Tony Hawks HD Review (Xbox 360 Version)

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by InsaneNutter, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Introduction:

    Its not often I review a game, well to be honest I have never reviewed a game before, usually because I never think I will have a lot to say on them, however i think with Tony Hawks i can make a good go of it... so we will see how this goes!

    The last Tony Hawks game I played was Pro Skater 3 which I got with my GameCube back in 2002, having played Pro Skater 2 to death on my 300mhz Pentium 2 PC, Pro Skater 3 took that and offered some fantastic levels, a level editor, split screen play (online play on the pc / ps2 versions I think too). I played the game to the point where I could obtain a score of over 1 million points on a single combo.. yes I played it a lot! However from looking at YouTube (something that didn’t exist for many years to come back then) people out there were a lot better than me!

    After Pro Skater 3 I lost interest in the series, I never got the 4th game however did play it. It just wasn’t the same to me, the levels were not as fun and it just never felt like a Tony Hawks game, in the sense you had to go around talking to people to get goals and so on. The series just lost its roots more after that, especially as the series progressed with the next game, Underground. It had cutscenes and a story that did nothing for the game... I just wanted to skate and be free to play the game as I wished, like on the first three games! The games got progressively worse, eventually we got Tony Hawks Ride, after that Shred... both games could only be played with a skateboard like controller you had to stand on. Needless to say both games flopped, effectively killing the series.


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    The Review:

    So getting on with this review you will be pleased to know Tony Hawks HD goes back to the games roots. The game is not a high-definition port of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but rather an amalgamation of levels collected from the first two games, remade in the Unreal 3 engine. Levels from Tony Hawks 3 will be coming as DLC 30 to 45 days after HD is released. This really annoyed me, however at the same time really pleased me. Activision are basically saying “we cut the Tony Hawks 3 content out the game and will charge you extra for it soon after launch” however at the same time it was awesome to know I would be able to play some of my favourite levels from my favourite Tony Hawks game in this HD remake.

    When I started playing the game it was annoying me knowing the levels I wanted most would eventually be sold as extra DLC, however that annoyance soon passed as I became hooked on the game. Tony Hawks HD is everything I have wanted in a Tony Hawks game, just pure classic fun gameplay, something none of the games released in the last 10 years have offered.

    The game returns to the earlier style of gameplay from the first two games, additions made to the gameplay since Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 onwards, such as reverts, are not included. You have to rely on tricks, grinds and manuals in order to pull off large combos.

    I loved trying to grind all the way around levels, its what i do best in Tony Hawks games.

    A random video of me grinding about on The Hanger on Tony Hawks HD (i'm sure i will eventually be able to do loads better):

    [video=youtube;fUblOvpTHoY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUiJPWL56fcPDKwvGBMtiRTw&v=fUblOvpTHoY&feature=player_detailpage[/video]


    Single player includes 3 game modes:


    Career mode - you basically have 10 goals you must complete and each level, the goals range from obtaining a certain score, completing certain jumps / grinds and collecting various items hidden throughout the level, sometimes requiring you to think of creative ways to stake up on to a building roof to collect them, or unlock a certain part of the level to find the secret DVD (formally the secret tape) You also earn cash for completing goals, this allows you to upgrade your character’s stats and purchase new tricks or boards.

    Single Session – You have two minutes to get the highest score possible

    Free skate – this is all about pratacing to perfect your combos


    6 different multiplayer modes are included in the game:


    Graffiti – you basically have to tag more of the level than other players, this is done by staking over a part of the level. You can only take it from someone if you get a higher combo than they do on that part of the level.

    Trick Attack – Basically you win by having the highest score when the timer hits 0.

    Big Head Elimination – your head is growing, you have to perform tricks to keep it from popping, the last person to be left with there head intact wins!

    Big Head Survival – You have to keep your skaters head from popping by preforming tricks, the longer you survive the faster your head will grow.

    Hawkman – here you have to move through the level trying to collect all the pellets in the fastest time, you have to grind to collect yellow ones, touch in the air to collect red, manual to collect green and wall ride to collect blue pellets.

    Projectives – You have 1 minute to complete a set of goals in each level.

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    All multiplayer modes have to be played on Xbox Live unfortunately, it would have been nice to have a split screen multiplayer like the classic Tony Hawks games, I always maintain its more fun playing the game in the same room as a friend rather than over Xbox Live. Even system link would have been nice, sadly if you want any sort of multiplayer you can only do so on Xbox Live.


    Tony Hawks HD has 7 playable levels from Tony Hawks 1 & 2:


    • Warehouse
    • School 2
    • The Hanger
    • Mall
    • Venice Beach
    • Downhill Jam
    • Marseille

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    I’m happy with the selection personally, the levels are re made very accurately and everything works as it does in the classic Tony Hawks games. If you compare the graphics to the originals you can see just how much better everything looks in this re-make.

    You also get a map of the level when you pause it, something which can be very useful if you are learning the level.


    Other Stuff:


    On the subject of graphics the frame rate could be better, don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with it however the game just isn’t as smooth as Tony Hawks 3, I would guess the game is running at 30fps on the Xbox 360, and Pro Skater 3 is running at 60fps. If you have just played Tony Hawks 3, then started playing Tony Hawks HD you will notice a huge difference. Well I do anyway, I can often look at a game and notice if its running at 60fps or 30fps… could just be me as I played PC games for years before I got in to console gaming. Its nothing that will impact on your enjoyment of the game anyway.

    You can also unlock cheats in the game which are fun for messing about with, however using any disables saving, achievements, leader boards and the share feature.

    A little fun extra is you can also use your Xbox 360 avatar as a skater, as I have demonstrated in this video:


    [video=youtube;gOR3DDEK6NQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=UUiJPWL56fcPDKwvGBMtiRTw&v=gOR3DDEK6NQ[/video]


    The Verdict:


    Overall Tony Hawks HD is a sold game, it brings the classic Tony Hawks gameplay & levels to current generation consoles, with modern features such as internet play and leader boards to see how you compare to people from around the world. The game is not perfect, it lacks the 4-player split screen, LAN multiplayer and a level editor, all available in Tony Hawks x2 on the original Xbox.

    So you might be thinking; “both Tony Hawks 2 and Tony Hawks 3 are available on the Xbox, and are backwards compatible with the Xbox 360, should I purchase this?

    Tony Hawks 1 was never released on the Xbox, although Tony Hawks 2 was, it was only released in American on the Xbox, its also region locked, so chances are if you’re not American the only way you can play some the classic levels without modifying your console is on Tony Hawks HD.

    The best advice I can say there is play the demo and see what you think, I would personally say yes.

    Despite the game been lacking in areas I’m not disappointed, the game has honestly had me hooked for many hours this weekend. Its not often I will spend so much time playing a game these days too.

    Think of the game as “The Best of Tony Hawks” (especially once we get some content from Tony Hawks 3) and not a remake. It will not replace the classics, however the game is a great modern take on them and in my opinion the best Tony Hawks game released in the last 10 years.
     

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  2. MasterChief

    MasterChief Addict

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    Awesome review man, very well done. I think you and KillerWhiteMan need to do more reviews ;) i ended up getting The Witcher 2 after reading killers review on it.

    I enjoy reading review more by people on forums / blogs rather than the big gaming websites. I tend to agree with them a lot more and know it will be told how it is.

    Confirmed the game as a day one purchase for me (Y)
     
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Dolphin Fan

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    I'm still not convinced by the review to buy it InsaneNutter but I'll go download it and give it a go. It's a shame about the game not having split screen multiplayer either as I could see us and a few mates playing it. That's usually how you convince me to buy such games in the first place ;) Still a great review mind.
     

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