The History of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater: Ollies, Grabs, and Grinds
March 10, 2009 Page 5 of 5
In 2005, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland was released (Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2, and others). This game was also known as THAW, and was a sequel to THUG 2.
Screenshot from Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.
The goal in story mode is to win the approval of the pros by mastering various feats and obtaining pieces from Los Angeles and the surrounding area to build a skate park, which will be called "American Wasteland."
This game is the first to allow the game to be played in one large streaming level, and the game world is much larger than any of the Hawk games that preceded it. It also features a classic mode in certain levels.
This same year, Tony Hawk's American Sk8Land, which was loosely based on THAW, was introduced to the handheld market for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. It was the first Tony Hawk game for the DS, but the sixth for the Game Boy line.
The Game Boy Advance version did not have the same graphics and capabilities of the DS version, which made good use of the dual screens. For instance, players could use the touch screen to create skateboard art.
In 2006, two more games were released: Tony Hawk's Project 8 (Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2, Sony PlayStation Portable, and others) and Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (Nintendo DS, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 2).
Project 8 featured a complete graphics overhaul with all new motion captures, lending a more realistic feel to the animation. There is one large city to skate in and all levels are interconnected, with no loading times. Another option that was added was the "nail trick," which allowed the player's feet to be zoomed in on and controlled with the analog sticks, thereby allowing new types of moves.
Another unique feature is the ability to control characters during crashes, with the goal being to injure the player as much as possible and receive a large hospital bill -- which results in cash rewards in the game. Downhill Jam is a spinoff of the Hawk series and does not have a story mode. The goal is to race opponents, complete goals, and achieve high scores.
Screenshot from Tony Hawk's Proving Ground.
In 2007, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3, and others) was released and met with mixed reviews. Naturally, many felt that it did not bring anything fresh to the drawing board.
They had seen most of this before, and the similarities in the Hawk games were even more apparent after Electronic Arts released Skate (also known as skate., 2007; Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3), which gave skateboarding game fans an exciting new option.
No major Hawk games were released in 2008], as Activision took a much-needed hiatus, but the company has resolved to continue on with the series under the stewardship of new developers
With aggressive new competition from the ever expanding Skate series, as well as games like Shaun White Snowboarding (Ubisoft, 2008; various platforms), whose Nintendo Wii version supports the Wii Balance Board as a controller, and Stoked (Destineer, 2009; Microsoft Xbox 360), which is an open-world snowboarding game featuring dynamic weather conditions and multiple mountains to explore, Activision will be forced to put a truly new spin on the ollies, grabs, and grinds, hopefully reinvigorating the genre once again.
Even if future Hawk games fail to make an impact, the legacy of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is undeniable and will continue to be felt in the genre for the foreseeable future.
 Idol Minds' Pain (2007), a popular downloadable game for the Sony PlayStation 3, would base its entire premise around hurtling characters via catapult to inflict as much damage and bodily harm as possible.
 Series offshoot Tony Hawk's Motion for the Nintendo DS was released in November 2008 to critical and commercial indifference. Tony Hawk's Motion is bundled with the DS Motion Pack add-on, which is an accelerometer that allows for twisting, tilting and turning using the handheld itself, and the game, Hue Pixel Painter, where the objective is to "paint the town." Activision has promised that future Tony Hawk games will feature alternative control schemes.
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