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Tony Hawk's Skateboarding (1999)      

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Activision Inc
Board
Neversoft Entertainment

SCPH-1010/1080 or Dual Shock SCPH-1200 controller
Eng
SLES-02055
DVD (Protected)
USA, Europe, Japan
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Released as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater in USA
Sony Playstation






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Your Reviews

(Anonymous) (Playstation Review)   17th Apr 2012 04:17
"This game almost makes me wanna go out, grab a skateboard, and bust my head open."

This game is an absolute gem! Much like the GTA series it’s a game you can spend hours playing without having much of a purpose. With the release of the very sub-par Street Sk8er (it’s hard to even type the name without choking) the genre of skateboarding seemed doomed for all eternity. But, to the excitement and joy of many gamers all over the world Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was released, rejuvenating with great skill what appeared dead. With the all-knowing eye of the great man himself Tony Hawk overseeing the project this game was always going to be one of the most accurate and friendly skating games around. He had a hand in everything, from the other skaters that appeared in the game to how each of the tricks looked, the end result was a title that is friendly towards skaters and non-skaters.

GAMEPLAY
The gameplay of Tony Hawk is just sheer bliss to play, it’s surprisingly easy to get into, but once you do then you’ll be hooked for a very long time. Controls are simple, the X button will make your skater crouch down and gain speed, letting go of the button will make him do an ollie. The square and circle buttons combined with a direction will see you do one of many fantastic flip or grab tricks, that’s all there is to it. One of the most appealing things about this game is that you can trick off just about anything, if the object in question has an edge then chances are that it’s grindable, this turns everything around you into a potential scoring bonanza and gives the player a lot of freedom as to how they go about gaining points and doing their routine.
The scoring system implemented in the game is a very good and very fair one, you start off with the base points for each trick, the longer you hold perform the trick the more points will be awarded. Then this score is simply multiplied by how many tricks were pulled off in the combo and you’ve got the total score for that move, this means that learning how to perform long combos is an important skill to master (it takes a bit of practice by the way).
The stage designs are pure brilliance, the way everything is set out has been planned perfectly. There are heaps of gaps, combos and long grinds at your disposal in each level. Everything is set out so you can make up some brilliant routines and seamlessly trick from one object to another. In each level there are also a few semi-secret spots for you to make your way to, huge leaps abound in many of the levels that can make you fear for your skaters’ safety. Speaking of the skaters, there are ten of them (plus two secret characters) for you to control, some of the finest skaters in the world today. There are a number of boards that each of them have just waiting for you to unlock them, the designs of them are very cool.
There’s a good amount of modes for you to choose from in the game. First up there is the main challenge offered by Tony Hawk, the career mode, in this selection you play through the levels one by one. Each level has five challenges for you to try your hand at, these may involve such tasks as getting a high score, collecting the letters of the word S-K-A-T-E or simply tracking down five objects and totalling them. As you collect more tapes you unlock further levels, increase your characters stats and his new boards, this mode will require the most of your attention. For those wanting a quicker dose of action there’s a simple 2-Minute skate mode, just choose your level and go for a high score. The third one player selection is a free skate, this offering is good for exploring levels and finding all of the secrets contained within them.
There’s also a fine choice for those that are more interested in multiplayer games, the game choices on offer are original and will provide many competitive games
- Trick Attack: You and a friend battle it out to see who can get the highest score in a two minute time limit. This is the bog-standard mode, pretty boring when compared to the others.
- Graffiti Mode: Each level is made up by a large number of sections, if you trick off a section it will turn to your respective colour. The opponent can win a section back by doing a bigger trick
- Horse Mode: You play one at a time, starting from fixed positions. One player will start off by performing a trick, the opponent has to beat it or he is awarded a letter, this keeps going on until somebody gets enough letters to spell the whole word.
The graffiti and horse choices are good fun and definitely worth a look if you’re into the multiplayer style of things.
Overall, the gameplay of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is fun, addictive and very user friendly. It’s one of those games that can consume time very quickly without the player ever noticing, it has the potential to derail your social life for a while if you really get into it.

GRAPHICS
The graphics of Tony Hawk are very detailed and super smooth. The frame-rate is always at a high and steady level, even in multiplayer games there isn’t a single speck of slowdown anywhere. If you couple this with the fact that for the majority of the game there isn’t a disappearing point then you’ve got yourself a very technically impressive game. The graphics engine is of such a high standard that FMVs of the bands that are playing are actually on decent sized screens around the levels, very few games can brag that they’ve achieved this accomplishment. The level of detail throughout the whole game is superb, most of the locations offered for you to skate around are ones that one may encounter everyday in real life. All of the objects strewn around and relevant surroundings are accurate and fairly realistic, tables, benches, shop-front windows, pretty much anything that you see looks good and resembles the real-life counterpart. The whole outlook of the surroundings is very friendly, there are nice gentle colours and the settings are ones that people can relate to, a very good job has been done here.
The skaters have been done nicely, representing their real-life selves in pretty much every aspect, face, height, girth, even the clothes they wear are the ones that they might usually be seen in. Their attire was some great details, with all the wrinkles and folds that baggy clothes have are implemented here, this once again outlines how much detail the visuals have. Some of the finest parts of the graphical package are the animations for all of the tricks performed by the skaters. Because of the involvement by all of these professionals with the development the tricks are all spot on in relation to accuracy, and when viewed in a replay or in slow-mo look damned hot. Whether the move is a simple nollie or a christ air the accompanying animation will be fluent and realistic, a good little touch there.
The camera (which can be a very finicky thing to do properly) has been handled perfectly in this game. It follows the skater around flawlessly, whether they’re skating in a bowl or a halfpipe. At the peak of each trick the camera will zoom in on the character to show off the stuntmanship that is being performed. When you complete the game with a skater you will be treated to some gorgeous FMVs of these stars pulling off some of their best tricks. These look fantastic and make getting through the game worthwhile just to view these beautiful creations.
Overall, the graphics are smooth, slick and very pretty! The whole outlook just adds to the enjoyment of whoever plays this wonderful game. These are still some of the finest graphics you’ll ever see in motion on your Playstation.

SOUND
The sound pulls off the hard task of maintaining the high standards set by the graphics. The sound effects are pretty much what one would expect, there’s a lot of accurate board noises that will sound as you perform various feats in the game, nothing special but at least they’re of a good quality. When you’re skater of choice crashes to the ground from a height they’ll let out a grunt of pain (and so they should considering that they don’t have any protective gear on), this is all well and good but it’s the only speech that you’ll be treated to during the whole game, there could have been improvements made here for sure.
There’s a soundtrack in Tony Hawk for you to drool over; the songs are all from great bands (some well known, some not) such as Primus, The Ernies, The Dead Kennedys and one of my absolute favourites Goldfinger! Each of the tracks has obviously been carefully chosen as they fit the underlying theme of the game marvellously. There’s a fine mixture of Ska and Punk Rock that will have you bopping up and down in your seat and maybe even singing along. It would be hard to find a better group of songs than this for a game of this time and type.
Overall, the audio in this game is a fantastic effort. It’s got one of the best soundtracks in a game that I’ve heard for a long time and a good lot of sound effects. There are very few flaws, it’s just generally a pleasure to listen to.

LIFESPAN
The lifespan of THPS is positively enormous. The challenge mode not only has to be completed once, but eleven times (that’s once with each skater) if you want to unlock everything this game has to offer. You must collect all thirty tapes and win gold medals on the skating comps to get all of the characters and FMVs. Once you’ve completed this mammoth task you most likely won’t stop playing the game, but will persevere with it. Beating your own top scores is always a good incentive to come back to a game and this one is no exception, it’ll last you somewhere between 6 months and a year (that’s a lot).

FUN FACTOR
There is a HUGE fun factor within this game. It’s taken the dangerous sport of skateboarding and transformed it into something that anyone can get a kick out of. The game is never too intimidating and will make the gamers play always an enjoyable one. There are no irritations to be had during the game (unless you’ve got terrible timing and keep crashing) and you get a great deal of satisfaction as you make your way towards the end. There is nothing in Tony Hawk that will cause you to dislike it; it’s just huge immeasurable amounts of fun every time you play it.

CHALLENGE
The challenge of this game is as hard as you want it to be, the tapes will provide you with a challenge for a little while, but with practice comes skill and you’ll find these tasks easy to perform. It’s then a matter of finding your boundaries and testing yourself to the limit, setting goals and such. It’s much more rewarding to accomplish something you want yourself to do rather than what the game tells you to, and this is part of what makes this game so darn good. The challenge simply put, is perfect, if you play the game you will get a good challenge from it.

OVERALL
Overall, this is up among the best games that you can get on a Playstation. Most of the aspects of it are unique and truly innovative, no matter your age or gaming skill, you can’t help but get sucked into this game. To play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is to love it, this game is an absolute classic and if you don’t have it then put it right up there near the top of the list as your next purchase. You won’t be sorry that you did.
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GOOD POINTS
- Audio/Video components to die for
- Some of the friendliest, easy to get into gameplay you’ll ever see
- The perfect challenge can be found in this game, set your own limits!

NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- The challenge mode can be a bit shallow
- We now have to get it’s sequel and have all that fun again :(
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GRAPHICS – 10/10
SOUND – 9/10
GAMEPLAY – 10/10
LIFESPAN – 10/10
FUN FACTOR – 9/10
CHALLENGE – 10/10
OVERALL – 10/10

Reviewer's Score: 10/10, Originally Posted: 06/23/00, Updated 09/10/01


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This title was first added on 16th July 2007
This title was most recently updated on 17th April 2012


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