|a game by||Shaba Games LLC|
|Editor Rating:||5.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Aren't there laws against this sort of thing? I think it's called plagiarism. Grind Session is disturbingly similar to Neversoft's masterpiece. Some time ago Sony stopped by to show us an early version of the game, and they insisted Grind Session was in development around the same time as the original Tony Hawk--apparently making it OK the two were so similar. Strange thing is, the first Tony Hawk came out about eight months ago and Grind Session is just coming out now. Makes you wonder just how "influenced" the developers were by THPS. In Grind Session, there's the Versus Mode where you and a friend compete for points. Whoever spells out C.H.U.M.P. first, loses. Sound familiar? You receive Respect Points (think Tony Hawk's skate tapes) in the one-player mode for completing tricks, knocking stuff over and getting high scores. The control is almost identical, too. Whatever the case, even though the game looks, controls and sounds like THPS, it's just not as fun to play. The frame-rate is choppy in spots, the graphics are less refined than in THPS, and there's a certain amount of realism that just doesn't quite work. And what's up with the custom skater option? On the good side, the levels are quite big, and have plenty of opportunities for tricks and combos. I also like the Practice, Endurance and various Team Play Modes. All in all, it's not a terrible game--it's just not what they call original.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater packs videotapes that open new levels. Grind Session's got "Respect Points" that open new levels. In THPS, the Triangle Button grinds, Square does kick tricks, Circle grabs and X ollies. The same buttons do the same things in Grind Session. THPS lets two skaters play H.O.R.S.E. Grind Session lets two skaters play C.H.U.M.P. Despite a few subtle differences and some extra play modes, Grind Session blatantly copies everything that makesTHPS such a great game. It just doesn't do any of it as well. Control doesn't feel as natural. The visuals are block-ier. The levels--although mostly larger--aren't as interesting. Just sit tight until THPS2.
While it may seem brutal to say, this game is a Tony Hawk wannabe, and it shows in practically every corner of the game. Instead of collecting tapes, as you did in THPS, you attempt to break boom-boxes to "earn respect." Gag me with a grind-plate please. In almost every way. Grind Session is simply inferior to the Hawk in control, graphics and replay value. The only thing Grind Session has over THPS are licensed music tracks from hip-hop artists like KRS-One. If Grind Session had taken a more sim-like approach as Thrasher did, it would avoid ungainly comparisons to Neversoft's skateboarding tour de force. As it is, GS is a mere pretender to the throne.