Tony Hawk's Project 8
Tony Hawk's Project 8

Posted by SadExchange
Released on: 11/7/2006
Developed by: Neversoft Entertainment
Published by: Activision

A great addition to a long-standing series breathing new life through seamless environments and the new 'Nail-the-Trick' mode.



Adding another game into the Tony Hawk series isn't the easiest nowadays because fans just keep wanting more and more and with how many Tony Hawk games that there are out there, it's gotta be getting a little harder for developers to think of new additions to keep it interesting. Tony Hawk games have been coming out yearly for quite a while adding different tricks, environments, and characters into the mix to switch it up, but what's next? Releasing onto shelves on November 7th of 2006, Project 8 brought something new to series. Neversoft Entertainment gave their fans something creative, but was it enough to entertain the fans this time around.

The story in Project 8 is pretty simple, and why shouldn't it be? It's a game about skateboarding right? Well, Tony Hawk is coming to town and he's going to start up a tour to cross the nation, and he's only taking the top eight skaters. You begin at number 200, so throughout the game, you have to prove to him that you're good enough to make the top eight. As in many other Ton Hawk games, there's a vast area, but never in any previous game has it been this vast and seamless. Fans of the series may notice some places from previous games, but different in ways to make them fresh. Of course, all of the area in the game isn't open in the beginning from the get go, you need to perform tricks and accomplishments to advance in rank to unlock or rather open up these different areas including places such as the schoolyard, the factory, the skatepark, downtown, and a few others.

To make the game have appeal to the long-standing fans, Neversoft created what's known as 'nail-the-trick' (NTT) mode which is hard to master, but fun as hell to use. It involved slowing down time when jumping to pull off some pretty interesting tricks. When you go into NTT mode, you use each analog stick on the Xbox 360 controller as each foot of your skater and you make up different tricks whether you're flipping your board end over end, or making it spiral in the air, as long as your feet end up where they're supposed to be when you land, you'll fine, and with a lot more points, I might add. This is quite a fun and unique feature to add to a skating game because of the control it gives you, almost putting you into the game with how you want to move your feet. Not only can you use this when jumping with your board, but also while just tooling around with your board up and down pathways; connect two tricks together and create a long-running trick that garners you loads of points. With this ability, the tricks are up to you. Of course, within the game, there are hundreds of tricks to pull off, some you'll be trained how to do from the tutorial, but other tricks you'll learn from the pros themselves.

As you skate through different areas of the games. You'll come across a host of different real-life pros that will teach you new tricks to perform and also challenge you to pull these tricks off in successions. Some of the pros include Tony Hawk himself, Jason Lee, Bam Margera, Ryan Scheckler, and a bunch others to help you along the way. From learning and passing the challenges of the pros, you'll gain ranks helping you to achieve your goal of at least getting in the top eight spot. Besides the pro challenges, there will be a ton of other places to pull off tricks, and to help you find them easier, the developers have marked them on your mini-map. At times, it'll seem like your mini-map is flooded with things to do, but it just shows you how time you can spend in this game. And with each trick you're able to complete, there are three levels of difficulty which will help your overall rank in the top 200 individuals trying to make the top eight. This just adds a little more challenge to the game. Newcomers to the series won't have to worry too much about the difficulty level, this was actually the first Tony Hawk gamed I played from beginning to end and I had an easy enough time getting the tricks down and figuring out some wicked combos to gain some much needed points.

The graphics on the Xbox 360 really shine in Project 8. All of the characters look much like their real-life selves and represent their overall body and character. The animations in the game are smooth and fluid when performing tricks and also while connecting them together to pull off some huge point combos. The colors within the game look superb and the environments created by the developers look creative enough. The physics are decent, but you have to remember, this is a Tony Hawk game and while a lot of what it's based upon is really, a lot of the wipe-outs and stunts within the game are far from realistic, so the physics within the game are necessary for their own purposes. But not all is perfect in the graphics department, there seems to be some stuttering issues with the game. I myself have only experienced less than a handful of spots where it's noticeable. Neversoft Entertainment did create a patch for the game, but when applied, the game seems to stutter even more and no patch has been issued since then. So, my suggestion would be to not update the game if it asks you to.

The sound in the game consists of a multitude of different licensed tracks from a host of different genres and while it is always playing in the background, it's never overpowering to make you want to turn it off or turn it up. The voice acting in the game is spot on with all of the pros offering their voices up for their respective parts and throughout your travels you'll be treated to different real-life videos of the pros performing some of their best tricks.

The multiplayer mode in the game is much like the previous online gameplay of Tony Hawk games in the past with offering you an array of different match types to try out between you and some friends. And for those of you who don't feel like achieving a certain amount of points or pulling off an amount of tricks, can also choose the option of free-skate online to just plainly skate around with friends. It's pretty smooth gameplay online and the stuttering you'll notice offline isn't present while you're online. Strangely enough.

Overall, if you're a fan of the long-standing series, you'll really enjoy this newest installment into the series. With the variety of tricks including, the large seamless environments and the inclusion of the NTT mode, you'll be able to spend a multitude of hours honing your skills to be number one of 200 to join Tony Hawk on his tour. If you're new to the series, well, much of what's noted above applies to you also. It's a game that anyone could have fun with, and even learn how to master after a certain amount of time, but that time spent learning the tricks and challenges is time you'll be having fun.
Replay Value10.00
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