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 The Final Word game review

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater -- Neversoft/Activision

Clearly a genre redefining game if there ever was one. I haven't had this much fun with a "skating" game since 720° in the arcades back in the 80's, and now everyone is trying to mimic it. Ignore the imitators and go straight to the source. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was a lot of fun to play. The graphics are exceptional for the PlayStation console, and I really liked the in-game video footage of the music videos for the songs being played.

Speaking of soundtracks... How can you go wrong with this one? This game boasts essential 80's/90's skate-punk favorites from bands like Primus, Suicidal Tendencies, the Dead Kennedys and more. The music is as much a part of what makes this game works as anything else, and really brought back the feeling of watching the Bones Brigade videos with my friends on a Beta VCR back in the 80's.

Game control is pretty tight, although some of the requirements for completing levels in the higher stages seemed a bit excessive to me (like Rosewell for instance... that track is cool, but the score needed is almost impossible to get).

On another note, I'm really glad to see a real female pro represented in the line-up. Personally I found her to be the best skater to work with. I even preferred playing her over Tony Hawk himself. Unfortunately, once I had completed the game with one character, I didn't really feel compelled to go back and play through again with someone else. Mostly because it was just so painful to get the completions on some of those levels the first time... I sure didn't want to do it a second time. So that kind of hurt the replay value for me.

All in all, you really can't go wrong with this game. It's challenging and entertaining. The music rocks, the stunts are really sweet when you get good at controlling the characters (and believe me, you will if you want to get anywhere in the game).

A definite keeper in the permanent library. ...and it's an Activision game to boot? Who'd a thunk'it.

>>>>> 23.5/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 4.5
Sound 5.0
Gameplay/Control 5.0
Longevity/Playability 4.0
Overall 5.0
Total 23.5