Replay Value: 9.7
Lately it looks like skate boarding has gotten back it's edge and is becoming more popular than ever. The most recognized name in skating is none other that Tony Hawk. So Activision realized the popularity that skate boarding is receiving and realized the popularity of skate boarding pro Tony Hawk. Activison, put their noodles to work and and began developing along side with Neversoft a little game we all like to call Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. We have been tracking Tony Hawk's Pro Skater ever since we started playing the demo, which was around March/April. Later on we got the previewable version and we couldn't stop playing it ever since. Now that we have got the full and complete game in our dirty paws, I don't think we will ever be able to leave the office ever again.
Graphically Tony Hawk pushes the Playstation to it's limits. With a superbly smooth frame rate, excellently designed graphics, and detail so fine you'll think you were controlling the real Tony Hawk. The thing that impresses me the most about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is that you have the ability to roam around and skate board almost anywhere you please. In Miami, School you can actually jump off the roof and skate on top of a walkway. That ability let's you the feel and experience the freedom that the game offers you. Now the level design is something that takes my breath away. The most gorgeous level design in any racing related game ever. Stages are filled with ramps, great obstacles, some killer half pipes, and awesomely designed pools. The character detail is also extremely great. The last time I saw such great character detail was in EA's Triple Play 2000. One quick note in some stages while skating, you will see an FMV in the background playing a music video. All in All the graphics are definitely where Tony Hawk's Pro Skater shines.
In my opinion Tony Hawk's Pro Skater by far is one of the most addictive and yet most stimulating games ever. Never have I played a game which kept playing for so long than Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Not only does THPS feature excellent graphics but the game features tons and tons of variety to keep even the most pickiest gamer going. I have never experienced a single dull moment with this game. In fact I don't even think that it is even a possibility to experience a dull moment. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater features 2 player head to head mode, a Practice mode, a Season mode, a Single Session mode as well as a few secret modes. Season mode is a mode which is used to unlock more decks (levels). The process is quite simple, all you have to do is accomplish all the tasks you are given within 2 minutes. Now before you go what hell keep reading. Although you have 2 minutes to accomplish everything you also have unlimited re-do's. And when you accomplish one task in one of your runs, and you lose, that task doesn't have to be re-done. So if you complete a task and then you run out of time, that task doesn't have to be repeated on your next turn. What we also noticed was that Neversoft (who was bought by Activision) implemented blood in the game. Now this isn't gory type of blood so don't worry. But the blood comes out when you fall down.
Lately it seems like a great soundtrack is what is a very important feature in a racing game or a stunt related game. And Tony Hawk's Pro Skater features a very good soundtrack. The game has very clear voices and no break up in the lyrics so you can skate with ease. Another thing that I liked about the sound was that the environments sound, sounds great. Very clear and so realistic, that you will think that you are actually in the area. The water splashes sound great, and the sound of the boards wheels spinning is very good too. The following is the list of all the bands featured in Tony Hawk. Dead Kennedys, The Ernies, Even Rude, Primus, Goldfinger, Speedealer, Suicidal Tendencies, Suicide Machines, Unsane, and The Vandals.
Control is the most important thing in this game, and if you have stubby fingers Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is not fot you. Never the less pulling of great combos, great moves and as well as pulling of signature moves can be a blast. When you see the points you receive for doing a move you can feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins. The control is very simple in THPS, O and Square are buttons to do tricks while holding a directional button. X is to jump and Triangle is to Grind. Make a note that there are different types of grinds, holding a certain direction while about to do a grind can vary on what grind you do. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater features excellent Dual Shock support, and when grinding you can feel the board burning the road.
Finally the replay value, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater features tons of replay value. 10 stages, 10 characters (plus a hidden one), Tons of modes to choose from as well as secret modes like S-K-A-T-E mode and Graffiti Mode, many accomplishments to achieve in Season mode, 2 player support, free roaming areas and so much more. We can summarize Tony Hawks Pro Skater as the Final Fantasy of Skate boarding games. Truthfully one of the best games the Playstation has to offer.