Tony Hawk’s Project 8 Demo Review
I got the chance to play a bit of Tony Hawk’s Project 8. For those who don’t know, the Tony Hawk games are all skateboard games. Sounds like something you may not be interested in? That was exactly my thought until I picked up Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, the first Tony Hawk video game, and instantly fell in love with it. It was supremely fun and very playable, even for someone who had zero interest in skateboarding, like me.
Tony Hawk’s Project 8 is the 8th installment of the Tony Hawk series of skating games and while you may think that skating would get boring by the 8th installment, you’re sorely wrong. It’s just as fun as it was in the first game, and possibly even funner (yes I know that’s not a word). As always there’s plenty to do, plenty of skills and tricks to master and best of all, it’s an open environment, so you can do the whatever tasks you feel like doing, whenever you feel like doing them.
Not much has changed in terms of my ability to actually “skate”, I still suck just as much as I did in the first game, but this still doesn’t stop me from playing and, more importantly, enjoying the game. The graphics are awesome, what you expect from a new gen console. Music isn’t awful. Learning curve is fairly easy, especially if you’ve played a Tony Hawk game before, and the controls are basically the same.
Something I enjoyed was the hospital bills that flashes up every time you stack it. As I said, I still suck at this game and managed to accumulate a $24,000+ bill in one fall. Nice!
While skating around the little skate park you’re confined to, you can interact with some characters. Sometimes these characters give you a task to complete, and sometimes they just give you information about the full game.
The new Nail the Trick feature gives you precise control over the skater’s feet so you can flip the board and pull of a trick. The camera slows down to “bullet-time” speed and you move the left thumbstick for the left foot, or the right thumbstick for the right foot and the board flips according to how you’ve moved the feet.
There’s also a task mode where a camera man skates around and you follow him, pulling off tricks in his vicinity. The more tricks you pull off within a given time limit, the more “pro” you are. This is one part of the game where it doesn’t allow you much freedom, if you stray too far from the camera man, the game will reset you closer to him. I lost my orientation a few times because of this.
There are also spot challenges around the skate park. These are mini-challenges scattered throughout the game world that you can choose to complete whenever you feel like.
I’d like to take a closer look at the demo again before the game is released, which should be mid November for Australia, can’t wait! Sorry, couldn’t find a reliable source for the exact Oz release date.
USA can expect Project 8 in stores November 15, 2006.