Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground box art
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.

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground screenshot

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.

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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.

By Matthew Walker
CCC Project Coordinator

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.
  • Create Epic Skate Videos with the Full-Featured Video Editor: Players can capture all of their sickest tricks and bails with Neversoft's new video editor to make their very own skate videos. Command the footage using a full-suite of video editing tools, lens modes, camera angles and effects to cut clips and combine clips; add a personal soundtrack and even showcase online to share with others or simply move up the leaderboard rankings.
  • Seamless Integration Between Online Multiplayer and Single Player Experience: Gamers can join online multiplayer action anytime directly from the single player story mode and take all of their character's skills, attributes, and stats online. Additionally, they can create their own personal Skate Lounge and invite others to view their winnings or join them for an online skate session.
  • 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
    3.5
    Graphics
    While the character models look good, there are too many times they look rather ridiculous.
    3.8
    Control
    Staunch and a bit difficult to newcomers. However, there is a traditional sense to the game that will keep returning fans happy with familiarity.
    3.9
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Solid soundtrack helps the game along, it is great to see the various rock rifts throughout the game.
    4.2
    Play Value
    A return to basics is great for those that do not like change. It is the same as always and will keep you playing for quite some time.
    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 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 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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