Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Reader Review
I approached this game with some cautiousness. Because most reviews of this game are pretty poor. I think the highest I've seen is a 5.0 of Gamespot. Nevertheless I'm a massive Tony Hawk fan. Call me sad but I even have a Tony Hawk backpack. Anyway, I've bought or played all of the games and all ways loved them. So, I ignored the reviews of this latest outing on the Wii and bought it. And I have to say, I don't know why everyone hates it.
As you probably know the aim of the game is to "choose" what sort of skateboarder you want to be. You "choose" from being a career skater, hardcore skater or rigger skater. I use the word "choose" very loose because to complete the game you have to be a combination of all three. Because all three have specific goals to complete. As a career skater you will take part in competitions and what not. As a hardcore skater you are basically a skate thug. And being a rigger gives you the ability to place ramps anywhere in the world. And that's basically the story.
The game does not have a fat load of features. The PS3 and XBOX360 versions of the game have a video editor and an online skate lounge. Whereas the Wii version has neither of these. This is a shame because this would have made the game a lot better. So, all you are left with is story mode and multiplayer. Which, I might add isn't available from the start. I don't know why. Seems stupid to me. It supports Widescreen but does not support 480p.
Now, do not expect this game to be a stunner. It is leagues behind the PS3 and 360 graphically. But what's left is passable. Its on par with graphics from the PS2 version of American Wasteland. So, there not hideous. But then again if you've bought a Wii you not expecting Jaw dropping graphics. Although SMG looked gorgeous.
This is the area where all the other reviews go downhill. A lot of people complain saying that the controls are broken. But all this game requires is patience. It does have a steep learning curve but once you get the controls you won't wanna turn back. I've played for years on the Playstation and had those controls imprinted on my brain. But I'm really impressed in how the controls have been converted to the Wiimote and Nunchuck. You hold "A" to crouch and release to Ollie. Press "B" to grind, press "C" to do flip tricks and "Z" to do grabs. There are hardly any motion controls. And the ones that are, are the "nail the trick" section and they work really well. And in this game there is also "nail the grab" which also works great, It involves you controlling the legs/arms with the Wiimote and Nunchuck. Surprisingly this is really responsive. So, overall the controls are great.
Not really much to mention but good SFX, as usual, and an average sound track. The sound track includes artists such as Foo fighters, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Rolling stones, Sex pistols and Bloc Party. Just to name a few.
Overall I think this is a great game and reminds me of why I got into Tony Hawk games in the first place. It's fun addictive gameplay with a bit of a learning curve and well designed levels. But, after all of this I wouldn't really recommend it. It really depends how patient you are to get over the initial learning curve. But, my advice is stick with it. And you'll find a solid skateboarding experience. The main downside is no online skate lounge and no video editor. These would have really added to great game that is Tony Hawks Proving Ground.
9 / 10