and every flick of the stick will keep your player doing tricks until you land one or break your neck.
As for breaking necks, the new bail feature in the game is a way to keep track of how much damage you’ve done to your player. Every time you fall down and bust your ass, a dollar amount of damage lets you know how bad you wiped out. You know you’ve done some serious damage when your hospital bill reaches over $5K and beyond. You don’t actually pay the hospital bills; they’re just figures of how much you get hurt.
The game relies on a system of “stokens” to help you earn new decks and new tricks. Whenever your player gets noticed doing tricks by other skateboarders, you’ll earn some stokens. The better the trick, the more stokens you get.
As for getting online, there are only a handful of mini games and the best part of getting online isn’t even playing head-to-head. The most intriguing part of getting online is the updated challenges. If an online player just murders the sick difficulty of a challenge, the challenge will get updated with that player’s score so that everyone can try to beat that high score. It’s a great feature that not only allows better replay value, but pits players against all skateboarders online.
Other than some of the minor flaws, like the lack of new online games and a lack of depth in create-a-player mode, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 is the best skateboarding game ever. Well, unless you wanna go oldschool? Anyone up for a game of Skate or Die! on the original Nintendo?