Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (2007)

Genre: Sport | Players: 1 or Online Multi
Developer: Neversoft (Xbox 360 + PS3) / Page 44 Studios (PS2 + Wii)

I consider myself a veteran when it comes to the Tony Hawk games. I’ve played Pro Skater 1, 2, 3 and 4, Underground 1 and 2, American Wasteland and this. That’s eight games in all. I've seen the series climb from humble but hopeful beginnings to the spectacular heights of THPS3, and then subsequently fall hard on its ass, clutching at wild ideas that have little to do with skating. Proving Ground was a new low. There’s not enough room here to list everything that’s wrong with it.

There’s a story of sorts. You’re a noob, barely able to ollie a pebble. With help from the Pros you’ll learn new tricks, new skills, a new way of looking at things and, like the series itself in the early days, climb the ladder of success.

There are three environments: Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington. They exist as one large open-world area. There’s no loading as you traverse from one to the other, but there’s loading at other times to make up for it, like when you cock-up a task for the twentieth time because they’re so fucking difficult.

A number of in-game arcade machines are littered around the environment that, once unlocked, will allow you to play something called Tony Hawk 2000. The score targets, the goals, the collect S-K-A-T-E and C-O-M-B-O tasks are recreated as they were in the early games. It’s a game within a game, so you’re still in the same environment, but it’s a lot more fun than the main game. They should have dispensed with all that other crap and made TH2000 the focus.

Extras include short promos (i.e. adverts) and, for some reason, a Rolling Stones video, Sympathy for the devil. Best Stones song ever! Wait… it’s a Fatboy Slim remix. Bloody Hell. The disappointment never ends.

Amazingly, the multiplayer aspect is still available at time of writing. Game modes are: Graffiti, Trick Attack, H.O.R.S.E and Free Skate. You should be able to figure out what they entail by the names.

2 sketchy reverts out of 5

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