Game Review: Pro Skater

   I can’t necessarily articulate in words how much I recommend this game series, so I’ll just let it all spill. On August 31, 1999 the gaming world was set ablaze with the merging of skating and Playstation. It was titled Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and its birth took place not too long after Tony Hawk himself landed the 900 in the X games, and the game itself was a box office hit.

   Throughout the series, you, as the skater, have to go through multiple goals as you can per level within a two minute mark. With 5 goals per level,  it seems quite easy though the objectives are quite diverse. After you were to beat the 5 goals you would unlock a new level. You eventually have to enter competitions to progress through the campaign, for those competitive people it was certainly the ordeal. Though the levels could put a halt on time, some people manage to complete the game in 3:55 minutes…

   Game after game, online was eventually launched. Players could out – combo three other players in online sessions, though you’d have to be quite skilled. Let me remind you, this was in the early 2000’s, so online gaming didn’t really live up to the potential that it holds in present day. In the fourth game of the series, the time limit was taken off and players were allowed to freely venture the levels, needless to say Neversoft had the right idea. This new concept really gave players a chance to actually observe the levels and freeskate, which was quite a wish beforehand. Things changed quick with the system. Customization was added, allowing skaters to fully deck out their board and their character, as well as decide if pushing mongo was necessary!

I was introduced to the series a bit late, around 2006. I started with Tony Hawk Underground, which you could say was roughly Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. It takes time to adapt to the controls, but the gameplay for all of the games is phenomenal. From playing as Tony Hawk to Chad Muska, it certainly gives the ordinary skater a chance to explore the depths of a true skating world. This game trilogy certainly gave Neversoft the boost they needed, as it gave a good first impression on other game developers. Neversoft would eventually go off to make American Wasteland and even Guitar Hero, but let’s stay on subject shall we?

Personally, if you want a good game of the bunch, I’d recommend Pro Skater 4. It definitely changed the game (literally) and is certainly an eyebrow raiser for first timers, in a good way! There are some people who like to stick to the classics, so of course I’d recommend the first ever Pro Skater. This game saga is excellent because not only has it captivated the minds of skaters but it has also took its place in millions of childhoods. Games like these shouldn’t perish in memories, they should perish in continuous gameplay! So here’s to almost, but afar, 20 years of Pro Skater. Why are you still reading? Go skate!

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