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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.
Game Vortex (Nov 11, 2007)
Online gameplay aside, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is an awesome skating game, that offers an amazing amount of customization, from skater appearance, to tricks, to career paths and the environment itself. If you're a tweaker, get in here. If you're remotely interested in skating games, this is the one to own. I've started to wonder if the name, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, is also referring to the game itself, as Tony Hawk proves itself to be viable as a realistic pro-skater game that takes realism seriously.
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.
GameZone (Oct 18, 2007)
Even though this year Tony Hawk series had some stiff competition from another skateboarding game, I think that it has edged out ahead and proves that this game is king of the skateboarding games, for at least one more year. There are a lot of things that will keep you occupied for months on end, without even going that in-depth with the “career” mode. If you are a fan of this series then picking up this game is a no-brainer.
GamingTrend (Oct 16, 2007)
I can’t imagine how the guys at Neversoft manage to introduce new features and still find the development time to stack more content on top of all of the previous games. While I can’t say that all of the modes were a hit for me, there is a great deal to like in this new outing with Tony Hawk.
GamePro (US) (Oct 17, 2007)
Still, there's no denying that the Tony Hawk franchise has some life left in it and Proving Ground is yet another satisfying entry in the dominant skateboarding franchise. But here's hoping they start to innovate again next year, because if they don't, their competition might just leave them in the dust.
85 (Nov 01, 2007)
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is a good game, there is no doubt about this, it offers a great choice of moves and combos for you to learn and it adds enough new features to keep all the fans of the series happy, perhaps the only problem is that maybe it hasn’t changed enough, however why fix what isn’t broken.
Armchair Empire, The (Dec 04, 2007)
While the Tony Hawk franchise soars once again, it certainly hasn’t flown into the same stratosphere of excellence reached by earlier Tony Hawk games. It’s exactly what veteran Tony Hawk gamers would expect – nothing more, nothing less – another good arcade-style skating videogame. No new innovations here, and a “been there, done that” feel to the gameplay, but for many skating gamers, that’s exactly what they want, and Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground gives it to them.
Gamers' Temple, The (Nov 11, 2007)
Proving Ground isn't the best Tony Hawk title, but it sure is nice to have him come back, hang out and remind us all just how cool he used to be. Tony, please, next time, be the game we all know you can be and not the creepy old guy next to the keg who keeps making eyes at all the teenage girls.
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 can be tremendously productive. Proving Ground's greatest success comes in delivering what the series has come to be known 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.
81 (Nov 25, 2007)
I still want to check out Skate but do again perfectly understand why the Tony Hawk games have been ruling the scene for years. Proving Grounds is the best part of the series and it will cost you plenty of hours if you want to squeeze everything out of it. Although it still often felt like a repetition exercise I again had a great time with this game!
Da Gameboyz (Oct 27, 2007)
Although Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is not incredibly ground breaking or innovative it is definitely a solid addition to the franchise. It brings back some of the great aspects of previous games while adding some new twists and turns into the mix. There is no question that this latest iteration is much deeper than versions of past, but at the end of the day I do question whether it has really made any significant leaps over its predecessors. And with the new competition in the neighbourhood in the form of EA's Skate I think that the Tony Hawk franchise is going to need a re-tooling to retake its place on top of the podium.
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.
GameDaily (Oct 17, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground earns a recommendation, particularly for skateboarding nuts. The Video Editor will keep you busy for hours and the mixture of old and new gameplay components are more than enough to keep it from losing speed.
ZTGameDomain (Oct 24, 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.
80 (Nov 19, 2007)
Other than a few little issues this game has a ton of things going for it. From the freedom, the tight control, the music, options, impressive cast of pro skaters with some exciting videos, ramps, pipes, and rails, at every turn. This is a game that I look forward to trying to complete. I'm sure it will take a long time, and 'm cool with that.
Console Obsession (Dec 11, 2007)
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is another great sequel in the franchise, and loyalists should be satisfied with the new additions. There‘s certainly room for both Hawk and Skate, as even if they share the source material of skateboarding, both have cornered different areas of the market. However, this doesn’t change the fact that some may feel that the Tony Hawk’s series is now running out of steam, and if you are one of these people, I can only recommend you to let your curiosity inhale the breath of fresh air that is EA’s Skate.
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!
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.
MS Xbox World (Nov 05, 2007)
Proving Ground proves that the Tony Hawk’s series needs something new. Sure, some of the new features are nice; the editing films feature is the best thing about this game. If you’ve only just recently gotten into skating games, then Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is worth checking out. However, for Tony Hawk’s veterans, it may be time to start looking elsewhere, and the only other option available is EA’s less arcadey, and more simulation based, Skate 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.
TalkXbox (Nov 15, 2007)
It’s odd that a game with so much new content could feel so familiar, but such is the case with Proving Ground. The series continues to remain in a relative creative rut, continuously circling, almost as if it’s afraid to break new ground, seemingly subscribing to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. Well, the new additions and changes are interesting, but its arcadey brand of skating is growing more and more stale with each new installment. I think it’s time for Neversoft to go back to the drawing board and seriously attempt to innovate if they ever expect this Hawk to fly as high as it once did.
TeamXbox (Oct 17, 2007)
Although Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground definitely falls into the “good” game category, there’s no denying that the franchise is getting more than a little stale. A number of nice additions and new features can’t hide the fact that this still feels a lot like the formula we loved in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 (the best in the series IMHO). We’re extremely hopeful that the team at Neversoft will rise to the challenge thrown down by the guys at EA Black Box, and we’re sure that the gaming community will be rewarded with some excellent skating action as the competition heats up.
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.
Atomic Gamer (Oct 18, 2007)
From the two-minute, almost completely useless tutorial that pretty much expects you to have played Tony Hawk games before to a wide range of difficulty on many of the goals and new features that just plain suck, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground simply fails to be much fun and will definitely frustrate new players. It's like the guys at Neversoft were forced to spend all of the last year creating their three-city monstrosity and didn't have the time to put anything actually fun into the game. The new moves are good, sure, but there isn't much else new that's actually fun and the online play is the same old thing we've seen before. Neversoft and publisher Activision have got to start thinking about restarting this franchise with new controls, a new focus, and a completely reworked online mode. If they've got to skip a year to accomplish this, then by all means that's what they should do to keep this franchise alive.
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.
Games TM (Oct, 2007)
So, as a game of Tony, Proving Ground is very good. The mechanics have been enhanced nicely, with Nail the Grab a highlight, and massive combo opportunities litter every street corner. However, the new balance between the real and the absurd doesn't sit very well. Unlock a skate video, for example, and the incredible feats of the real-life pros seem underwhelming when you've just strung together 300 flip tricks, but that's just how it is. Asking you to make your own skate vids and revelling in the majesty of a 360-flip, for example, makes the focus seem a little unclear. Does Tony want to be a score attack game - and a very good one at that - or does it want to take on Skate? If it's the latter, then sadly, it's going to lose.
70 (Jan 15, 2008)
How do I rate Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground? On one hand it was very irritating and caused me to become very frustrated while trying to pull off “Amateur” challenges to progress through the game. I also don’t like the unrealistic way you have to chain trick after trick together just to get high scores. Real-life skate competitions deduct points from a skater if they fall during their run, but they don’t lose all of their points from all the previous tricks if they fall. They also don’t have to string one trick directly into another over and over to get a high score. This whole side of Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground rubbed me the wrong way, but last night my son and I played free skate and just skated around together in the split-screen mode just doing tricks and exploring and that was a lot of fun. I can see someone buying this game and going online to play with their friends and really enjoying it without ever touching the offline game.
70 (Nov 07, 2007)
Comme on pouvait s'y attendre, il n'y a aucune surprise majeure dans ce énième épisode de la série Tony Hawk. Néanmoins, les petites nouveautés en terme de gameplay et le solide éditeur de vidéos peuvent justifier l'achat de ce titre, hélas terni par une réalisation décevante.
Defunct Games (Oct 29, 2007)
This year's Tony Hawk tries to add a lot to the tried and true skateboarding formula ... maybe even too much. While there's a solid skateboarding game here, you have to trudge through a lot of half-baked ideas that aren't nearly as much fun as they should be.
Gamervision (Nov 30, 2007)
Truthfully, this game is not revolutionary in any way. It simply took the best elements of the previous Tony Hawk games and added a few fun new features. Look, if you’re looking for the most realistic skating simulation game on the market, go buy skate. and call it a day. If you want something that’s entertaining, challenging, and more extreme than anything you’ll do in real life, give it a try. Like I said, it’s definitely the best Tony Hawk title I’ve seen this generation, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying it.
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.
70 (UK) (Nov 05, 2007)
It falls short of its predecessor, which succeeded thanks to cheeriness, simplicity and fluidity. However, it still stands out ahead of its own worst Jackass era, and many of the new inclusions, especially the video editing and Nail The Grab, deserve your attention. If you never played Project 8, go get that at some super-cheap price. If you did, adored it, and can't help but want some more, you won't regret this. But don't expect it to live up to the same standards.
Darkstation (Nov 20, 2007)
I know some will see a seven out of ten as the overall rating for this game and say what a disappointment, and for a series as strong as the Tony Hawk franchise that reaction makes a good deal of sense. Let me preface your assumption by saying that this is a very good skateboarding game, and much better then last year's Project 8, which really paved the way for this title. It is just for the first time Tony Hawk is being challenged by a competitor and it just doesn't have any real strong tricks up its sleeve to compete. This however is still a very good Tony Hawk game and if you enjoy a bit more arcade flair to your skateboarding adventure then this is a title you should check out.
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.
Boomtown (Nov 30, 2007)
There’s the old argument of ‘it it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, but sometimes you just have to throw things out because they’re old, they may still work perfectly well, but time has moved on and they aren’t all they could be, and this is the case here. The series has had a good run, but it just hasn’t really evolved much from it’s initial outing and unless they can do a complete reinvention on the next installment then Actvision should just call it a day. EA has obviously noticed this, and capitalized on it with Skate, Activision need to take note of the competition, and learn from them, because it’d be a sad thing to see another Tony Hawks game put to shame like this.
70 (Dec 07, 2007)
Everyone who has bought every Tony Hawk game thus far knows what they’re getting; a game about skateboarding, and that’s all. And when it comes to that, it is pretty good. It’s got loads of tricks, precise, but not overly-simplistic or difficult controls and there is plenty to do. But that’s all the game has. A solid control scheme. There’s no rewards for doing tricks, there’s no compelling story and there’s no real reason to play this game longer than it takes to completely master the tricks, which doesn’t take very long. Tony Hawk fans will get what they’re expecting with a slightly-better-than-the-last version of a fairly dated game series. For skateboarders who idolize the real life masters of the game, it’s worth checking out for all the commentary and videos. For everyone else, this is a rental at best.
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.
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?
Game Shark (Oct 31, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is a game that is stuck in the rut of its predecessors. It is delivering basically the same type of gameplay as it has for years with a few tweaks here and there. The beauty is the career options and the new Nail moves. But if skate makes Neversoft do anything, hopefully it will make the company go back and reassess the series and bring something different to the table next year.
Worth Playing (Nov 29, 2007)
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground feels like the same game that we've been playing for years. The developers have certainly taken some steps in the right direction with the class system and a couple of new moves, but the game is plagued by frustrating and boring challenges, weak presentation and a glitchy level editor. I would recommend most people rent it, just to check out some of the new gameplay additions. Fans of the series, however, might want to buy this one, because there is no way you'll be able to complete it all in one rental period.
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.
NZGamer (Oct 25, 2007)
In this regard, Skate will definitely appeal to the serious skaters out there. Tony Hawks’ Proving Ground is better suited for the casual gamers who enjoy the speed rush and gravity defying tricks. Both the titles feature a great soundtrack and plenty of celebrities, so it really is the playing style that will decide which game you purchase. Personally, I am getting much more enjoyment out of Skate and I’m putting my money on this title to finally push Tony Hawk off that well-earned pedestal.
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.
Extreme Gamer (Sep 29, 2007)
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground doesn’t have the impactful and feel it once had. Last years Project 8 seemed like the right path for the next-generation Tony Hawk franchise to follow instead of this year’s fragmented version. Proving Ground is still a lot of fun if you can hang through the games slow release process, its Tony Hawk after all. However, if you’ve haven’t touched a Tony Hawk game in a while, I would revisit the vast library of version before you invest in the ninth edition. With Skate hot for a piece of Tony’s money pit, Neversoft will have to prove itself more next year than 2007's Proving Ground.
Gamer Within (Nov 08, 2007)
Which can basically sum up the point of this review. Proving Ground ticks the boxes it needs to; new mechanics, new story - but overall, this is a flawed execution of what might have been. The idea of skater's lifestyles is a good one, and the new Skating Lounge, skate checking and Nail modes add in some fresh new features. But the flawed execution of playing as a Rigger, something that makes up such a large part of the game cannot be ignored. With EA's skate. and Project 8 to live up to, Proving Ground is only enough to keep gamers satisfied, while most will happily revert back previous titles.
Gamer 2.0 (Oct 24, 2007)
Overall, Proving Ground is a disappointment. Last year's game showed some real potential, but you can't help but feel like Neversoft went the wrong direction. Perhaps they tried to do too much rather than focusing on what they should have, like creating game mechanics that actually worked. If you're a big fan of the series, you'll enjoy this installment like you've enjoyed all the rest, but if you're looking for Neversoft's big statement to thwart EA's new "skate." franchise, this isn't it.
Console Monster (Nov 13, 2007)
Overall Proving Ground has enough content and challenges to keep any Tony Hawk enthusiast busy, with an impressive online mode, and plenty of ways to complete the game, but for others it may just come across as the same tired game in another guise. Although enjoyable in places, several small graphical glitches, technical issues, and the rigger gameplay by and large detract too much from the Tony Hawk experience.
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.
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.
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.
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground tries hard to innovate and expand on everything people loved about the earlier games, but really it only proves that wandering too far from a successful core formula is likely to result in a mediocre affair. Too often, it feels like the developers are wasting their time trying to refine ideas that were bad the first four times they were included in the series and by now are complete disasters. That's not to say that the game doesn't have any redeeming qualities—certainly it does—but overall this is a release that even faithful fans will likely wish to avoid. In the meantime, at least we have Tony Hawk's Project 8.
Video Game Talk (Nov 04, 2007)
Despite the vast variety of gameplay features to explore in Tony Hawk: Proving Ground, I found myself wanting a less skill-specific, more rewarding experience. The controls were too unforgiving and the difficulty was set far too high in many cases. It’s a frustrating title that doesn’t give you any breaks in single or multiplayer. I’m not sure if Neversoft really knows what direction to take the Tony Hawk series into. Proving Ground almost seems like a collection of great ideas thrown together from a brainstorming session, but the execution wasn’t cohesive. Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is worth a rental, but casual gamers should beware of the oppressive difficulty.
G4 TV: X-Play (Dec 10, 2007)
There are only so many times you can eat a Big Mac without wondering what a Whopper tastes like, and the problem with Proving Ground is that it comes off the heels of EA's invigorating Skate. Proving Ground is still an extremely accessible game with sharp graphics, large environments, and a tried-and-true control scheme. It’s also too familiar, however, with the new features feeling more like distractions than improvements. Proving Ground is far from a bad game, but it's a disappointment nonetheless. That's what happens when creativity gives way to complacency.
Thunderbolt Games (Dec 24, 2007)
Going back to the James Bond analogy, there is plenty of hope for the next Hawk game to save the title's good name. Think of it this way: skate is to Tony Hawk as The Bourne Identity was to Die Another Day. The Bourne series didn't kill the Bond series, it just challenged it. And what happened? We got Casino Royale, an awesome Bond flick in a completely new style. This is the model that Activision needs to follow. If Tony Hawk can't adapt, then the series will wallow in mediocrity- and not because of poor game design, but because of good design that's gotten awfully stale. Proving Ground is only worth purchasing if you're a die-hard fan of the series. Otherwise, letting this one slip by on the radar would be perfectly acceptable.
GameCell UK (Jan 08, 2008)
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground still has the openness that made Project 8 fun but some of the new additions feel just that-tacked on. The soundtrack is ear-bleedingly awful and combined with some of the really tricky ‘sick’ challenges and pro skater brown-nosing this edition could put off any casual THPS fans. For those who loved P8 and want more or if you are a teenage boy who feels a little distanced from society then this will be right up your mucky alley.
Game Positive (Oct 25, 2007)
Ultimately, this is a Tony Hawk game, and it has a die-hard fanbase that will buy it regardless of its quality. On paper, the game features a bevy of upgrades, but in practice, there seems to be little in the way of a positive step forward. Underneath the "new" game modes are the same goals and features that have been in the series from the get-go. That familiarity is no longer a good thing, as the series is slowly becoming nothing more than a dated, tired version of what it was once. Proving Ground is not a terrible game in most of its execution; it's just that what essentially amounts to a third of the game is irreparably broken, and what's left is recycled from previous years. With Skate firing the first volley, the Tony Hawk series now has some true competition, and Proving Ground has failed to fire back.
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.
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?
GamersMark (Jan 08, 2008)
We’ve seen this trick before, Tony. All Proving Ground really does is demonstrate just how old this trick really is. It’s time for either a total reboot or time to hang the board up for good, because even series apologists will find little interesting to do here.
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.

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