Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Review

Developer: Neversoft Publisher: Activision
Release Date: October 13, 2003 Also On: DC, PS, and N64

I’ve never been a fan of skateboarding. That apparently translated to the video game world, because I’ve never been a fan, even on old-school consoles, of skateboarding, or for that matter, extreme sports games in general. Call me a conservative, but I’ll take baseball over any sport any day, except maybe tennis and basketball, every now and then.

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If that didn’t put the question that you are undoubtedly asking yourself to rest, here’s the answer. No, I’ve never been a fan of the Tony Hawk series. I simply don’t like the trick system and I don’t like pressing buttons, and memorizing buttons to perform tricks that I wouldn’t be able to do in real-life. If this means I have some mental deficiency, so be it, but I’m not a fan of Tony Hawk no matter what anyone says.

Put that aside and be pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed Tony Hawk more than any other N-Gage game during my vacation in California. That means Tony Hawk beat out five other games. Pretty impressive for a franchise that I don’t even like. Then again, maybe it just means that the game lineup that I brought was weak.

One obvious reason why I might not like this franchise is the fact that you can’t buy any system that doesn’t have a Tony Hawk game, at least that is currently being manufactured. Even the Tapwave Zodiac, which has had a difficult time at getting third party support, has a version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Is it safe to say that this franchise is being weaned for all it’s worth?

Complaints about the franchise itself aside, Tony Hawk for N-Gage isn’t a semi-3D game that you probably thought it was. This is the PlayStation version of the game on a portable system, fully 3D for your playing pleasure, or if you’re someone like me, your displeasure, though I happened to like this incarnation of the game.

Tony Hawk N-Gage has 10 courses. You’ll start off with the LA Warehouse, followed by the Miami School and Mall. Funny thing is, I’ve been to schools in southern Florida that look like the one in the game, just without all of the skating equipment. Anyway, these levels seem to be in the exact same form as they were on the PlayStation, with an equal amount of hidden content.

Here’s why Tony Hawk works for me. First, the game has some of the most solid controls that I’ve played on N-Gage. I’m still having a very difficult time pulling off tricks, but I had the same problem when I played this game on the Dreamcast. The second reason why this game is fun for me to play is the amount of adventure there is in each course. You’ll force yourself to keep playing until you break all of those mall directories or find that hidden tape. Forget tricks, exploring on a board is much better!

I admittedly didn’t try out the N-Gage Arena part of the game, other than download an update, but I’ve found that my connection isn’t very good to begin with, so there’s no need in trying. Anyway, this isn’t a unit shifter, but if you own a N-Gage, I don’t see how you could go without Hawk, even if you’re not a fan of the series, like me.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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