Tony Hawks Project 8

By on December 10, 2006

Another fantastic skating game.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Tony Hawks Project 8 is the latest entrant in the long list of skater games by Tony Hawks, and this too, does not fail to entertain for a long time.

You start your career as a small-time skater, and hear the news that Tony Hawks is recruiting the top 8 skaters in town, for his new project called Project 8. When you start, you are basically a dirt bag in the list of skaters lined up for Project 8, as you are the 200th ranked player. You claw your way up to the top by completing missions, and other stuff.

You do everything in a city, and the total area is HUGE. There are various streets like the Capitol, Suburbia, Skater Park etc. However, when you start out, you have just a small area, and as you progress, you will end up unlocking various places of the map. The map is very well done, with lots of scope for freestyle maneuvers, and is basically very enjoyable to play in. A compass is also available for navigation, but this is not very well done at all. It is hardly legible, and a city map, like the one in GTA games, would have been a better choice to implement.

Gameplay wise, Tony Hawks Project 8 is terrific. It is deep, as well as being very enjoyable. There’s tons of hidden content you can unlock, including real-life videos of stunts, and animations of tricks taken from the game. The tutorial does a good job of running through the basics, without revealing the more advanced part of the game left for you to unlock. One of the new aspects of the game is the nail-the-trick mode. In this, the camera goes into slow-motion

and zooms in on your feet. At that time, the left stick controls the movement of the player’s left foot, and the right stick does the same to the right foot. Moving the left stick forward moves the players left foot forward, and thus spins or pushes the skateboard. This mode is difficult at first due to it’s strict timing, but once you get the hang of it, nail-the-mode is very useful to get yourself some big combos. Also, the difficulty of each mission in Tony Hawks Project 8 can be chosen. There are 3 difficulty levels for each mission- Amateur, Pro, and Sick. Amateur is the easiest difficulty level and can be finished off easily, and then you proceed onto Pro. If you are happy with Pro or Amateur, there is an option to finish the run and end the mission there, or you can go to the hardest difficulty-Sick.

Sticking to the true nature of Tony Hawks games, the missions in Project 8 are varied, from serious missions to downright wacky ones. One mission requires you to steal the plans of the town’s Clock Tower, and grind your way on telephone wires all the way across the street, reach the tower and change the time, just so that the town’s school leaves the children early. However, the missions themselves are a lot of fun to play, and the extra incentive to finish them

is that you proceed up the ranks of the 200 skaters lined up for Project 8. As you climb up the ranks, more companies will sponsor you like DVS, Birdhouse etc. and thus, you can use their decks, or other accessories. A lot of the game seems to have been sponsored by Nokia, surprisingly. You have a Nokia N93, where you receive video messages informing you about the next mission, or other info.
Project 8 shifts from a fast-paced game to an uncontrollably-super fast game, and this adds more excitement to the game. Expect to play this game for long hours.

The sound in Project 8 is quite good, but not groundbreaking in any manner. The music tracks are good, but you get the feeling that a few of them are not suited for a skating game. The audio, overall, has not changed much from the previous games, which is not a bad thing.

Visually, Tony Hawks Project 8 looks very good, but is marred by glitches. The real players looks superb, but created players often look goofy and artificial. There are a few camera problems, but otherwise, the game does a very good job of showing the players in action. The nail-the-trick mode looks very cool, and the slow-motion animation is excellent. The problem in the graphics in Tony Hawks Project 8 is the bail mode. When you attempt to bail yourself out of a mistake, your player ends up flying in the air, to a great height, and falls down. Not only is this impossible, but it also looks weird. Also, the framerate stutters a bit at places, it is noticeable, but nothing to complain too much about.
Tony Hawks Project 8 was clearly designed only for HDTV’s as most of the text is miniscule and lighting is not proper in SDTV’s. The environment looks great, and the lip-synching has been carried out very well.

If you are a die-hard skating fan, or even have a passing interest in skating, you should definitely get this game.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
9
The best skating game to date, loads of fun to play.
GRAPHICS
8.5
Great lip-synching, good looking environments and player models, but bailing mode looks goofy, and framerate stutters a bit.
SOUND
8
Not much change in sound, but few soundtracks seem out of place.
VALUE
9
Entertains you for long hours, and new concepts like nail the trick mode are fun to play.
FUN FACTOR
9
Tried to do a few flip tricks myself after playing this game, but ended up with a broken hand..
OVERALL
8.7
A great skating game for all people who skate, or wish to.

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