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Critic Reviews

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PGNx Media (Oct 17, 2007)
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is easily the best Tony Hawk game to date. Everything from the varied career mode, new gameplay features and video editor come together in a great, cohesive package.
GameZone (Oct 17, 2007)
Proving Ground not only proves that there is still life in the Tony Hawk franchise but that there is room for improvement as well. It’s huge open world environments, loads of tricks, and stellar new additions (including a deep video editor tool) make this a fun skating game with a lot to offer new and returning gamers.
Game Chronicles (Oct 17, 2007)
Newcomers to the series will find the gameplay concepts easy to learn yet difficult to master, and Tony Hawk veterans will find the game equally challenging as they get to explore new career modes and skating concepts that have been previously unavailable. Proving Ground is the ultimate installment in a long line of Tony Hawk titles and a most-own game for anyone who loves skateboarding.
GamingTrend (Nov 27, 2007)
When I got an early look at this title, there was some mumbling about Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground being more of the same. It’s difficult to try to keep the series fresh by just adding a few moves and a couple new skaters each year. Once you see the entire package, THPG really has a lot added to it. With the new Aggro Kick, three skater paths, a surprisingly powerful video editor, and more online multiplayer support, THPG is one of the best Tony Hawk games to come out in several years. If you have every version of Tony Hawk, then you’ll be impressed with how much has been added. If you used to play it but haven’t purchased any of the next gen titles, then it’s high time to get reacquainted with Tony Hawk again.
85 (Feb 02, 2008)
Though it is true that Tony Hawk now faces its stiffest competition in a long time, the amount of improvements present in Proving Ground shows that there is still life left in the franchise. The more simplistic controls allow for much more dynamic lines and combos, but they also require you to do more outrageous things in order to feel you’ve accomplished something. Fortunately, the large number of challenges and the addition of rigging make finding outrageous things to do much more frequent and interesting (as in, it requires some creative input from you). If sandbox skating with easy to learn controls is your thing, this is a Tony Hawk that is well worth playing.
Despite the missteps, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is another first-class effort from Neversoft. It may not be perfect, but our biggest complaints revolve around what could have been rather than what shouldn't be. The waypoint and map issues are a pain to be sure, but there are so many events and challenges scattered throughout the three cities that even taking a wrong turn could be tremendously productive. Proving Ground's greatest success comes in delivering what the series has come to be know for: over-the-top virtual skateboarding that's almost as easy to control as it is to look at.
The rigger challenges, carving goals, and abysmal story deserve to be kicked to the curb, but if you enjoy playing Tony Hawk with the intent of furthering your skills and raising point totals, this is the place to hang your board and wheels.
ZTGameDomain (Oct 26, 2007)
When all is said and done Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a great game; albeit a game in desperate need of a reboot. The series is still fun but it hasn't evolved in such a long time that it is starting to show it's age. If you are a fan of the series there is no reason to miss this chapter as it does add plenty to keep fans occupied for quite a long time, but if you have never been on the TH bandwagon Proving Ground is going to do little to change your mind. Neversoft I think it's time to give the Birdman a vacation and come back strong for the ten year anniversary of this amazing franchise, trust me he deserves it.
Lawrence (Oct 29, 2007)
I’m trying to remember what number this installment is in the Tony Hawk series. Let’s see, we had Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1, 2, 3, and 4, Tony Hawk’s Underground 1 and 2, Tony Hawk’s American Skateland, Tony Hawk Project 8, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, and countless portable titles. So basically, we’re in the double digits. You may ask how Neversoft could possibly keep the series fresh after all those games, and I get the feeling they’re asking themselves the same thing. Whereas Skate introduced a completely new way of controlling a skateboard, Proving Ground feels like the same old Tony Hawk with a few new additions. My favorite is the Aggro Kick, which lets you propel yourself forward much faster than normal. You can also hit select to bring up a “rigger” menu at any point to place new environmental objects. They’re a couple nice additions to the formula, but not quite enough to escape the “been there, done that” feel.
Maxim Magazine (Oct 18, 2007)
We're also fond of the new skate-checking system, which lets you barrel through city crowds elbows-first like Ron Jeremy trying to get to the head of a buffet line.
TotalPlayStation (Nov 04, 2007)
What blows my mind is that Neversoft was able to include everything they did in the normal year-long development schedule. Yes, the game lacks a bit of polish in the way of transitions and popping and whatnot, and the gameplay is almost a decade old at its core, but there is a ton of game to digest here, making Proving Ground some of the best $60 you can spend -- provided you haven't already burned out on the series. If Activision is smart, they'll do the right thing to ensure that doesn't happen, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
80 (Nov 28, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a worthy successor to last year's Project 8, and while it doesn't improve greatly on an already great franchise, it does add enough gameplay to keep the series moving forward.
79 (Nov 21, 2007)
Endlich haben Fans des Funsports die Wahl zwischen Arcade und Simulation. Wer eher auf unkomplizierte Arcade-Action steht, für den führt kein Weg an „Proving Ground“ vorbei. Spieler mit Simulationsansprüchen, die es möglichst realistisch haben möchten, sollten dagegen besser zu „Skate“ greifen. Nach dem grandiosen Debüt von EAs neuer und innovativer Funsportserie, wirkt die Neuauflage der altbewährten Tony Hawk Franchise wie ein Auslaufmodell. Noch immer setzt man auf die alte Steuerung, noch immer gehen Tricks zu leicht von der Hand. Wir hoffen, dass man auch bei Activision langsam umdenkt, und die Tony Hawk Serie mit neuen Ideen beflügelt. Arcade Fans werden trotzdem auch dieses Jahr ihren Spaß haben!
79 (Oct 28, 2007)
The latest Tony Hawk outing is overall just more of the same. The change in pacing is more than welcome, but most of the other changes to the core game are minor and don't really set the game apart anymore. Not much differentiates this title from one you could have played last generation, which is a major letdown. There are a lot of great new ideas in play with the title, but none seem to be executed as well as they should be. Unless you are a die-hard fan of the series and missed out on the last game, Proving Ground may not be enough to warrant the yearly upgrade.
Having the ability smoothly go online and enjoy multiplayer is absolutely fantastic, but the single-player experience is more chore than score, and brings down the whole experience because of its uninspired design.
Cheat Code Central (Oct 23, 2007)
So, does the Proving Ground stand a chance against the recent rival SKATE? I say that it depends on the type of skating gamer you are. If you have a hard time adjusting to completely new control schemes, then you might be better off enjoying the beauty of a proven control system, like Proving Ground. If you need the abuse of inability to nail tricks on the fly, then SKATE could be along your train of skill. Either way, it is great to have more skate games. When the next installments roll out, we will see who rules the park, but right now, it's still the Birdman.
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground feels like a new game in the series with its new additions. Proving Ground has enough in here to give this game a try, however if you are thinking about playing the Tony Hawk series for the first time you will find yourself getting extremely confused and angry. There are too many tricks in this game, it is way too hard to remember all the different things you can do in this game and it’s finally gotten to the point where the game starts lacking. If you have to buy one skate boarding game this year you might be best to rent both Proving Ground and Skate first. I’m going to go with Skate though; EA brings a fresh new take on the skate boarding games that have been ruined by the Tony Hawk series. Hopefully Neversoft takes some notes from Skate for next year's Tony Hawk game.
IC-Games (Nov 11, 2007)
The Tony Hawk's series is still in a dire need of a complete overhaul no matter how good the small and subtle improvements to the series are. Since EA and Black Box brought us .skate the bar has been raised and if Neversoft are going to compete they need to start thinking out of the box rather than further improving features that already worked so well in Tony Hawk's Project 8.
Game Freaks 365 (Nov 26, 2007)
The online modes have not changed in any way at all, giving players nothing new to do online other than skate new parks. In comparison to other Tony Hawk games, Proving Ground is extremely short. I beat the game in about 5-6 hours with very little resistance at all. It feels as though the game was dumbed down to try and bring new players to the Tony Hawk franchise, but many veterans will be disappointed by how easy the game plays. Slapping a $60 is more of a slap in the face to the longstanding fans as Proving Ground seems more like an expansion of Project 8 than an entirely new game. If you enjoy the repetition, you will enjoy Proving Ground for at least a little while. However, you should really only give this title a rent or wait for it to show up in the bargain bin. Otherwise, there are a plethora of better games on the market this holiday season to spend your money on.
IGN (Oct 17, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a relatively solid game, but it really doesn't do anything new and significant. We've seen all of the good parts from the game multiple, multiple times now, and it really just feels like we're playing a large expansion pack. That doesn't mean that it's not fun, but it does mean that it's rather old hat.
Gamernode (Oct 29, 2007)
Bottom line? From the foundation laid by eight games before it, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground has solid gameplay. Then again, it would have solid game play even if they did nothing else but update the graphics. Compared to EA's skate, it just doesn't stack up. If you're a longtime Hawker, check it out for a few nifty new features you'll enjoy. Otherwise, Tony's reign as King of the Genre has finally come to an end. Mediocre used to be enough for a skating game -- not anymore.
Game Vortex (Oct 30, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground tries to move in a few new directions while trying to stick to the same underlying structure. Though radical changes are typically a good way to sink a popular franchise, Proving Ground has a rough time with trying to meld the two - suggesting that a total rework might be just what the franchise needs.
Gamers' Temple, The (Nov 11, 2007)
To dismiss this game as another derivative Hawk game from the good folks at Neversoft would be doing the game a disservice. Sure it might borrow liberally from every other game in the series that came before it, doing little to attempt to innovate, but if the formula works then why tamper with it too hard? While this game will be no runaway hit, nor is it a must own by far, it is far from a bad game. If you haven't played a Tony Hawk game in awhile then this is a great place to jump back on the bandwagon from. However if you've bought most of the others that came before, then you can pass here.
70 (Nov 20, 2007)
Predictably, Proving Ground falls into the 'more of the same category'. When that means more of the same of something brilliant and proven, there's reason for both contentment and disappointment, but if you know you like Tony Hawk, though you'll not be blown away you should certainly feel comfortable here.
Armchair Empire, The (Nov 22, 2007)
With all its faults, Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is still a fun experience. And even though you know exactly what you’re going to get even before you open the box, that doesn’t make the game bad, it just means it’ll fill you up with empty calories.
AceGamez (Nov 27, 2007)
Is it possible for Tony Hawk's Proving Ground and skate to coexist? I think so, but I can't see many players liking both. Although they're based on the same sport, they could hardly be more different to play if they tried. I guess it all comes down to what you want from a skateboarding game. If you want to try and recreate the sort of fluid, graceful runs you see in skate videos and don't mind putting in the practice it takes to achieve them then skate is obviously the title for you. On the flipside, if you don't care so much about your skating lines looking good and want a score attack game that bears very little resemblance to reality but gives you a million tasks to plough through, then go with Proving Ground. It's vintage Tony Hawk's and there's still plenty of enjoyment to be had, yet I can't help but feel that Neversoft will be somewhat reactive with their next title in the series, considering just how much praise skate has quickly garnered since its release.
GamingExcellence (Jan 08, 2008)
Proving Ground feels like filler in the end. It has great ideas and a great start on all areas like visuals and audio, gameplay and replay value, but they’re rushing these ideas and the end product is suffering. Fans will ultimately still find enough to love, but it screams average, and that can be frustrating for those who felt Proving Ground would be the best Hawk game to date.
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.
69 (Dec 13, 2007)
Wäre ich gemein, würde ich Proving Ground vorwerfen, ein leicht erweitertes Add-On zu Project 8 zu sein. Es ist nicht mal in jeder Hinsicht positiv erweitert; ganz speziell die Foto-Challenges sind derart haarsträubend wider jede Vernunft programmiert, dass ich den Entwicklern hier boshafte Absicht unterstelle. Aber da ich nicht gemein bin (außer zur Wii-Version, aber dieses trübe Stück Software hat's nicht besser verdient!), stelle ich fest, dass das immer noch ein Tony Hawk-Game ist, wie man es kennt und liebt: Einfache Steuerung, cleveres Aufgabendesign, coole Trick-Vielfalt, guter Mehrspielermodus. Aber das ist Fluch und Segen zugleich, denn Neversoft ruht sich schon seit einigen Teilen mehr oder weniger offensichtlich auf seinen Lorbeeren aus - und warum auch nicht, wenn's keine Konkurrenz gibt?
PSX Extreme (Oct 28, 2007)
After four iterations of objective-based Tony Hawk games have followed five open-world Tony Hawk games. And with that said, I think it's time to mix it up, folks. I can only recommend Tony Hawk's Proving Ground to only the biggest fans of the franchise who simply want more. If you're looking for something new with a rewarding experience, I recommend SKATE.
68 (Dec 06, 2007)
While this may be Tony Hawk’s 9th game it is hard to say that much has changed since the other games. At a full retail price of 60 dollars it is hard to recommend this game over any of the other now bargain priced Hawk games. While this Hawk does add some new moves from last year’s version it is simply the same game with new areas to skate in.
GameSpot (Oct 17, 2007)
Perhaps that's the biggest problem with Proving Ground. While the surface and structure of the game have seen more than enough changes to fill a bulleted list, the underlying gameplay and tasks have been done better in previous entries in the series. If you're a fan of the series who has been patiently waiting for Proving Ground, you'll probably find enough to keep you busy and keep you mostly satisfied, but it's likely that you'll be at least a little disappointed with this year's model.
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground has a lot going for it – Neversoft is committed to implementing new gameplay features year after year – but this year’s version of the game just seems to be lacking the polish of previous years’ entries. Many of the goals are frustrating, the ‘Nail a Manual’ system is finicky, there are a number of graphical issues and players have to get stuck into the game’s story mode to access most of the new content, rather than it just being available for evaluation right off the bat. Proving Ground might be worth a look to Hawk fans, but those seeking a new or refined experience might be better off checking out EA’s effort.
UOL Jogos (Nov 09, 2007)
"Tony Hawk's Proving Groung" é o típico caso do mais do mesmo. Introduz algumas pequenas novidades - algumas funcionam, outras não -, que não modificam muita coisa. Depois de quase dez anos, a franquia começa a mostrar cansaço (ainda mais ao lado de um competidor de talento, chamado "Skate"). A sensação é que não há mais muito que inventar e esse deve ser o dilema para o próximo game: ou se repensa toda sua estrutura da base, ou a tendência é ir definhando a cada edição. Os fãs não têm motivo para se preocupar, pois "Proving Ground" é o velho conhecido de sempre, mas quem quer conhecer um jogo de skate pode ficar dividido entre duas opções de estilos diferentes, mas, ambas são, no mínimo, competentes no que fazem.
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is still fundamentally part of the THPS, but this time around the apple has fallen just a bit too far from the tree. With a steep learning curve that never seems to have a summit, and skill sets that are just far too complex and extraneous, it seems to be built only for those returning to the series. Top off the difficulty with poor graphics and presentation and you have a game that’s not going to appeal to most people. THPS really needs to take a year off and reassess where it’s going, if it doesn’t, then games like Skate are going to absorb all of its demographic.
GameSpy (Oct 24, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground proves that the Hawk franchise indisputably needs a new course of action beyond adding a new bell and a shinier whistle each year. In spite of its solid online multiplayer, good video editor, and fun arcade game, the overall experience can't rise to the level of the game's great predecessors. The sorts of ultra-hardcore fans who are racking up 1.5 million point combos online might find some of this fun, but for those who play Hawk year after year simply for the love of the game, the HD-gen Proving Ground is decidedly joyless. You'd be better off picking up the DS game than the high-end console versions. Considering that just two years ago the series was still highly regarded and now it's in disrepair, the best thing that can be done is to take a year off, gain some wisdom and perspective, and come back strong for the tenth anniversary of the series in 2009.
ripten (Nov 01, 2007)
All of this is pointless, of course, if 2008’s Tony Hawk beats Skate to a bloody pulp in sales. Then, by all means, keep ‘em coming Hawk-man. Until then, I’ll let Roxy (my dog) pull me through the park on my board. It’s less cramping on my fingers and much more fun. Who knew? Reality can be enjoyable!
Game Tap (Nov 09, 2007)
Tony Hawk brings a mixture of joy and frustration to this reviewer. On the one hand, I still find I always have room to improve and the new tricks and maps are always challenging. On the other hand, this really is the same game we've been playing for nine years. And in that familiarity, Neversoft, despite its never-say-die attitude and year-in-year-out competitiveness, has cranked out yet another remix of the same formula. It's still got amazing controls and responsiveness, but it feels like a nine-year-old game--old, familiar, and finally, for this very patient reviewer, past its prime.
Game Revolution (Oct 30, 2007)
Nevertheless, I spend so much time criticizing this game only because the core mechanics are so good. These have remained unchanged throughout the whole series and anyone who has mastered them will enjoy some of the new uses to which they are put this time around, especially the “Nail the…” techniques. People new to the series, however, will have much catching up to do in learning all the ins and outs of threading together combos. But if it’s been a while since you hit the pavement and picked up a Tony Hawk game, this one may be worth your time. Everyone keeps predicting Tony’s fall, and with the recent introduction of Skate, this is a very real possibility in the future. For now, Tony’s still flying, but who knows for how much longer?
58 (Oct 25, 2007)
An area where this title does shine brighter than Skate is multiplayer. It’s super easy to get in or out of an online game and to just skate around with friends if that’s what you’re into. It’s well streamlined and seems to be optimized to run well, at least in all the matches we’ve played so far. Different types of challenges and customizable areas will keep skaters coming back for a long time. There’s still no excuse for having an achievement for “Play 1000 Games Online,” though. That’s a blatant effort to try to inflate the online community of this game, and it’s quite simply unacceptable.
Video Game Talk (Nov 10, 2007)
But if you want something a little closer to the feel of actually skating, the obvious choice is Skate. I personally feel that although the TH series started heading back in the right direction, having seen the alternative makes me not want to see the originator again. Activision, please – it’s time to let Neversoft put this series to rest and you might as well go out when you’ve got a decent game to rest your laurels on. While it’s not a bad game, because it is a solid entry in to the series – there’s nothing left that I feel this series can offer gamers. Some may want to rent it to compare games for themselves and others may want to buy it because they haven’t suffered through over 8 years of the game. But the gamer who’s been around the scene for longer than it’s been since the Berlin Wall came down can safely skip this title and not feel like they’d be missing out on another revolution.
1UP (Oct 17, 2007)
Unless you've completely conquered Project 8 and are thirsting for more uninventive Tony Hawk action, Proving Ground doesn't offer any compelling reasons to give it a chance as a full-price game. It's unpolished, unfocused, and proves nothing more than the now undeniable fact that the series needs a serious makeover and a lengthy vacation. Competition is always good, but it's now more painfully evident than ever that Tony Hawk is merely an unfulfilled promise of what a skateboarding game can truly be.