Real Talk By: KJ
After a few lackluster outings, could developers Robomodo and Disruptive Games kickflip this series back on track. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (XO, PS4, X360, XO) attempts to capture the magic of old. S.K.A.T.E/C-O-M-B-O letter collecting. Score Challenges, you name it. On that front, this game has you covered. Even trick mechanics will bring back some faded memories.
The Skate Park Editor gives you some pretty cool options. Placing ramps, power-ups and such, is a breeze. Smooth transitioning between editing and testing to boot. Unfortunately, this may be the only aspect of Pro Skater 5 that is easy to navigate.
One of the biggest negatives is in the graphics department. Dull colors all-around. Bland stuff. Really close to release, they threw in a cell-shaded effect. The company claims this was always in the plans, and not because of negative fan-feedback. However, there’s certainly no-option to turn it off. You could make the argument THPS HD looks better.
Landing tricks can be rewarding at times (when the game isn’t glitching up). Transitioning from Grinds to manuals is solid. In the past, wiping out was almost as satisfying. It used to really look funny. Now it’s horrid (the blood is gone as well). Plenty of times my skater would fall through the level or bounce off the floor, soaring high into the air. It’s as if a cheat had been enabled against the player’s will. The option to run around without the board is gone also.
Skate parks have the missions displayed all over the area. Go up to one, hold down the button to begin (when it works). Usually 8 times out of 10 I found having to use the awkward menu screen to begin the mission instead. Tasks have skaters doing the same stuff across all levels. It may have a different item to grab (or break), but how the goal is carried out remains unchanged. The Underground series made skateboarding missions fun. It’s really tough to take a step backwards. Playing this, feels like that’s all you’ll be doing.
The soundtrack fits right in with the series. Meaning there are some really good songs here. This is the one thing you could place next to the original games. However, even this is broken. Players can’t check or adjust the track-list at all. It’s completely out of their hands. No indication. “Cool song bro, who made it?” Couldn’t tell you.
Another thing to note, the classic split-screen play the series is known for has been removed. Also THPS5 boasts 20 players online. The only time I could interact with that many was within in the level lobby. The moment I would go to play multiplayer versus modes, the game never provided decent match-ups. Many of sessions was me in a room solo, getting the automatic win. The game wants you to kickflip, sending lava at other players in its deathmatch mode. I reached a certain point, where the magma coming from by board vanished. Everything as a whole was quite laggy too. A method I tried was starting a private room in a attempt to have a smoother experience. It worked for a bit until post-mission. The game forces you right back into a public session. When a random player enters or leaves a room, massive obnoxious lettering comes on the screen to tell the player that vital information. Who cares?
What potential fun that could be had is easily ruined by the legion of loading screens, and glitchy gameplay. Beat a mission, Loading Screen, Restart a challenge, loading screen. Speedy action is what this series is about. Part 5 has ruined it. They should have really took the time to make this a roaring comeback. The upcoming PS3, X360 releases should be reevaluated by Activision. Priced at $59.99 you really need to stay clear of this one. Coming from this massive company we should naturally expect more. Unacceptable.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Gets
1.5 out 5
+Solid Level Editor
-So Many Loading Screens
-No Split Screen
4 thoughts on “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Review: Kickflop”
It’s too bad this is what has become of this series. The last really fun one was American Wasteland, a swan song on the Xobx/PS2/GCN. Ten Years ago.
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Such a shame. I would have loved a return to the classic form it used to have. The Pro Skater games were some of my favorites on PS1/2.
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I definitely echo Matthew’s sentiments above. These kind of games were so simple but sooo addictive back in the ps2 days. This genre really needs some new life. Or else I just need to dust off the old console.
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Something’s gotta give.