The Tony Hawk series is a computer and video game series endorsed by professional skateboarder Tony Hawk and developed by Neversoft up until Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, and published by Activision. The series began with the 1999 release of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.
The first game was considered revolutionary, and since then the series has dominated the genre. Due to the success of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Activision has released a number of follow-ups:
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000) for the PlayStation; 2001 for the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, PC, Mac, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance). The game was re-released in the US later in 2001 as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X for the Xbox.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (2001) for the GameCube, Game Boy Color, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation. In 2002, it was published for the Nintendo 64, Xbox, PC, Mac, and Game Boy Advance. It is notable as being the first Playstation 2 title to be playable online, pre-dating the release of the Broadband Network Adaptor.
The fifth game in the series, Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG), was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance. This game differs not only in name from the previous titles but also focuses on the idea of story mode, where the player progresses their character from a local skater to a sponsored pro skater.
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 was released in October 2004, and it is quite similar to its predecessor and features many old faces, including Eric Sparrow (a previous "friend" from THUG). With the release of the PlayStation Portable, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 was repackaged as Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix, a launch title for the new handheld console.
In 2005, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland was released on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360, and later on PC. It spans all of Los Angeles, with the exception of the classic mode levels, and is bigger than all of the previous games. The Nintendo DS and the Game Boy Advance saw the release of Tony Hawk's American Sk8land, a version of Tony Hawk's American Wasteland with cel-shaded animation and wireless connectivity.
Then in 2006 Tony Hawk's Project 8 came out for the PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox and PSP. The entire area used for story mode was interconnected like American Wasteland, but this time, not only were there no loading times, but also there were no loading tunnels.
Also in 2006, came Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, which was a spin-off to the series, in which you had to race downhill as well as doing tricks. Most of the playable characters were fictional, as well as the fact that there were only 2 playable pros, being Tony Hawk and Kevin Staab. The game was released on the Nintendo DS, Wii, Game Boy Advance, and later on PlayStation 2.
The next official game in the series was Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, released in 2007 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS.
The next console handheld game is called Tony Hawk's Motion. It was released on the Nintendo DS on November 18, 2008, packaged with Hue Pixel Painter. Motion utilizes new technology incorporating tilt/motion controls. This game also features the option to Snowboard.
The 12th game in the franchise, Tony Hawk: Ride, developed by Robomodo, was released in November, 2009 for the Xbox 360, Wii and Playstation 3. The game uses a board peripheral that uses accelerometers and sensors to create a more realistic experience. However, the board itself has received major criticism from reviewers.
Tony Hawk has briefly mentioned on Twitter the existence of the next game, reportedly titled Tony Hawk: Shred. The game was officially announced by Activision on April 22, 2010. The game is expected to be released late 2010.
From Tony Hawk's Pro Skater up until Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the gameplay has generally remained the same, albeit some small changes. In Career mode, the player picks a pro skater, and goes through the game's levels completing goals. These usually include collecting the letters SKATE in an area, collecting the letters COMBO in a single trick chain, skating through gaps, collecting/breaking five items of the same object, completing high score marks and capturing a video tape placed in a hardly accessible place. The player has 2 minutes to go through the level completing as many goals as possible. When the time is up, the level restarts and the player goes again. There are also 3 levels that are competitions. The player can earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal depending on their score from the judges. When the player completes all goals in all levels, they unlock that pro's video. Modes also include Free Skate, Single Session, and Multiplayer.
THPS2 added the manual (through which players can link tricks together while moving between physically separated ramps or rails), Create-a-Skater, and a park editor where players can actually create levels. THPS3 added the revert (which consists on making a 180° spin as soon as the skater hits the ground after a vert trick/combo), as well as updated graphics for the newer consoles at the time. THPS4 changed the Career mode by getting rid of the 2 minute timer, letting one freely skate the level and to perform goals at any time by talking to NPCs. It also added the spine transfer (which allows the player to hit a ramp placed back-to-back with another), and the ability to skitch cars (by grabbing on to their rear bumpers as they move).
The fifth game of the series, Tony Hawk's Underground, had the game focus more on a storyline than the gamplay. It is all about the players, as they can create a skater, and take him or her through a rags-to-riches story that involves them going from amateur to pro, also meeting some wacky characters along the way. As for gameplay, THUG added the ability to walk off your board, along with driving vehicles, and wallplanting (the skater pushes himself off a wall in mid-air). Create-a-trick, Create-a-goal, and Create-a-deck were also added. Tony Hawk's Underground 2 continued on the story, but it focuses less on skating. It involves an event called "World Destruction Tour", and you join Tony Hawk's team to go around the world and destroy things. The ability to sticker slap (replacing the wallplant), Natas spin (which consists on the skater spinning while keeping his grip on top of structures like poles or fire hydrants), and spray a graffiti tag (which can also be created by the player) were added. The original career mode from the first four games returned under the name of "Classic Mode."
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland was next. The series took a turn in the level department, as the whole game took place in one streaming world of Los Angeles, with no loading times. BMX bikes were included and you were able to hit peds with your board. The story revolves around you moving to LA and building a "skate ranch" (a large skate park filled with large skatable items stolen from the city, such as a highway sign and a crane). Tony Hawk's Project 8 made some dramatic changes, such as dropping some abilities to make the game more realistic. Also, the graphics were completely overhauled, pro skaters were now "mo-capped," and there was a totally new goal system. Instead of different difficulties, they were integrated into how long you grind, manual, or air to get to certain levels. Those of which were AM (amateur), Pro, and Sick. The story has you join Tony Hawk's team of the top 8 skaters, hence the name of the title.
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is the ninth game in the series, and it features the ability to skate in 3 new classes: Career, Rigger, and Hardcore. There is also a new video editor, and a fully customizable "skate lounge." It is billed as being the biggest game yet, having you skate in 3 massive cities, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. The story shifts to the East Coast (as opposed to most Tony Hawk games, which are set in the West Coast.)
Tony Hawk: Ride is the tenth game in the series, and is the first game developed by Robomodo instead of Neversoft. This game made the most dramatic change in the franchise when it was discovered to not have the button combos that the series has had for ten years. Instead, the game had a skateboard peripheral.
Note: Shaded cells represent unlockable skaters.
|Skater||THPS||THPS 2||THPS 3||THPS 4||THUG||THUG 2||THAW||THP8||THPG||THR |
|Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins|
|Mike Mo Capaldi|
These are unlockable characters that have made guest appearances in the Tony Hawk games. The majority of them come from properties and licenses that Activision hold, such as Marvel characters.
- Spider-Man (THPS 2)
- Darth Maul (THPS 3)
- Wolverine (THPS 3)
- Doom Guy (THPS 3 (PC version only))
- Jango Fett (THPS 4)
- Eddie, Iron Maiden's mascot (THPS 4)
- Iron Man (Underground)
- Gene Simmons (Underground)
- Jesse G. James (Underground 2)
- Steve-O (Underground 2)
- Phil Margera (Underground 2)
- Bigfoot (Underground 2)
- Shrek (Underground 2)
- Benjamin Franklin (Underground 2)
- Lil Jon (American Wasteland)
- Jason Ellis (American Wasteland)
- Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day (American Wasteland)
- Jason Lee (Project 8)
- Travis Barker from Blink 182 (Project 8)
- Grim Ripper from Guitar Hero series (Project 8)
- Judy Nails from Guitar Hero (Proving Ground)
- MCA from The Beastie Boys (Proving Ground)
- Kat Von D from Miami Ink and LA Ink (Ride)
The first six games in the series are well praised for their unique and varied soundtracks, the PlayStation 2 version of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 is one of the few games that has gotten a perfect "10" score from GameSpot.
IGN stated that "Tony Hawk's gaming legacy is one he can be proud of" amidst other video game incarnations of celebrities. IGN ranked Hawk on its February 2009 list of the top ten video game characters who should die, rationalizing that "we are in no way advocating the death of the real Tony Hawk ... But killing him in one of his final game outings – that would be just plain hilarious."
- Neversoft Head Confirms They're Not Doing Next Tony Hawk
- Hawk DS News. GameSpy (2008-08-21). Retrieved on 2008-08-21
- Tony Hawk Ride skater roster announced. BigPond GameArena (2009-04-08). Retrieved on 2009-08-07 http://www.gamearena.com.au/news/read.php/4992038
- The IGN News & Features Team (May 30, 2007). Top 10 Tuesday: Games Starring Stars. IGN. Retrieved on April 22, 2010
- IGN PlayStation Team; Moriarty, Colin (February 18, 2009). Wednesday 10: Videogame Characters That Should Die. IGN. Retrieved on April 17, 2010