Summary: Parents need to know that the violence is limited to bloody knees and elbows when tricks don't go well (which is quite realistic). There are quite a few name brands featured in the title, although their presence is relatively subtle; you may not recognize them, but your teen surely will. Also, there are some scantily clad women who serve no purpose other than titillation.
Summary: Downhill Jam delivers a skateboard experience focused on head-to-head racing, allowing players to feel the breakneck speed of downhill competition as they tear up the world's steepest terrains while performing tricks and outmaneuvering opponents.
Excerpt: It’s a magical time of year. Parents are staring in wonder at their credit card receipts. Photocopiers across the land are mysteriously malfunctioning after the office party. Somewhere in the middle of this winter wonderland, a superstar skater is grinding quietly and confidently onto next-generation consoles, thanks to his developer pals at Neversoft. Rejoice, for Tony Hawk is back and he brings glad tidings to all gamers.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: If you're a newcomer to the series, run, don't walk, to pick this one up. There's a ton of gameplay on offer, and while it feels different to past instalments, you have the benefit of ignorance. For the rest of us, THUG injects little life into Tony's atrophying corpse. You'll be amused for a while, but sooner or later you'll end up asking yourself if this is the best that Neversoft could have come up with. I don't think so either.
Excerpt: The Tony Hawk series is one of the longest running non-sports series of games on the market, yet unlike old-timers like Tomb Raider, Hawk's games always seem to earn high scores. However, people have begun to grumble that the tried and true formula is starting to grow stale, and the yearly updates are looked upon with a little less enthusiasm each time around.
Excerpt: In what has to be one of the most monumental achievements of any development team, Neversoft takes each installment of the Tony Hawk series and pushes it. There's no resting on your past success here, and we don't see enough of that. That desire to be bigger and better is evident here, and Tony Hawk's Underground isn't just the next Tony Hawk game; it's also something of a revolution. Click here to see how the best has evolved into, well, the best.
Excerpt: When one thinks of extreme sports games and skateboarding, Tony Hawk always seems to come to mind. “THUG” is the third installment of “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” on this generation of consoles. The developers did away with the tired numeric naming system in favor of a nice name with a cool acronym. Enough with the boring stuff, let’s get to the gaming.
Excerpt: Four years. In a little over four years Neversoft has built the THPS franchise up into an entire skating world, particularly with the release of the latest game in the series. With each successive game, more and more features have been heaped upon the previous bunch of code, each change adding something that now feels like it was there all along.