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Tony Hawk's Underground (GameCube)

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Written by  :  Lawnmower Man (140)
Written on  :  Apr 17, 2009
Platform  :  GameCube
Rating  :  4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

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Welcome to the Underground

The Good

Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG as it is commonly referred to) is a break through game in the Tony Hawk series. One of its best features is its story mode.

The game starts you off as a lowly skate punk from New Jersey, who is often broke and getting into trouble with the drug dealers. This quiet gritty story quickly gets players into all the action and makes for one heck of a play. By using a tried and true riches to rags formula, THUG is able to create something we are all familiar with but by using a skating formula they create something truly unique with the story.

Another aspect that makes THUG so great is the removal of money. While it was interesting to buy new things in the previous Tony Hawk games, THUG does away with the monetary aspect of the game, leaving players the freedom to just skate and explore their environments.

The environments in THUG are much bigger this time around than in Pro Skater 4. Every environment has enough objects for players to skate on and most expert players can score close to 1 million points when they learn the various techniques. Every environment is filled with pedestrians, cars, and contains pleasing visuals.

THUG also implements the use of walking. Players can now get off their board and walk to places that are normally hard to get to, and it also serves to string combos together, allowing players to string massive combos by starting at one end of the stage, walking to another, and starting another line all in the same combo.

In addition to walking, players will get to try their hand at some driving goals. These serve to break up the skating stages and give players control of tons of different vehicles, ranging from limos, leaf blower carts, to drag racers and more.

Create options are even better now. Create a player has some of the best options for a Tony Hawk game and at some point players even get to customize their own skateboard with some very meaty customization options. Created parks can know have custom goals for players to complete, and created goals can be placed into any stage in the game (players can even change the text of the goals).

The Bad

The only main problem of Tony Hawk Underground is that it abandons some of the old ways from the previous Tony Hawk games. The classic mode is still gone from the previous Tony Hawk games, meaning that players still have to go from person to person to get their goals. Luckily a quick find option allows players to go straight to that person without having to search the entire area for them (unlike in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4).

The driving stages in the game feel absolutely unnecessary. The driving controls are sloppy and at best can be described as legalized drunk driving. The breaking mechanics are a mess and the cars flip over easily. While they can be flipped back with the press of a button, this takes away any form of realism that the cars may have once had.

The Bottom Line

THUG is a sprawling and engaging title and one of the best in the Tony Hawk series. The game's story mode will keep you engaged for days on end is worth playing again and again. The create options are some of the best in video games to date and virtually allow players to create their own Tony Hawk game. The soundtrack is very good and worthy of being released on CD or iTunes because it covers so many artists and has enough tracks to appeal to any music taste. This is one of the absolute best games you can get.