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'I've just completed... Tony Hawk's Underground'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Tony Hawk's Underground'.
Sat 13/11/04 at 18:58:
Mav
Regular
Posts: 13,615
Yep, the first one. Only took me in the region of 5-10 hours, sadly enough. Even when going back to do the goals you've skipped, the lifespan is miniscule. A shame, considering that Tony Hawk's 4 hit the perfect balance with a nice learning curve and lengthy story mode.

Still, the RPG elements put a much required new spin on things and the story itself was solid enough, if you overlook the cliched characters, dialogue and plot turns. Goals were sufficiently varied, though only challenging when they didn't make it clear what you had to do, and the "make-the-tape" tasks at the end weren't quite as good as THPS4's Pro Challenges.

Gameplay was as good as ever, except for the appalling driving missions. Off-the-board was a key addition, placing a whole new spin on the levels, but that's not to say it was an improvement. What was most impressive for me, however, was the level design. Combo-lines and densely skatable areas were seamlessly woven into believable urban environments, which benefitted from a slight graphical polish.

On the whole, it was a solidly enjoyable experience and, given that there are no close competitors, one of the best extreme sports titles to date. In essence, it's a different game to its predecessors. For me, THPS4 marked the pinnacle of the series in terms of skateboarding - it was refined and wonderfully designed in every aspect, a joy to play. With Underground, there was no logical course to follow from 4, and so they introduced the changes I noted above. These were necessary and nice, but not improvements - moreso digressions.

Which begs the question - what has THUG 2 brought to the table? I'm sceptical about buying it; I didn't feel that Underground was worth the price I payed, and considering that this is the direct sequel, nothing suggests to me that any significant improvements have been made. If anybody who's played it could write a little about it, I'd be grateful.

I've been with the series since its humble beginnings on the PSOne, and despite not having played the mobile/handheld instalments, I'd like to think I have a fairly good feel for it. The new direction is interesting for me, but nothing to rival what was so nicely brought together in 4. Perhaps, by the time the Underground series is refined as much as it can (probably around THUG4), the series will take a new direction - perhaps fusing skateboarding, biking and the other extreme sports into a new style of game - Tony Hawk's Upper Mantle, if you will.

Will they ever leave the series alone? Not that I'm particularly against new twists on the gameplay, but there are only so many levels to the Earth...
Tue 16/11/04 at 15:35:
Regular
"Stridman in disguis"
Posts: 1,874
THPS2 is the best.
Mon 15/11/04 at 23:52:
Regular
"bei-jing-jing-jing"
Posts: 7,403
THUG was pretty poor really, so I haven't even attempted to givr THUG 2 a go. The game peaked at three, with two and four also being bloody good fun to play. I feel that the level design on 4 was probably the best, but lacked the classic Tony Hawk features within them. 3 got the most hours for me, so therefore I'd say that gets my vote as the pinnacle, but Coin, you really should pick up the 4th.

But THUG, in my opinion, was a letdown. Activision, for no apparant reason, seemed to think that going on a quest around a selection of pretty uninspiring levels would be fun. The car driving was laughable, and off board stuff was equally poor. It was generally a game trying to be big and clever, but ended up getting laughed at (by me at least) because it was caught with its trousers down, revealed for all it was; a decent game ruined by crap new ideas and facets.

Anyway, I've rambled too much now. In conclusion:

1. THPS3 - Class (9/10)
2. THPS4 - Not far off (9/10)
3. THPS2 - Great considering it was on the PSone (9/10)
4. THPS1 - Good start, now dated (8/10)
5. THUG1 - DIE DIE ACTIVISION - RAHHH! (5/10)

And after that poor showing I don't feel I owe it to try THUG 2
Sun 14/11/04 at 10:53:
Mav
Regular
Posts: 13,615
I strongly suggest you give 4 a go. It should be platinum by now.

For me, it defined the series and brought everything about it into one brilliantly enjoyable ensemble. There's no time limit, the level design is better and there's a host of other improvements.

Oddly enough, few recognise just how much fun the Tony Hawk's games are to play. Thinking back, THPS4 has to be one of my favourite games of this generation. It's just so well crafted.
Sat 13/11/04 at 20:34:
Regular
"Bicycle"
Posts: 4,899
To me, Tony Hawks pinacled at Pro Skater 3. That was the final "classic" Tony Hawks. It didn't bother with silly gimmicks such as talking to people to get missions, it was just pure skate. And more than enough of it.

A list of goals which were easily accessible, a gradual scale of difficulty, rewarding you with the featured skaters videos.

I say it was unmatchable.

Moving on. I skipped THPS 4, but I dived into THUG, stupidly believing that it would be completely fresh experience.

How sad I was. Giving up gameplay for gimmicks, both THUG 1 and 2 lend nothing to the Tony Hawks franchise...

'Tis a shame. I've hardly played THUG2 - got bored after a day or two - in favour of older games. And now both Pro Evo 4 and GTA : San Andreas are keeping it firmly in place - in its box.
Sat 13/11/04 at 19:47:
Regular
Posts: 15,701
I only have Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 on Game Boy Advance and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 on the GameCube but I have played the first Underground game when I worked in the shop.

I personally believe Tony Hawk's 4 was the series at its best. Especially for me, someone who couldn't tell you the difference between an Indie-Nosebone and a Nosegrind, because it was easy to get into but challenging nonetheless.

Tony Hawk's Underground just didn't feel right. It was Activision trying to do their own Grand Theft Auto with a series they know will sell anyway. I didn't bother buying it because most of it could be done in THPS4 and I just didn't feel compelled to by it.

Tony Hawk's 2 on the Game Boy was great because it was the first GBA game I ever played. I was sat in Burger King at the time anxious to try out my new toy. I didn't really get into it properly until a couple of years later when I was playing the GameCube game.

Whether THUG2 will offer anything new or not I really don't know. I don't really feel compelled to find out though being quite content with the versions I already have.
Sat 13/11/04 at 18:58:
Mav
Regular
Posts: 13,615
Yep, the first one. Only took me in the region of 5-10 hours, sadly enough. Even when going back to do the goals you've skipped, the lifespan is miniscule. A shame, considering that Tony Hawk's 4 hit the perfect balance with a nice learning curve and lengthy story mode.

Still, the RPG elements put a much required new spin on things and the story itself was solid enough, if you overlook the cliched characters, dialogue and plot turns. Goals were sufficiently varied, though only challenging when they didn't make it clear what you had to do, and the "make-the-tape" tasks at the end weren't quite as good as THPS4's Pro Challenges.

Gameplay was as good as ever, except for the appalling driving missions. Off-the-board was a key addition, placing a whole new spin on the levels, but that's not to say it was an improvement. What was most impressive for me, however, was the level design. Combo-lines and densely skatable areas were seamlessly woven into believable urban environments, which benefitted from a slight graphical polish.

On the whole, it was a solidly enjoyable experience and, given that there are no close competitors, one of the best extreme sports titles to date. In essence, it's a different game to its predecessors. For me, THPS4 marked the pinnacle of the series in terms of skateboarding - it was refined and wonderfully designed in every aspect, a joy to play. With Underground, there was no logical course to follow from 4, and so they introduced the changes I noted above. These were necessary and nice, but not improvements - moreso digressions.

Which begs the question - what has THUG 2 brought to the table? I'm sceptical about buying it; I didn't feel that Underground was worth the price I payed, and considering that this is the direct sequel, nothing suggests to me that any significant improvements have been made. If anybody who's played it could write a little about it, I'd be grateful.

I've been with the series since its humble beginnings on the PSOne, and despite not having played the mobile/handheld instalments, I'd like to think I have a fairly good feel for it. The new direction is interesting for me, but nothing to rival what was so nicely brought together in 4. Perhaps, by the time the Underground series is refined as much as it can (probably around THUG4), the series will take a new direction - perhaps fusing skateboarding, biking and the other extreme sports into a new style of game - Tony Hawk's Upper Mantle, if you will.

Will they ever leave the series alone? Not that I'm particularly against new twists on the gameplay, but there are only so many levels to the Earth...

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