Tony Hawk's Project 8

Platforms: XBox 360Playstation 3

Tony Hawk's Project 8 is immediately notable simply because it's the first game in the series that's been completely rebuilt for next gen consoles. The animations, graphics and physics have all been redone and despite some framerate problems Project 8 makes the series feel fresh for the first time in a long time.

The sinister sounding 'Project 8'? is actually just Tony Hawk's search for the 8 best skaters in the city. Your custom skater starts out ranked 200 and everything you do, from completing goals, to nailing gaps advances you towards the coveted 8. Goals have been reworked this year to be more dynamic. Instead of locking you into a difficulty level from the start, each goal now has an amateur, pro and sick level of completion. Depending on what completion level you accomplished throughout the game you'll get a different ending. This nice change ensures that newer players won't get overly frustrated while at the same time veteran players will have the challenge they're looking for.

Once you get past the new veneer, Project 8 plays the same way the other games in the series have. The trick system has been rebalanced to keep players from exploiting manual and grind combos to achieve ridiculous scores. A big addition this year is 'Nail the Trick'?. Pressing in on both analog sticks while in the air drops the game into slow motion and zooms the camera in on your feet and board. With your feet individually mapped to your analog sticks, you can use them to manually spin and flip the board, chaining together kicks and taps to create some really impressive maneuvers. It's a welcome feature not only because it works well but also because it gives old school players something completely new to learn. The Xbox 360 version features extensive multiplayer support, with leaderboards for each goal and Xbox Live support for up to 8 players.

Again the most noticeable and arguably the most significant change to the series comes in the form of Project 8's graphics. After 8 games, replacing the trick animations and bringing the graphics engine up to next gen standards completely reinvigorates the series. Unfortunately this shiny new paint job comes at the cost of an inconsistent framerate. It's by no means a game stopping problem, but the occasional framerate dips are enough to annoy. The soundtrack is typical Tony Hawk fare, featuring plenty of licensed songs that complement the action nicely.

Project 8 is by all accounts an excellent skateboarding game. 'Nail the Trick'?, the new graphics and the seamless world make this one of the most exciting entries in the series in quite some time. Anyone who considers themselves a skate fan should definitely consider picking this title up.

Tony Hawk's Project 8 Downloads

Tony Hawk's Project 8 download

PlayStation 3 differences

_Because the PS3 version is fundamentally the same game as seen and reviewed on 360 earlier this month, this section will outline the differences.

The most significant difference found between versions lies in the PS3's use of the SIXAXIS controller additions. The motion sensing addition adds a new element to performing tricks and grinds. It might take a few tries to get used to the controls but once you find your comfort zone, they feel like a natural fit. The only other difference is found in the graphics. The framerate may not quite live up to those of the 360 and the details are a bit lacking in comparison but this should not be a deciding factor._

Tony Hawk's Project 8 is immediately notable simply because it's the first game in the series that's been completely rebuilt for next gen consoles. The animations, graphics and physics have all been redone and despite some framerate problems Project 8 makes the series feel fresh for the first time in a long time.

The sinister sounding 'Project 8'? is actually just Tony Hawk's search for the 8 best skaters in the city. Your custom skater starts out ranked 200 and everything you do, from completing goals, to nailing gaps advances you towards the coveted 8. Goals have been reworked this year to be more dynamic. Instead of locking you into a difficulty level from the start, each goal now has an amateur, pro and sick level of completion. Depending on what completion level you accomplished throughout the game you'll get a different ending. This nice change ensures that newer players won't get overly frustrated while at the same time veteran players will have the challenge they're looking for.

Once you get past the new veneer, Project 8 plays the same way the other games in the series have. The trick system has been rebalanced to keep players from exploiting manual and grind combos to achieve ridiculous scores. A big addition this year is 'Nail the Trick'?. Pressing in on both analog sticks while in the air drops the game into slow motion and zooms the camera in on your feet and board. With your feet individually mapped to your analog sticks, you can use them to manually spin and flip the board, chaining together kicks and taps to create some really impressive maneuvers. It's a welcome feature not only because it works well but also because it gives old school players something completely new to learn. The Xbox 360 version features extensive multiplayer support, with leaderboards for each goal and Xbox Live support for up to 8 players.

Again the most noticeable and arguably the most significant change to the series comes in the form of Project 8's graphics. After 8 games, replacing the trick animations and bringing the graphics engine up to next gen standards completely reinvigorates the series. Unfortunately this shiny new paint job comes at the cost of an inconsistent framerate. It's by no means a game stopping problem, but the occasional framerate dips are enough to annoy. The soundtrack is typical Tony Hawk fare, featuring plenty of licensed songs that complement the action nicely.

Project 8 is by all accounts an excellent skateboarding game. 'Nail the Trick'?, the new graphics and the seamless world make this one of the most exciting entries in the series in quite some time. Anyone who considers themselves a skate fan should definitely consider picking this title up.

reggie posted a review
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