Get ready for a major new step for the Tony Hawk series. Tony Hawk's Underground tweaks the gameplay of previous installments to include a plot-twisting story, customizable tricks and decks, online play, and the ability to include your own mug shot on your custom player. Of course, you can also play as any one of pro skating's biggest stars including Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, and Elissa Steamer. Ride, walk, or drive through nine expansive levels then test your skills against other gamers online. Become a star of the Underground.
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Love it. Story could use a few more cutscenes though so it's more cohreiesive.
What more can you possibly want in a video game? Fun story, satisfying gameplay, all-time great soundtrack, superb vibe and a monument to the culture of gaming itself.
Skating culture permeates most everything in modern euro-centric culture, and this game compressed it and stuffed it in a delicious can of beer. Not only this, but it built even further upon an already legendary franchise in a way that sent the series in an entirely new direction that benefited the core gameplay in every way. Wallplants and walking are two VERY welcome additions to the series in my eyes, the final two pieces of the perfect Tony Hawk gameplay puzzle.
And how can I not mention the level design? Every single one so perfectly lays out it's goals in a nonobtrusive manner that familiarizes you with the potential capabilites of the level whilst simultaneously engaging you in it's goofy world that never gets old. Not only are these levels crafted with utmost care in service to the lovingly addictive gameplay loop, but the goals in the levels themselves are an absolute blast that exude so much unique humor and character and never drag on for too long that one of the greatest challenges in the entire game is just putting the controller down and turning the game off.
The story isn't going to knock your socks off but it's a fun rise, fall and rise tale that never insists too much upon itself. It's got it's likeable and unlikeable characters and is a surprisingly simple yet well laid out narrative that get's you to point A to B with just little enough fuss to never bore you out and just enough emphasis to keep you engaged.
Maybe I'm just a pretentious hip-hop head or am too into music when it comes to this kind of thing but let me tell you, when I heard DOOM start spitting after hearing N.Y. State of Mind I couldn't believe that shit. It doesn't even end there. Rock and Roll All Nite too? Then I watch the credits of the game to find out Deltron 3030 and Cannibal Ox were featured and I didn't even hear them? How did Neversoft do it? I'm almost in shock.
These guys clearly love the world of skateboarding and want YOU to love it too. It's actually kinda hard to believe the guys in the end credits of this game knocking their own teeth out and dropping televisions off roofs onto spraypainted cars made something this compassionate and with so much care. No game has EVER and will likely never again make me feel such an appreciation for the names and faces behind the experience laid out before me. Too bad the guys that are still around (if any) are trapped in Call of Duty hell now.
This should be on EVERYONES must play list. It's not a wonderful piece of art because it's much more than that. It's mechanical excellence accompanied by a wonderful tribute to one of the most influential subcultures of all time.
This shit belongs in a fine art museum.