Tony Hawk Project 8


Review by Ken Edwards



Graphics: 6

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


Wow did we get an overhauled looking Tony Hawk this year! It looks great, until you compare it to the Xbox 360 version.

Textures are crisper on the Xbox 360, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting is used to subtle effect - in stark contrast, HDR blows out entire scenes on the PS3. There are also noticeable frame rate problems that hinder this version from time to time.

These are not major, and do not effect game play, but they are noticeable. But coming from the PS2, you are going to notice the next-gen visuals and be happy with that. Neversoft built this one from the ground up for next-gen, and it shows. Thankfully the Bam-inspired ridiculous story is gone, it was getting old, now your goal is to crack the top eight amateur skaters, thus making it into the Birdman's Project 8.

But in true Tony Hawk fashion there is really only one new trick. This time around it is Nail the Trick, where you push both L3 and R3 to enter slow-mo and are able to kick and flip the board at will. You will fall a lot when attempting Nail the Trick, but once you get the timing down, it works. The sometimes-clunky camera does not help, though, as it can be downright disorienting.

The thing is, this can all be done with the buttons.

The Spot Challenges, on the other hand, are great for picking up challenges. If you see spray paint on the ground, on a ramp, etc, you just have to beat that mark.

Unlike the "no loading" tunnels in American Wasteland, Project 8 actually offers seamless progression from one side of the game world to the other. Once it is all unlocked, you can skate from one side to the other, all without loading, or tunnels, to deal with.

Classic Mode is no longer separate, instead incorporated into Career Mode, triggered by NPCs. I would rather this be a separate mode, like in previous games.

Character customization is paired down to only a couple choices, and Create-A-Park is nowhere to be found. Also completely gone is online play in the PS3 version, something the Xbox 360 has. This is inexcusable, as online play in a Tony Hawk game is quite fun. The SIXAXIS control is great, allowing you to turn, balance and perform tricks. You can even set which of these are performed with buttons, and which are performed with the tilt sensors. Using the SIXAXIS tilt controls in Nail the Trick also works.

Without online support, and some lackluster level design, it is really your call to pick this one up.


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Last updated: Monday, September 03, 2007 09:47 PM