Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Page 44 Studios / 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: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Most unfortunately, the visuals are bad. This is becoming more than a recurring theme for Wii titles. I'm almost ready to drop this section from my Wii reviews. Supposedly the Wii is more potent graphically than its predecessor; I have yet to see that proved true. If it is the case, developers need to devote more resources to the visuals. The environments in this game are passable because everything is easily distinguishable. However, everything looks fuzzy rather than crisp and character likenesses look scary because they're so artificial. There really is no fluidity to the visuals other than the movement animations. Thankfully, movement is the most important aspect so the game is still very playable. The game is so ugly though that it almost overshadows the great controls and makes you want to pick up the title for one of the other next generation consoles. Greater emphasis should have been made on the visuals.

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground screenshot

The sound quality of the game is very good. Tony Hawk is one of the few titles that actually have very solid music support. If you've got your Wii running through an AV receiver, then I suggest turning up the background music. The background effects are also quite good. Rail grinds, ramp roll outs, and bails all sound very realistic. There is a lot of high profile voiceover work too. Many of your favorite professionals have lent their talents to provide a realistic feel. Unfortunately, the voiceover work is not well synced to the lip movements, and it looks brutal. Other than that issue, the sounds are really quite good.

There are no online features in this title which is a shame but not a total detriment. It would be great to best fellow gamers' scores online, but the story mode is compelling enough that it's not essential. There is a two player component that is not nearly as convincing as the story mode, but it's good for a few laughs. The two player competitions include Free Skate, Trick Attack, Graffiti, and Horse. I've always liked taking friends on head to head and these games do the job admirably.

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Tony Hawk's Proving Ground for the Wii is a good game with classic gameplay and creative controls. The graphics fall short and there is no online component, but it is a very entertaining title on the whole. The developers struck the perfect balance between old and new content as well as familiar and inventive controls. If the graphics weren't so poor, I would give the nod to the Wii version. Unfortunately, they are bad and it does detract from the overall rating. If all you have is a Wii and you're a Tony Hawk fan, I whole heartedly endorse its purchase.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Freedom to Play Your Way: Players are now given unprecedented control of their skating experience. They can mold and shape their character however they choose - the choices they make and the paths they travel determine how they evolve as a skater. As gamers progress, they develop into any combination of three skater classes, acquiring attributes and skills of a contest-winning Career Athlete, a fast and furious Hardcore Skater or a creative maverick Rigger, who alters and modifies the world as a giant skatepark.
  • Expanded Gameplay Mechanics Deliver Unprecedented Control: Tony Hawk's Proving Ground introduces eight all new gameplay mechanics empowering players to play the way they want: Expanded Nail-the-Trick moves such as Nail-the-Grab and Nail-the Manual, Bowl Carving, Aggro Push, Skate Checking, Climbing/Exploration, Environment Altering, and Rig-a-Kit.
  • Guidance From Skateboarding Pros to Create Your Legacy: As they define their character, players will learn new tricks and mechanics from their favorite skateboarding stars. Tony Hawk's Proving Ground features a diverse roster of the sport's hottest athletes, including Tony Hawk, Ryan Sheckler, Arto Saari, Jereme Rogers, Daewon Song, Jeff King, and more.
  • Greater Variety of Customization: At any time they want, players have the ability to use the Rig-a-Kit and Environment Altering mechanics to transform any locale into their own personal skate park. They can even personalize their Skate Lounge with items such as furniture, plasma TVs and more. Tony Hawk's Proving Ground also delivers a full, ambient world from real-time weather effects to random world events for the most empowered and dynamic experience ever.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    2.7
    Graphics
    The graphics are bad and do their best to spoil the game.
    4.6
    Control
    The perfect balance has been struck between analog and motion controls.
    4.0
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The music is great, the sounds are realistic, and the voice over work must have cost a pretty penny.
    4.0

    Play Value
    The branching career options add variety and the return to classic Tony Hawk was essential.

    3.8
    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    Tony Hawk's Proving Ground screenshot - click to enlarge Tony Hawk's Proving Ground screenshot - click to enlarge Tony Hawk's Proving Ground screenshot - click to enlarge Tony Hawk's Proving Ground screenshot - click to enlarge

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