Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is one of gaming's largest franchises, but in the last couple versions the series has been slipping in terms of quality. Many gamers found each new iteration dropping further and further from the standards the previous one set. Then in 2007, EA introduced Skate, the closest thing Tony Hawk had to a direct competitor in some time. Skate, however, brought a much stronger game to the table. Rather than pressing buttons to do a trick, the player had to coordinate the two sticks on their controller to perform the stunt. The story was also very "back to basics", meaning no "skate ranch" in the middle of LA, no driving vehicles, just skating. Another things Skate did over Tony Hawk was to allow players to upload videos of themselves onto EA's servers to share recorded video between them. A challenger had approached.
It was time for the Tony Hawk series to make its comeback. Diehard fans knew they'd pull out some new trick, after all, they were the first to have the player get off the board to walk around, and now Skate was doing that in their second game! And then"¦Skateboard peripheral. Putting aside the fact that it now brought the price up to $120, the skateboard was almost universally slammed by critics. Tony Hawk: Ride dropped the series down quite a notch. The Metacritic score for each console's version of the game were all below 50%, where Skate 2 was ranked at a much more respectable 83%.
Where Tony Hawk was floundering, Skate was flying. Where Tony Hawk held the hardcore crowd for the huge combos players could achieve, Skate's system required a more precise hand, in fact the second game did take a few knocks for being too difficult for your average gamer, but that sort of challenge appeals to the very crowd Tony Hawk had held. Coupled with the fact that players could share their videos online, Skate accumulated a large following very quickly. Skate 3 will be concentrating more on the multiplayer component for gameplay this time around but will retain the classic video sharing system.
With Skate 3 releasing in only a few weeks and with a very promising demo to accompany it, EA is really putting the squeeze on Activision's Tony Hawk. The next game in the Tony Hawk series was just announced last week, being Tony Hawk: Shred. There isn't any information regarding if this new game will use the THR board, which carries its own host of issues. If they abandon the peripheral, anyone who bought THR has basically wasted sixty dollars. If they stay the course with the board, they're locked into an add-on nobody wants to give a second chance to or they redesign it and sink even more money into it.
While the first three Tony Hawk games were without a doubt some of the best games of their time, the series has been overtaken by a new game with better controls, better multiplayer, better story and better replay value. The time has come for Tony Hawk to learn how to Skate.