Tony Hawk’s Project 8
(Activision for Xbox 360)
by Mike Delano
Unless you’re paid to play video games, chances are you haven’t kept up with every Tony Hawk sequel, as the series slowly washed away its revolutionary roots with holiday season cash-ins that arrived every year like clockwork. Since the series certainly hasn’t undergone enough major changes to warrant seven sequels, and since this is the first Tony Hawk game built from the ground up for the current generation of consoles, you might think Activision finally decided to give the whole thing a complete overhaul.
You’d be wrong. But despite a continued unwillingness to make any major changes to the series (if you’ve played any of the last three Tony Hawk games, Project 8 might seem a little too familiar), it’s hard to complain when the package is this tight. Tricks are still fun to do, the mini-missions are still satisfyingly challenging, and the presentation, from the brilliantly colorful open world to the perennially hip soundtrack, always manages to impress.
One day, a change will come to this series, and hopefully it will be built upon the idea that tricks and combos shouldn’t require an overwhelming amount of memorization and an unnecessarily severe amount of button presses. Simpler is better, especially when trying to convey the freewheeling spirit that the series is known for. But for one more installment, hopelessly complicated gets the job done.