Tony Hawk's Project 8 Review

The subtitle in this year’s Tony Hawk game, Project 8, refers to Tony Hawk’s search for the top eight skaters in your town. If you make the cut, then you get to skate on Tony’s team. The problem is that there are a few hundred other skaters in town also looking to make it onto Tony’s team, so you’ve got to work to improve your skills and get yourself noticed so you can climb your way up the rankings ladder and into that elite eight.

Now you can control your board with the nail the trick mode.
You begin your game of Project 8 by creating your skater, which is probably the most disappointing aspect of the game. You begin by selecting one of the stock skaters and then you have the opportunity to customize the skater’s look. Unfortunately this just involves selecting from a few stock hairstyles and choosing the skin tone and hair color. There are plenty of outfits to choose from, but you’re stuck with a few options for your look and on top of that there’s no option to remove all the tattoos covering the skaters. In a world where everyone has a tattoo, the true rebels go un-inked…

If you’re new Tony Hawk games then you’ll appreciate the game’s tutorial modes. Several pro skaters are available to walk you through a set of related tricks, ollies, grinds, etc. While the tutorials are pretty good overall it would be a big help to new gamers if the game provided some sort of feedback when a trick is missed. It would certainly help to know if you’re hitting a button too late or early to pull of a certain trick.

Even if you skip the game’s tutorials, it is pretty good about letting you know how to pull off a trick. For example, a challenge may require you to do an ollie followed by a wallplant and you’ll see the button sequence needed to complete the tricks displayed on the screen. Even gamers who’ve skated with Tony Hawk before will appreciate these little reminders.

The game’s story mode takes place in a mythical town that may be small as far as towns go but is really pretty large as far as video game levels do. You’ll find people with tasks for you to complete and an assortment of challenges to complete, but you’re also free just to skate around and play. There’s no pressure to complete the challenges first and for the most part you can do the available challenges in any order that you’d like. Of course if you don’t complete the challenges you won’t rise up in the rankings, but free skating does have the advantage of giving you a chance to increase your stats in a number of categories such as spin or balance, which in turn will make it easier for you to complete the challenges. Speaking of the challenges, there are a couple of additional things about them that are pretty cool. The first is that each one has three sets of goals. You need to complete the first set to pass the challenge, but the higher goals will give you a greater boost up the rankings chart. The other cool feature is that there are online leaderboards for the challenges in the single player campaign. You can see how well you did compared to other gamers, or go back and replay a challenge in an attempt to improve your score and hence your position on the leaderboard.