It's time once again for me to look at another series. To judge it and come up with a tally of "Good" "Meh" and "Bad" games in the series. Last time it was Assassins Creed.Today I am going to tilt my head and stroke my beard, while I think about the Tony Hawk series.
A wonderful series, filled with punk music and rap music. Filled with floating VHS tapes, letters and money. And also Spider-Man. I really loved the Tony Hawk games, that first game hit at the perfect time. I was old enough that I was looking for new music, I was WAY into the X-Games and I had tons of time to kill playing video games. So for me Tony Hawk Pro Skater on PS1 was perfection. But, how about the rest of series? For the sake of this discussion, I will be looking at the "Main Games" from this list. Which basically means the Neversoft games. Here we go.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999) -The original, the one that started it all. At the time I remember the game just blew me away. Visually it looked great, sounded great, & most importantly played great. I still remember spending hours playing "graffiti" with my brother.-Good
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000) -For me at least THPS2 is the "Empire Strikes Back" of Tony Hawk games. Its better in every way then THPS1, included all kinds of crazy stuff & brought create a park/skater to the series.Plus it brought Rodney Mullen to the series.-GOOD!
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (2001) -Even though THPS2 was amazing, it was THSP3 that for me cemented the series as a all time classic.This entry added the revert.Combos were never the same again.It was also the first to launch on the PS2 & has one of my favorite songs of all time.LOVE this game. Its also tied on Metacritic as the highest rated PS2 game ever.(With GTA3) -GOOD!!
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (2002) -I think part of the reason I was disappointed in THPS4 was 2 reasons. One, it didn't really add anything new to the series, at least nothing as game changing as the revert. And two, it felt different from the older games. It was open world-ish now, the game felt a bit slower, it just never really gelled with me.Going back, I think I was unfair to dislike this game. -good
Tony Hawk's Underground (2003) -In some ways THPS4 ends up feeling awkward after playing THUG.(Best abbreviation) You can tell that Neversoft was heading this way,& with THUG they finally just commit & go for it. And I loved it, I know some feel the series begins to fall here, but I disagree.The story was dumb and cheesy, but at the time I really enjoyed it. The engine got overhauled and everything felt more controlled and smooth.Plus you could get off your board and walk around, which was neat. Oh, plus this song was great.-Good
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (2004) -At this point I was starting to get a bit worn out on the series. To make matters worse THUG2 is where the series began to get REALLY crazy and strange.Bam became a major force in the game, which depending on your taste was a good thing or a TERRIBLE thing. I remember at the time having fun, it was neat importing your old THUG character into the game.But I also remember playing this one less then any before.Classic mode was nice, but not enough to keep my interest. -Meh
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (2005)- I knew something was off when the biggest selling point this game was advertising was "You can ride BMX bikes now.This is the first game I just never finished, barely put any time into it.I got it on Xbox 360 not to long ago and rediscovered its not that great.It feels like it was trying to be 2 or 3 different games, like they just threw stuff into a pot and served it. A sign that this series was headed downhill.(And speaking of Downhill and BMX bikes,just play this instead.) -Bad
Tony Hawk's Project 8 (2006)- The final Tony Hawk game before the Skate series came in, Project 8 was in some ways a return the series former glory. Gone were the super weird and crazyness of THUG2.Gone was the bike from THAW. Instead P8 focused on skating. The "Nail-a-trick" mode allowed you to slow down time and take control over your skater's feet. It was pretty impressive. The size of the city and amount of skaters,tricks and songs was also large. I mean it had Punk Rock Girl. Hell, I even enjoyed the story.It was simple and felt more like THUG1. Overall Project 8 would have been a great way for the series to end... -Good
Tony Hawk's Proving Grounds (2007) - At this point Neversoft had been making Tony Hawk games for nearly 8 1/2 years. And in some ways this game just felt..tired. I barely remember playing it. I do however remember feeling it was a step backwards from P8. Sure it added Nail the grab and manual, which were similar to Nail the trick mode from P8.But it felt crummy, looked old and just oozed a sense of old and tired. I never came close to beating it. At this point Skate had my full attention, and this game felt old.- Bad
That was the last Neversoft title, as Robomodo took over the series after that. They ended up making the Tony Hawk games that used that stupid skateboard controller. But they did make something else.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD (2012) -I know some people are sour on this game. They feel it just doesn't feel as good as THPS 1,2,3. And I'll agree, that it feels a bit...off. But other then some weird control issues sometimes, I'll give credit to Robomodo for making a damn good HD remake of THPS 1,2,3. They brought back some of my favorite songs, maps, and skaters. And listening to Superman again, while playing as Tony Hawk in Warehouse is pretty cool. Yeah, nostalgia is a big factor here, but its my list so I get to make the call. I call THPSHD good. I like it a lot. -Good
Lets tally it up:
Good - 7 Meh - 2 Bad - 2
So there you go. Yeah, I skipped over the Robomodo games, the ones that use the dumb controller. Partly because I never played them for any real amount of time and partly because I really think of this series as a Neversoft series. And that was the series I wanted to look back at. I let THPSHD slide in because it is a remake of games that Neversoft made, so it was close enough for me. Plus I have put a ton of time into that game and really enjoyed it.
Overall, not bad. Out of 11 games, we got 7 good ones, 2 ok kinda crap games, and 2 pretty bad games. If you throw RIDE and Shred onto that list it makes it 13 games, and adds 2 more bad games to the total. Which is not as great of track record, but when it comes to Neversoft made Tony Hawk games they did a fantastic job. Releasing a new Tony Hawk game every year for 8 years was probably a difficult thing to do. But to release amazing classics like THUG, THPS2 and THPS3 during that time, that's impressive.
I hope Neversoft gets the series back, I think THPSHD showed that the series still has fans, and I would love to see what Neversoft could do on next gen console. But who knows. And seeing as Skate 4 is MIA looks like Ollie Ollie on the Vita is the only new skateboard game we have. Which is sad. I miss skateboarding games..
What do you think? Do you agree with my list? (Do you also miss Skateboard games?)