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Whatever Skateboard’s Official Review – Tony Flop Pro Skater 5
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is out and the results are in: its not good. You know its for real when die hard Tony Hawk fans like ourselves are bearing the bad news. The Tony Hawk hype machine had pumped this skating game up to 11 only to have it aggressively panned on social media and by critics. A quick read of comments on Tony Hawk’s Instagram lets you know how people feel. Sadly Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 doesn’t even let you design your own skateboard. And unfortunately for skaters this is the most recently released major skateboard game so there’s no real option but to buy it and complain :-( And that brings us to our Official Whatever Skateboards Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 Review.
SCORE: 7.2 / 10 (NO BUENO)
What Does Whatever Skateboards Know About Skateboard Games?
For one we play the XBox One in our office constantly and we’ve logged some major hours designing our own skateboard in Skate 3 and Skate 4. While we don’t have an Official Whatever Skateboards Review of Olli Olli and Olli Olli 2 we’ve logged A LOT of hours on them and even have some of the global high scores. Not to mention several members of our team used to be game developers and had platinum hits so we’re not just parroting the rest of the reviews.
The Good: This Game Has Some Moments
As with any game you can see the developers and production team did try put their hearts in to it. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 shines during certain surprise and delight moments: putting the first weird head on your skater, popping beach balls in The Berrics pool, and even firing explosive rockets out of your skateboard. The subtle trick names as you clear gaps and grind rails are good for a smile and the quippy mission names are the same way. Some of the missions are better than others, and there are a few times the rides lines really are spectacular. Overall the stock levels are actually pretty fun and larger than we expected. Oddly enough one of the best parts of this game is the stupid Robomoto intro.
The Bad: Yikes
Our first office play session was hours long and we unlocked the third level. The next day we went to play again and all of our game data had been reset. That meant hours of replaying the missions and the complete lack of story (unlike THPS Underground) became painful. We bailed. We forced ourselves to pick it back up again. Every private match ended in a crashed game and needing an XBox One reboot. You can’t even switch Missions from within a Mission, you have to go all the way out to “Freeskate” mode even though the menu opens up. You hit the left menu button and the menu opens on the right of the screen. Hit the right menu button and the menu opens on the left side of the screen. In a nutshell this game is mentally painful to play.
The Ugly: This Game Is Actually Worse Than You Realize
This game does a bit of a disservice to gaming. Where the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater was innovative and moved gaming forward this game was a cold rehash of the Tony Hawk franchise. The best new move was stolen from Olli Olli and the “big new thing” is a multiplayer open world no one wants to be in. Given the years between the release of THPS4 and THPS5 this game should have been a glorious reboot of one of the last god-tier gaming franchises from the golden era of 32 and 64 bit gaming. Instead we got the Star Wars: Episode 1 of skateboard games. Everyone was hoping for a new version of an old classic but instead what we got was the same old game. There goes another unicorn :’-(
The soundtrack is another great place to see something terribly wrong with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5: its all rock and punk. There’s no EDM, no dubstep, no hip hop, and no rap. The original soundtrack was incredible, this was huge chance to reboot it and instead what we got was a small can of TH approved music. We know he likes that stuff already, its not new to brand followers. And its certainly not in touch with modern music. Does the Hawk listen to anything but guitars? What about any other skaters in the game? Do they have ears and like music? We’ll never know.
Unlike the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater which had a bevy of famous skaters this version pretty much lets you pick from Tony Hawk, Tony Hawk Jr., and Tony Hawkette. Where the hell is Rodney Mullen, Evan Smith, Kilian Martin, or any female skaters? Why can’t I make my own face on a skater? Why can’t I skate my own skate? The original Tony Hawk Pro Skater went so far past Tony Hawk himself that it made him stand out as a remarkable individual in a community and finalized his status as a pop culture god. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 continues to celebrate the Tony Hawk legacy but never gets past the Tony Hawk brand enough to connect with anyone actually playing the game.
In the end it felt like THPS5 was a game made for one person to play: Tony Hawk.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 PROTIPS
- Metacritic gave this a 1.5 / 5
- Gamespot gave this a 3.0 / 10
- Wait until much later or even after the holidays to get this game if you have to buy it the price will be much lower.