Tony Hawk’s Project 8 Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

How long can such a series last? Well as the Tony Hawk’s series enters its eighth incarnation, the answer is simple, and that’s a very long time. Neversoft and Activision will keep pumping additions to the series out until sales rapidly decline, although to expect another eight releases from the series isn‘t particularly appealing, somehow this sequel still manages to bring some freshness to the enduring franchise.

The story serves no real purpose other than justifying a reason for your skateboarding madness, if you really must need one. This time around the Birdman is putting together a team of eight skateboarders, and thus your climb from the 200th ranking position into the top eight begins. To be a part of Tony’s team you’ll have to create a boarder (through a totally unimpressive set of options), showcase your talents in front of professionals and involve yourself in numerous crowd-pleasing tasks, well you might have already guessed that it wasn’t going to be easy.

Unsurprisingly your playground is a large open environment, beginning in the confines of a neighbourhood and later breaking out onto the streets. Missions are scattered all over the place, and naturally range from the daring to the downright dangerous and stretch from pretty easygoing to demanding and challenging. Each goal has one of three difficulty levels to aim for, which means the best isn’t always expected out of you, and less fortunate players can at least make a little headway.

What isn’t so routine is the smattering of additions to this eighth game. The majority of the new things are significant opposed to unnecessary or barely noticeable, and the new “Nail the Trick” feature is a good one that will challenge both the newbie as well as the series veteran. Nail the Trick is one of those additions that can greatly alter the way that the game is played, it not only looks great, but it also makes clever use of the two analog sticks, it allows for full control over your boarders feet whilst pulling off combination tricks during slow-motion. Timing here is crucial to land your board correctly, and it certainly should appease veterans of the series as something new to test themselves with.

We mentioned the goals earlier on, and new this time around is the Spot Challenges. These challenges are impossible to miss as bright ugly graffiti marks their presence, and involves you pulling off manuals and grinding for a certain amount of time for example. Like everything else, completion of these events contributes to moving you up in the rankings and closer to one of those coveted top eight spots.

Graphically the game is pretty nice, although sometimes the frame rate can get a bit choppy. The best thing about the visuals is definitely the stunning motion capture, which makes all the moves look truly terrific in motion.

Like always it’s a game that you want to strive to be good at, and perhaps that’s one of the things that gives the series such an enduring appeal. Project 8 is a return to roots of sorts, and it’s a successful one that should feed the appetite of the long time fan and also serves as a worthwhile introduction to the series.