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I loved what was done with THUG2 when it was ported to the PSP in Remix, and so I had to give Project 8 a go when it came out. It's mostly good, but the overly lean production means that a lot of the best elements from the "proper" consoles have been removed.
What works? The formula that has worked so well has returned, and the game has a big emphasis on performing insane tricks, as has been my favourite part of the series. There are plenty of tantalising challenges as with the previous games, making this have tonnes of replay value and last a long time. It does also have the classic mode where you can race around any map for 2 minutes and try to complete the tasks. The only real let down is that a lot of content from the other versions has been excised, so PSP gamers will feel like they're missing out if they find out.
Visually, the game certainly does the job, but don't expect any miracles. There's a good level of detail but not much more; characters look a bit flat sometimes, and the environments are inconsistently rendered, but on the plus side, the cut-scenes are exceptionally well done and lend the game a nice cinematic feel. Aurally, the series has always shined, and does so once again. The soundtrack includes some of the best punk and rock you can find, including Bad Religion and Slayer.
There's enough here to keep you playing for ages, from the array of tricks to the challenging tasks you have to carry out. If you loved the other games, you'll no doubt love this, but get it on a proper console if you can.
I have recently bought this game for the PSP and my expectations were high considering the huge success of the series on the PS1 and PS2. This game has a great mix of in-depth story mode to satisfy the TH veteran amongst us, as well as the near perfect learning curve for newcomers to the series - there is something for everyone here.
Starting out at a near novice, despite button bashing numerous times on friends consoles, I found the game intuitive and easy to get to grips
with. This game is easy to play, casually racking up tricks and combos and generally having a great laugh, but also difficult to master and pull off the hardest tricks.
There is a 'nail the trick' option, where the camera will zoom in on the side of the player and focus on the skateboard moving in the air. Once in this mode, you can perform tricks and flips by rotating the analog stick in the direction you wish. This makes for impressive visuals and a feel that you are actually involved in the game, timing tricks, deciding on angles and rotations. Superb feature which certainly adds to the games credentials and your enjoyment.
The GOOD points are:
Levels - this game has massive levels, all of which are largely interactive which allows you to unlock hidden areas. You can skate pretty much anywhere, or on anything, within the confines of each area. Want to 'grind' up a tree and land a back flip from 20 feet in the air? No problem! The constant variations and scope the levels help to extend the game play and keep you entertained for hours.
Characters - as you would expect, there are a lot of characters, 45 in fact which means all the more gaming. Tony Hawk the most obvious, but there are also a selection of pros which will satisfy the hardcore skater fan looking for authenticity.
Gameplay - fast and varied with smooth graphics. It makes I have no complains here and it makes for a very pretty PSP title.
Tricks - the new Nail the Trick mode is my favourite new feature. It allows you to slow-motion your flight, and by pressing the directional buttons and circle,x,square,triangle, allow you to make your own trick combining multiple tricks together. This is very satisfying feature once mastered . I found it a little tricky but once you get the hang of it, it's so sweet to land your own custom tricks. It helps to personalise your skating experience.
Create a Skater - you can create your own character and import faces. All of which add up to great enjoyment, especially seeing yourself off your skateboard and land flat on your face!
The BAD Points:
Glitches - I find you sometimes walk through walls. This is infrequent but nevertheless a pain.
OVERALL: This is a classic TH title on the go, and it well worth a buy for its in-depth gameplay, huge fun, intuitive controls and interactive levels. Tony Hawk veterans and newbies can each find something they love in this fantastic title. Well worth the money spent!