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Critic Reviews

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PGNx Media (Oct 22, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a solid complement to the console versions and the best Tony Hawk game on the Nintendo DS. Sure, you're not getting the Rigger Editor or Video Editor, but you do get to skate around in three cities with fundamentally fun gameplay.
NintendoWorldReport (Nov 05, 2007)
It’s hard to find serious fault with Proving Ground. Yeah, the touch screen tricks aren’t well implemented, but it’s not like they’re required to move forward. The character models themselves look fugly, but their smooth animations and the gorgeous maps make up for that. And “Bear in the Air" is forgiven thanks to “Heart Attack."
GameZone (Nov 06, 2007)
The developers didn’t kiddify this Tony Hawk at all, and that is itself refreshing on the DS. This game is total fan service for those who have loved the franchise and feel it needs no change. However, many will feel deja vu when they start playing, because this game is exactly what you would expect. This is the best translation of the Tony Hawk franchise to the portable console yet, but just don’t expect anything new.
Game Chronicles (Nov 26, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a hand-cramping jam on the DS. It looks great, plays great, and has enough meat to keep gamers happy long after the holiday hangover has worn off. Kudos go out to the folks at Activision, Neversoft, and especially Vicarious Visions, for giving us the first true old school Tony Hawk experience on the DS.
Da Gameboyz (Nov 02, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is another solid addition to the franchise and is the best Tony Hawk game on the DS to date. It may not be incredibly ground breaking or innovative, but for fans of the franchise Proving Ground brings back some of the great aspects of the previous games with some new twists and turns. Overall Proving Ground for the DS is perfect for almost anyone including skate boarding fans and casual gamers on the go alike.
Defunct Games (Nov 28, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground may not look like much, but this is easily the best version of the game I've played this year. With two completely different story modes (as well as fun online multiplayer), this year's Tony Hawk proves that it is the best portable skateboarding game around.
IGN (Oct 17, 2007)
But, let's be honest: unless there's some hidden gem of an idea waiting to be applied to the Tony Hawk series that'll truly revitalize the property, it's either A) time for a extended sabbatical, or B) it's time for a reinvention of the Tony Hawk franchise as a whole. The advent of Electronic Arts' Skate has shown there's new ways to approach the skateboarding genre, and perhaps it's time for Activision, Neversoft, and Vicarious Visions to step back and see where the market's going. If it isn't broken it shouldn't be fixed, but if it's starting to get stale it's probably time to bake a new loaf.
GameSpy (Oct 24, 2007)
If you're a Tony Hawk fan and you can't get enough of the series, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground for DS is indisputably the best of the bunch this year. It feels like the classic Hawk titles of five years ago, yet it manages to adapt some of the good elements from updated games to make a fulfilling experience. The two elements that count against it are difficulty -- if you're insatiably hardcore, you'll burn through this DS chip in a matter of hours -- and the ugly character models. Otherwise, it retains the same solid community base that past games have boasted, and its online modes are not only lag-free, they're more fun that what you're getting on Xbox Live. Our hope is that the series will take a year's break and come back for 2009 with a ten-year anniversary, and if it does, Proving Ground DS has enough vitality to keep you playing until then.
GameSpot (Oct 24, 2007)
All told, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a "classically" styled Tony Hawk game that, for better or worse, doesn't really bring anything new to the Tony Hawk experience. Instead, it simply layers more variety, customization, and polish on top of everything that people loved from earlier installments.
ZTGameDomain (Nov 04, 2007)
When all is said and done THPG is a great game, it's just not going to knock your socks off if you have played previous incarnations. Vicarious Visions seems content with simply improving the game as opposed to completely re-writing the formula. The series is in desperate need of a reboot, but with games of this quality it is hard to complain and it is certainly worth your time and money if you are a fan. If you loved the previous outings Proving Ground will not disappoint, but don't be surprised when you get that "been there, done that" vibe while playing.
Pocket Gamer UK (Nov 05, 2007)
Aesthetically, and in all other regards, Proving Ground is a luxuriously glossy game. The general neglect of the touchscreen is a disappointment, and sticklers might criticise it for not moving the series on, but criticisms like this aren't going to injure the skating behemoth's pride. And nor should they, because Proving Ground is by far the best at what it does on DS.
Nintendojo (Nov 27, 2007)
Proving Ground is another solid entry into the series that, once again, requires players to link tricks to score massive combos to progress through the game. The series fits especially well on DS for its pick up and play options, in addition to the depth in the single-player alone. The multiplayer adds icing on the cake for fans of the series, but there is definitely a sense of familiarity that is starting to turn sour. It may be smart at this point to give the series a year off and start with a fresher design. While the game is solid design-wise with lots of depth, this is practically another rehash of Tony Hawk that fails to provide innovation. That’s what separates this title from good to great.
Worth Playing (Feb 08, 2008)
Proving Ground for the DS is the Tony Hawk series' most respectable effort in quite some time. If you've never played a Tony Hawk game, don't even hesitate to buy it. If you're a series veteran, however, that "buy" rating is less advisable. Definitely give it a rental, but don't be surprised if you feel significant amounts of déjà vu upon completion of your first improbably high jump and subsequent spin trick. Tony Hawk needs a revamp, but Proving Ground is a nice farewell to the series' current formula. It's too bad that the formula probably isn't going anywhere.
70 (Nov 05, 2007)
Activision fait volte-face après l'innovant Downhill Jam pour nous livrer un Proving Ground dans la plus pure tradition des Tony Hawk. Les fans du demi-dieu de la planche à frissons s'en réjouiront tandis que les tenants de la simulation pure et dure façon Skate bouderont définitivement la série. Malgré l'absence d'innovations flagrantes, les possibilités de personnalisation sont tellement immenses et le mode online est si vaste que le plaisir de faire ses preuves dans le monde délicieusement déjanté du skateboard est une fois de plus au rendez-vous.
Proving Ground DS manages to cram a ton of content onto a DS cartridge, including touch-screen tricks and goals that require the use of the stylus, a lot of unlockable content like skate lounge items and pro videos as well as secret skaters, and more. Some of the lame things in past games, like their cheap custom skater modes, have been improved (although the new create-a-skater still doesn't allow a huge amount of customization). It's a loaded game, but I can't help feeling like it's a little too familiar, despite my opinion that it's the best overall handheld game since Underground on the GBA. Fans of the older games might want to check it out, but otherwise, send the message to Vicarious Visions, Neversoft, and Activision that the series is in desperate need of refreshment.
70 (UK) (Dec 03, 2007)
DS ports are often guilty of capturing and even exacerbating the original game's flaws without adding anything, but Proving Ground on the DS is actually slightly simpler and a bit more likable. It won't get you out of your Tony Hawk funk if you're already bored to death, but then you've already got SKATE for that so hurrah.
Game Vortex (Oct 30, 2007)
Proving Ground, like most Tony Hawk games, is for a very specific audience, namely, players who are already fans of extreme-sports based games. If you are the type to play other skateboarding or BMX games, then Proving Ground is pretty much right up your alley; otherwise, you should probably pass this title up.
GamerDad (Dec 20, 2007)
Now in its ninth iteration, the Tony Hawk games have ruled the world of videogame skateboarding. Until EA came along with skate., which leaves Proving Ground feeling a little tired and old-fashioned.
68 (Dec 26, 2007)
Activision has done a find job of releasing just enough new things to force people to buy over ten generations of Tony Hawk games, but I'm kind of sick of it. I believe this game could have been made with better graphics, more innovative controls and some real customization for your skate park. If you've bough all the other Tony Hawk games, you might as well get this one, but otherwise, you can probably get the comparable, Tony Hawk's American Sk8land on the cheap.
Game Revolution (Oct 29, 2007)
There isn’t much we haven’t seen before in Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. Although it doesn’t get to the point of nausea, having the same goals again and again gets tiring. Still, this pint-sized port brings everything that makes Tony Hawk titles such an enjoyably irritating affair. As a do over to Downhill Jam, it’s as good as you can get with a new skateboard on old wheels.
Gaming Nexus (Nov 13, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground may not look like much, but this is easily the best version of the game I've played this year. With two completely different story modes (as well as fun online multiplayer), this year's Tony Hawk proves that it is the best portable skateboarding game around.
Cubed3 (Dec 15, 2007)
Chances are that if you had any interest in the Tony Hawk's franchise you would have picked up a copy by now. Therefore, whilst Proving Ground is sturdier than Downhill Jam and American Sk8land, complete with a very robust online element, it is hard to recommend basically the same game for the third time in a row. If you have never touched a portable TH game before, though, feel free to add a point to that final score...