Be me. Age 9. My brother’s birthday comes up and for it, he gets a copy of Tony Hawk Underground. I watch him play it for a bit and am amazed por the character creator, insane tricks, and how much I hate Eric Sparrow. Sneak into his room while he’s at work. Try to play Tony Hawk Underground. Fail miserably. Finally manage to get the tricks down. Brother walks in from work. Mfw.jpeg. Immediately gets punched in the stomach and thrown out…. Tony hawk everyone.
Legendary skater and now a family man who is going through an existential crisis, he was the man who revolutionized skateboarding and was a huge name. He was like Tom Brady o Michael Jordan. Skating was a big name, and so were his games. Tony Hawk had become a sensation. And then… nothing. Skating died, his game franchise went nowhere, and now his whole Twitter is filled with accounts asking about who the fuck he is. So what happened? Where did the time go? What happened to the Tony Hawk franchise, skater Tony Hawk, and skateboarding as a whole? Well, to do that, we’ll have to take a trip back into the past. So come with me, everyone. Let’s take a trip back to the golden years. The año of 1999
Skateboarding was at peak popularity now. Every kid in town knew who Tony Hawk was. Kids were going to skateboards to wipe out and break a leg, most of the time literally, Teck Decks were the hottest toy around, and even the military was using skateboards for warfare…. I am not kidding.
But what people were not expecting was one game in particular to come out. A game that would change the face of sports games forever and appeal to a new demographic. Skateboarding already appealed to punks, sports players, rock and rap fans, and now it could appeal to the most obvious group: Leet Gamers
Part 1: superman (Pro Skater 1)
Now, it should be stated right here that Pro Skater was not the first skating game ever. There were all sorts of games like patinar, skate o Die, Sk8ter and parte superior, arriba Skater, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was in fact the first skating game that broke the niche market and became a huge franchise for both skating fans and gamers. Activision was the first to claim the rights to the Tony Hawk franchise and got Neversoft to work on the game. Before Tony Hawk, Neversoft worked on other games like Skeleton Warriors and…. A game based on the movie Apocalypse… huh… Well, Neversoft was never Activision’s first choice. An unknown company did the first build for Pro Skater, and Activision was not impressed. So Neversoft it is then. Neversoft had never worked on a game before, but trusted themselves to make a damn good title. And a damn good título they did make. Neversoft worked on the game to make the deadline of the navidad season, and then was dado a gift from the skating gods. Tony Hawk got word of the build and wanted to check it out and he was so impressed with what he played that he offered to give his name to the title, granting it the name Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Activision offered to buy out Tony’s name for a one time deal, but Hawk chose to stick to the royalties from the game. And in the end… yeah, he definitely made the right decision. And after a few months with Tony Hawk on board, the game came out to critical acclaim and launched the successful franchise that would be Pro Skater… and a bunch of others. Nowadays, the game is a toughie to play, especially if tu are used to other Tony Hawk games. No manuals, reverts, nasta spins, muro climbs. Not that it’s a bad game at all. It still holds up better than other sports games. It has a classic arcade feeling to it and I like that. But oh, we’re just getting started, gang. Remember, this is a massive franchise. And all legends have humble beginnings.
Part 2: Subcultured (Pro Skater 2)
So after the massive, massive success of Pro Skater, like, over five million copies sold successful, Activision was impressed. So impressed that they bought out Neversoft. Oh… oh dear… Well, uh, hey, Neversoft was able to hire a lot más people to work on Pro Skater 2, at least. They also bought out Treyarch, who were working on the special version, Pro Skater 2X. One día before the games release, Activision had a booth set up where Tony Hawk was doing autographs for the game. Sadly, they had to delay the N64 version por almost a year. Pro Skater 2 was released in 2000, the Willennium as we call it, right after the whole Y2K scare. Pro Skater 2 had the addition of new characters, new tricks, and the ability to manual. Some critics and fans considered Pro Skater 2 to be a step up from the last game. And Neversoft was still trucking with great sports games while Activision was rolling in sports game dough. And no one knew that the game that would take the world por storm was just over the horizon.
Part 3: Blitzkrieg Bop (Pro Skater 3)
If tu are even remotely familiar with the franchise, you’ve heard of Pro Skater 3. Many consider this to be the greatest in the franchise. It’s certainly the most critically acclaimed and has the highest sales, and for good reason. It introduced a new levels that felt más open with a ton of variety in the tricks, some of the stuff tu could do bordering on insane, which is what I think people wanted. It also introduced reverts and had an insane cast of unlockable characters. Pro Skater 2 had Spider-Man, which was to promote another Neversoft game, the original Spider-Man on N64 and PS1. But in Pro Skater 3, tu get Darth Maul from estrella Wars, Wolverine from The X-Men, and Kelly Slater, professional surfer. It was also the first game to use the online features of the Ps2……. I never used the online features, so I can’t really comentario on it. The game was practically perfect. Neversoft had proven themselves to be masters of this franchise and it made people excited for what they’d do next
Part 4: Express Yourself (Pro Skater 4)
…. Now hang on a second. Pro Skater 4, a good game, a lot of fun, I personally amor it. However, if tu played all these games in order, you’d start to find yourself doing a lot of the same things. Sure, Pro Skater introduced its own new things like taking away the time limit. The career mode now had tu doing the missions as best as tu can in your time, which later games would follow up on. It also followed up on the online mode, which I also never played. And last, the secret characters, including the mascot of Iron Maiden and Jango Fett from the worst estrella Wars movie. It was a good game, but nothing too crazy. And clearly, Neversfot knew this. At this point, Neversoft had two options. They could keep making a dozen Pro Skater games, ride that perra into the sunset and keep being a success that never truly rose and only got stale over time, or, it could take a huge risk and try something new. And so, Neversoft took that huge risk. And the end result?
Part 5: the World Is Yours (Underground)
Pro Skater may be the best in the franchise, but my corazón will always tell me that Underground is a favorito! of mine. Not only did it add a new set of levels that felt wide and open, new tricks to perform, más advanced customization, and the ability to walk off your board and climb up buildings, it also added a new story mode. tu play as a created character who goes from a newbie in Dump Town, New Jersey and slowly rise up the ranks to become a huge skater. Along the way tu meet all the pros from Tony Hawk, Chad Muska, Mike V, REDACTED, and much, much more. The story was so natural and real, and it made me want to replay the game over and over again because it was such an interesting story. I’d say that Neversoft finally found their footing and knew what they wanted to do… and then things went back to normal.
Part 6: That’s Life (Underground 2)
por this point in my huge marathon of the Tony Hawk games for the sake of this article, I was starting to see that Neversoft was starting to get tired of the franchise. Sure, they had the corazón to go to all the countries in the game to look around them, get better acquainted, and to make the levels más accurate. But then why are the levels so cramped feeling and lacking. Okay, look, I don’t hate Underground 2, just… disappointed. The story goes from an interesting, grounded story of an up-and-coming new skater to this insanity filled adventure across the world with outdated humor and música por Metallica, The Doors, and Frank Sinatra for some reason. It sure was funny when a fat fred Durst looking motherfucker was looking at a girl’s chest and then REDACTED hit him with a tenis ball. The game just kinda felt a little faster than the last game, like it wanted no time wasted. But hey, at least the tricks were fun and the goals were interesting to try out. Let’s just hope the siguiente Tony Hawk game will have something new
Part 7: California Uber Alles (American Wasteland)
Goddammit. Okay, to be fair, this was right after me playing Underground 2, so I was mostly exhausted from that game. But American Wasteland isn’t too terrible, though I have problems. The game feels really easy and scared that you’ll do too much and get lost. It locks tu out of doing manuals and reverts until tu do it in the tutorial. Seriously, basic tricks that I can do in other games are locked out until I do a stupid tutorial? Another problem is the advertising for the game being a massive area with no cargando... screens. No cargando... screens, yes, but it isn’t one big area. It’s just five areas separated por boring looking corridors. This is a minor complaint, but it still irks me. Finally, the soundtrack… the fuck is this. Now, it’s not awful. It does have some great tracks from Bad Religion and my personal favorito! punk rock band The Dead Kennedys, but the covers are atrocious. A cover por Gorilla Biscuits por Fall Out Boy? A Misfits song por My Chemical Romance? I don’t hate on the bands themselves, just not a fan of the songs. But I will hate on the Taking Back Sunday cover of Suburban inicial por The Descendents. This should be a crime against god. But that said, the game does have some good ideas. I do like the new addition of patinar, skate challenges, and the story is kinda like the cult classic skater films that helped popularize the sport back in the 80s. Overall, a decent game. It makes me wonder what Neversoft has planned next
Part 8: Embrace the Gutter (Downhill Jam)
Oh. Turns out Neversoft didn’t work on this game. Downhill mermelada was instead made por another Activision owned developer, Toys for Bob. tu may know them as the guys who did the Crash and Spyro remakes and also made all those Skylanders games. So, tu know, they got plenty of money. Downhill mermelada was a major departure from the series, instead of being a game about completing a story o even racking up points, tu were racing other skaters down a colina to the finish line. This was released on the Wii and DS before moving to the PS2. Only the DS version has a story mode with some 80s lame guy named Antonio Segul who is a rival to Tony Hawk and… Man, I just don’t care. If my only chance of getting a story mode is from a DS version, then no thanks. I mean.. It’s Downhill Jam, am I really gonna be heartbroken if I never get my hands on this one? Meanwhile, while Toys for Bob was working on this stinker, Neversoft was working on a game that came out at the same time. Maybe that one will be better?
Part 9: This Job Is Killing Me (Project 8)
Well… It was better than Downhill Jam. Project 8 adds a whole new world and new set of online features, while also finally getting a well needed graphical upgrade. However, some tricks were taken out and the game had some issues with the playstation 3’s online features, o rather, the lack of all of them. Being that Pro Skater 3 started the online craze of the franchise, not having any at all is bizarre. Also framerate issues. But hey, at least we get a new story mode. In this game, tu start out on a team started por Tony Hawk which consists of eight skaters, shockingly named Project 8. From there, tu are on your way, starting at the bottom at Rank 200 and making your way up to the parte superior, arriba of skaters. Think No más heroes but a better overworld and tu play as an even bigger virgin. Project 8 is an interesting part, but nothing to write inicial about. It’s a decent entry in the series that I’m sure satisfied that annual thirst fans had. But what game would come next?
Part 10: Banned in D.C. (Proving Ground)
If tu thought Neversoft was exhausted before, now they feel ready for death… but not yet. Proving Ground was an attempt to go back to the old Tony Hawk, having tu explore a massive world and try out tricks, including the new Nail to Grabs and Nail to Manuals. Honestly, at this point, there was nothing worth talking about anymore, and I was just ready for something new. And something new we got, as Neversoft immediately after created guitarra Hero III, a game that was so good that Activision forever took them off the Tony Hawk franchise and instead forced them to work on guitarra Hero, another franchise that was released annually and beaten into the ground so hard that it died. So, in comes a new team with their own Tony Hawk game on the way.
Part 11: oh (Motion)
Before we start, just… look at the cover for this game. Take a good look at it. If this isn’t a bad omen, I don’t know what is. So Neversoft signed their soul to the guitarra Hero devil and were now forced into yet another franchise that they would get tired of really fast and in come a new team known as Creat Studios. No, I did not spell Creat wrong. It is actually spelled without the e. This is another bad omen, and we can add a third as we look at their repertoire. I’d trust these guys with my million dollar IP with such titles like Insecticide, W.I.T.C.H., Aqua Teen Hunger Force Ninja Zombie Pro AM, and Bratz: Super Babyz (kill me). The game came with a motion sensor peripheral that didn’t work. It was hardly worthless and the game managed to find a way to suck harder than if tu just had to use the touchscreen. Naturally, Motion was forgotten about and never brought up again and thus, much like a Downhill Jam, we begin to see the hard fall of the Tony Hawk franchise.
Part 12: Hack (Ride)
Just when tu thought it couldn’t get worse, Activision did what they do best. Make things worse. After Motion, Activision got a new team on board, known as Robomondo, who made all the bad Tony Hawk games, which is everything from here on out. Activision stated that before the games release that Ride would introduce something that the franchise desperately needed? What was that? A fucking plastic board. This thing was the very piece of equipment that killed the franchise. fans point to this being the very thing that killed Tony Hawk
And then they had the gaul to to it a segundo time. Tony Hawk: Shred, and it was no different than Ride. So indifferent that I refuse to give it a part. So I’m calling this the Pisspoor Peripheral Party Package. The only difference was that it added snowboarding and had plans for surfing, but were scrapped. Now, to be totally fair, the idea of a skateboarding controller is a neat idea. Hell, it could’ve worked. Activision had the guitarra controller which was cool… until guitarra Hero died and tu could find a contenedor de basura, basurero full of those controllers. But the execution was just bad. As a result, the entire franchise went on hiatus and was put away for the time being. Maybe it was for the best. It was getting stale, the fans weren’t invested like they once were, and Neversoft was más than likely ready for new things until they went back to it. I think a nice long break is what we all needed right now. Oh, also there was a Pro Skater Hd… that existed at one point
Part 13: Bad Things Are Bad (Pro Skater 5)
So before this game graced store shelves, one año prior, Neversoft was shut down. So this meant that Activision, now the corporate mastermind that all the música in the Tony Hawk franchise was warning us about, had only one person to turn to. May as well be Robomono. But not all hope was lost. Robomono had the intention of bringing the game back to its original roots, making it feel like a classic Pro Skater game, and we even got Tony Hawk himself promoting the game. All things seemed to be good, and the game came out. It came out fast… really fast… way too fast, actually. tu all know what happened with this game. A glitchy, buggy mess that was unplayable and was a total disaster to play, with bad missions, a bland overworld, and a horribly forced online feature. What happened? Well, it turns out that Activision had discovered that the license for Tony Hawk was starting to come to an end. Once the end of 2015 came, they would no longer have the rights. So, Activision decided to bomba out one last game just to get some extra cash. The game was already being criticised por whoever saw the dated graphics, which were only a few people, as Activision put no money into advertising, no time into the development, and no corazón into the project that was once their biggest franchise. As a result, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 was not only considered the worst título in the franchise, but was a contender for one of the worst games ever made. With that, 2015 came to an end, and Activision lost the rights to Tony Hawk. And that was the last Tony Hawk game we ever got… o is it?
Part 14: Nothing Will Change (Skate Jam)
Yep… It’s a mobile game now. After Activision lost the licensing, Tony Hawk stated that he didn’t want the franchise to end. He wanted to keep it going, and so, he made a deal with a mobile company, arce Media, who developed skateboarding games in mobile, and thus, patinar, skate mermelada was born, and it’s…….. It’s just a fucking average game, man. And tu know what, it’s probably for the best that the franchise ends here. Not only has people stopped being invested in the Tony Hawk franchise, but skateboarding as a whole. Once fucking electric skateboards were introduced, it was the end. People stopped being invested as much as they were, skateparks were slowly left to rot away, skatestoppers were put on anything that could hold it, and despite skateboarding might be a thing in the 2020 olympics, I doubt it will bring it back into the mainstream. Skateboarding just didn’t have the appeal that say football o baloncesto has, and that is a little saddening, honestly.
Part 15: Where Are They Now?
Neversoft, after being closed down por Activison in 2014, was molded into Infinity Ward which would go on to be forced into the mass team of creating Call of Duty games. To commemorate their efforts, Neversoft set fuego to their eyeball logo in honor. After the disaster of Pro Skater 5, Robomodo was closed down por Activision for good. Creat Studios still appears to be making and publishing games today, as their website is still up. arce Media is still doing what they do best, making mediocre mobile games. Toys for Bob is still lapping up the success of the Crash and Spyro remakes, hoping not to screw up and be left to the perros por Activision. Activision is still the Call of Duty powerhouse that it is today, still breaking the new trofeos of classic games with garbage microtransactions and using heavy metal songs to promote their trailers which will probably also be filled with microtransactions later down the line. Tony Hawk has been living pretty well with his image off of video games, deck sales and is currently on his fourth marriage. Hope this one goes better than the last three and I certainly hope the existential dread from being forgotten por the world passes over soon. As for REDACTED, well despite his son being born, just three days hace as this articulo is up, he was thrown off a plane for being too drunk, seeked help from Dr. Phil., and discussed how his family life is a disaster. That’s Life, I guess. And I don’t know about you, but after this rise to fame that soon led to the mass disaster of everything from my childhood, I’m quite ready to roll myself up in a big ball and die.