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October 2007



- If you're a fan you know exactly what you're going to get and it should meet those expectations

- Ability to record and edit your own clips...



- ... as long as you activate it before you do something "extreme"

- Having to unlock moves through the story mode

- Online competition will chew you up and spit you out



Review: Tony Hawk's Project 8 (360)

Review: skate. (360)

Review: Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (360)



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Tony Hawk's Proving Ground

Score: 7.0 / 10


The Tony Hawk skateboarding series has now become “comfort food” for many gamers.  We like its predictability – we all know what we’re going to get: some extreme, “wacky” skateboarding with a concentration on fun with only passing nods to realism and one or two features that haven’t been seen before.


tony hawk's proving ground          tony hawk's proving ground


After creating a skater with the relatively flexible character creator – mine was a teenage punk modeled after The Hulk – you begin the long climb to the top of the heap of the skating world by completing challenges and mastering a wide range of skater moves through a world filled by unlikely ramps and fortunately-placed pipes.  It’s all very familiar.  However, as much as it feels like a “re-tread” it’s extremely playable and fun but long time fans shouldn’t be surprised when they 




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find out just how little the formula has changed.


Maybe the most annoying aspects is that the more technical moves need to be unlocked.  Both Nail the Trick – a Matrixy slo-mo mode – and Nail the Grab modes need to be activated by progressing through the story mode.  The manual tells you how to activate


each, why can’t I just do them?


There’s also the ability to drop items into the environment in Rigger mode, but the control feels loose and getting things placed just so can take a lot of trial and error.


My other real complaint is that the movie mode needs to be activated manually through the pause menu.  There are a tons of options to manipulate the camera view and overlay various filters, but the best moments in Proving Ground are the ones that aren’t planned.  It takes a conscious effort to turn the camera on, which demands that you plan out a route and decide ahead of time what tricks you’ll attempt (something I’m sure that pro skaters do in real life).  A running continuous camera would have addressed this quite easily.  Then when the seemingly impossible happens you can save that section of tape.


tony hawk's proving ground          tony hawk's proving ground


Little, if anything, has been done to the already very responsive controls and even if you’ve missed the last couple of Tony Hawk games, you’ll still be able to get right into the game without too much of a learning curve.  Though if you have been neglecting the series, don’t bother jumping online unless you’re playing with friends.  Skating against random people always made me reflect on just how degraded my reflexes have become; at least when compared to those that have remained faithful to the series and can quickly fall into a rhythm.


With all its faults, Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is still a fun experience. And even though you know exactly what you’re going to get even before you open the box, that doesn’t make the game bad, it just means it’ll fill you up with empty calories.


- Omni

(November 22, 2007)


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