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    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

    reviewed by Brett "MystikaL" Guarnieri

    Neversoft Entertainment

    1 to 2
    Force Feedback 
    September 1999
    Memory Pak


    Click image to enlargeTony Hawk's Pro Skater, is a skateboarding game that surpasses any others in its genre, and the gameplay is second to none. Not only does Tony Hawk's Pro Skater offer fun to experienced skaters; it also is incredibly fun and a good place to start if you want to learn how to skateboard. All the moves are of course modeled after real life ones you would see in the X-Games on ESPN, and there are a variety of signature moves for each skater. Using an outstanding engine, Neversoft Entertainment was able to create the most realistic skateboarding game ever, a game that would draw fans from all across the world into the magical world of skateboarding. There are a few skateboarding games out there that will offer a fun time, but they lack originality, something that Neversoft has really dished out in this title.


    Click image to enlargeNeversoft Entertainment created one of the best engines for the Playstation ever, and with it, players could perform tons of tricks, including jumps, grabs, and more. With this, you could also touch, skate on, and fall off any surface inside of the game. You are brought into the game with a fabulous cutscene, accompanied by the beginning of a wonderful soundtrack. As you start the game, you are able to choose either practice, career mode, special, etc. You start off with one level open—the warehouse. You can choose to advance in the levels by completing tape challenges, or practice your moves in the practice area.

    Tape challenges are small challenges in which you must complete certain tasks to receive a tape. There are 5 tape challenges to a level, and you must receive a certain amount of tapes to get new skateboards, stat increases, and of course, opens new levels for skating. Starting off they are easy, but don't be too judgmental yet, they get very rough as you go on. If you haven't practiced for a while, I suggest you give the practice mode a spin. The basics for the tape challenges is to gain a certain amount of points, get all the skate letters, do a certain task assigned, get the hidden tape, and then get a higher amount of points. Finding the hidden tape is easy, but hard to get in the higher levels. Successfully achieving all the skate letters is very easy, until the streets level (second to last), and getting the first set of points is very easy. Now, getting the second amount of points is another story. These just seem somewhat impossible. They aren't, though. If you learn how to successfully land 8 and 9,000 point tricks, you'll get those tapes.

    Click image to enlargeThe game has incredible replay value, and like snowboarding games, they give you an option called Free skate. Free skate is where the player can fool around in the levels that have been unlocked. Since there are no time limits, cops, restrictions, etc, you’re free to roam. What's even cooler is, you can have fun running yourself into random objects—something that's very cool because of how realistic the game is. Free Skate is when you practice your moves, learn new ones, try to bust yourself up as much as possible, and quite frankly, have the most fun! The heart of the game is this. Single Player will give you a very good experience with the game, though is too short, and I am hoping Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 will be at least 3 or 4 discs long, and have the amount of hours required as Final Fantasy 8, God, that would be cool! Imagine, 35 different skating arenas, tons of boards, skaters, and a skating editor... grab a napkin, you’re probably already drooling if you have played this game.

    Now, I am going to rant for a little about the ability to fall off, grind, and wall ride just about anything in the whole level. What I am talking about here, is the ability to crash through windows, break mall directories, fly down escalators, jump off cars, crash through ceilings, and even jump off third story building(s)! It's completely amazing, and again this is why I am saying it's the best skateboarding game ever. The courses, though not a lot, are ingeniously designed, and detailed to perfection. The mall for instance, places you on top of a third story type ramp, and immediately let's you skate down the ramps, hit jump, and crash through the mall's entrance. It's amazing!

    Again, certain players have different signature moves, which include flips, special ollies, tail grabs, etc. The reason I am mentioning this is because it took me a while to find out how to do a flip. The truth is, you can do it only with certain players. The physics of the game are perfectly created, and should be. From the falls, to the ollies, everything looks exactly how it should in real life.

    Single player

    Click image to enlargeWhen Neversoft Entertainment created this game, they didn't do it just to make money and have its reputation as just another skating game. There was much time and effort put into this masterpiece, and the time was well spent. All of the elements of gameplay were mixed without flaw—the soundtrack, trick engine, everything was flawless.

    The Single Player is very difficult when going through it, and can get nerve racking at times, so I suggest you have some pillows, annoying little siblings, or for that matter, those pets that poop everywhere. Think about it—you get to take out your anger, and discipline those damn pets at the same time! (No pets were harmed during the playing, or reviewing of this game.)

    You start off with only the warehouse unlocked, and this is of course, where you begin. After grabbing a few tapes, you are able to unlock the next level, though I seriously recommend you beat all the objectives on every level until moving onto the next level, for it will prove helpful later on. Of course, practicing on those extra-unlocked levels isn't a bad thing.

    After completing all the objectives, unlocking all the characters, etc. feel free to fool around in the levels. This is where the replay of the game really comes into play, and the 2 player games into play. I will discuss this later. Overall, the game is rather difficult, though getting around 22 tapes is possible in only about 4 or 5 hours of gameplay. After that, they get a lot harder, and you will probably be spending a good 10-12 more hours in that free skate mode before achieving those 60,000 point runs.


    Click image to enlargeThe multiplayer is extremely fun, and something that shouldn't be overlooked—If you do, I will tie you to a handrail and grind over you. The two player games are amazing, and one of them is like the extremely popular game of horse. You tell the computer by entering letters with the d-pad, what word you want to go up to. Each player has to complete and match each other's tricks, and if you don't you get a letter. The first to get all the letters loses. You only get 10 seconds, so you have to get a good point trick as quickly as you can, and you don't, get a redo. I personally play this the most, although you can free skate with 2 players, which is indeed fun. Skating with the 2 players is cool because you watch each other get hit by taxi cabs, play chicken with the trolley on the streets in San Francisco, and knock each other down with your skateboard, or by running right into them—Fun, fun!

    Overall, the multiplayer adds a ton of replay value to the game, and I recommend inviting a friend or two over and having multiplayer tournaments with this game, and with Medal of Honor—Oooh, that game rocks! I suggest you also grab a good six pack from the store, and some Doritos. While you’re at, why not pick up a PC Accelerator, this month's issue has a nice looking cover.


    Click image to enlargeThe sound is amazing, and rivals many alternative soundtracks out there. When mixing in the music, they picked the right music, at the right time, and were awarded by the game flourishing extremely fast! Some of the tracks are comparable to 311, while others seem a little like Adios's tracks. Overall, the music is something you will notice, which is definitely a good thing (unless your preference is pop music; i.e., Backstreet Boys, and all the other sh*t in this world)


    Overall, this game is going to be played in my household for a hell of a long time, and I definitely recommend you purchase this one if you haven't already. If you like skateboarding, skating, watching people fall off buildings, playing chicken with trolleys, etc., this game is definitely for you!

    Neversoft created a masterpiece, something that no one should overlook, and add to their PlayStation stash. I would have paid $100 for this game, probably even more, and no I am not kidding, that's how good it is. Of course, there were, however, some bugs though not major. The most I saw was just some clipping in the mall areas, and Roswell. There could have been more tracks, though I am sure the second episode will have more, a game I will definitely purchase the day it comes out!

    They simply are amazing, some of the best I have ever seen. If you compared this to a game on Nintendo 64, this would be out any of them.
    Alternative music is one of my favorites music genres, and Neversoft definitely took advantage of it, and it's fans. It's one of the best gaming soundtracks ever, so make sure you have that volume button up!
    One of the most original games I have ever seen - 2 player modes rock, and the idea of collecting video tapes is just plain ingenious. Best skateboarding game - EVER!
    Lasting Appeal
    Lack of tracks, but free skate mode makes up for it easily. You will be playing this game for hours upon hours, whether it's with your friends, or not.

    << Rating: 99 >>
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