|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Neversoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 15, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: TEEN||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One thing I thought at first wouldn't be really entertaining, the skate video editing, turned out to be truly innovative. The ability to create my own videos of my best and worst tricks was great. Being able to include my own soundtrack also helped in continuous video editing. Though this may not be very important, I believe the first one you do will have you hooked into it more than you originally thought it would. In addition, in case your friends don't believe you about your truly amazing trick, you can upload the file to show them over the net. Speaking of the online functions of the game, you can venture into the online communities straight from single player mode. You also get to take all of your character's attributes you have built up. You can also toy around with the Skate Lounge option to tweak out your own skate warehouse to invite friends to see what you have created.
The graphics of this installment to Tony's series are okay, and there is really nothing that will smack you in the face with an "Oh my Gosh that looks sweet" caliber. Too many times the characters look freakish. However, the body language was represented really well, as were the environments you skate through, yet, unfortunately, nothing truly miraculous. On the other hand, the soundtrack from the game is pure skate gold, with a few flops here and there. Most of the tracks can aid you in your quest for maximum pointage, while more than a few others may divert your concentration as you ask "What the?!?". Even the voice acting is not as painful as it has been in the past. There are a few annoying characters, but it all washes out in the end.
So, does the Proving Ground stand a chance against the recent rival SKATE? I say that it depends on the type of skating gamer you are. If you have a hard time adjusting to completely new control schemes, then you might be better off enjoying the beauty of a proven control system, like Proving Ground. If you need the abuse of inability to nail tricks on the fly, then SKATE could be along your train of skill. Either way, it is great to have more skate games. When the next installments roll out, we will see who rules the park, but right now, it's still the Birdman.
CCC Project Coordinator