‘Tony Hawk’ flips players the bird

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

Tony Hawk has fallen and should not get up.

The Tony Hawk franchise used to be a pinnacle of gaming. Teens could not wait to get the latest game on their PlayStation, Nintendo 64, or even the Dreamcast, and fulfill their half-pipe fantasy.

But “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5” is just half-baked.


Everything about this game screams cheap cash grab. The visuals look great for an early Xbox 360 game, not for a game released in 2015. That is not to say a cartoon-like look cannot work because games such as “Borderlands” and “Sunset Overdrive” benefit greatly from that style. But with “Pro Skater 5” it seems the aesthetic was chosen because it could be done quickly and cheaply. Footage from when the game was announced had more realistic — but still bad — graphics so they threw a coat of cheap paint onto an already mediocre product.

Numerous graphical hiccups and glitches further show this game was rushed. Videos of Tony Hawk skating through a wall or falling through the floor get everyone’s attention, and for good reason. Developers cannot expect to release a broken product for $60 and not have those issues plastered all over the Internet.

And do not even think about playing online. The basic gameplay throws random people into the same area to do monotonous tasks. All it adds is an even worse frame rate and constant barrage of idiots bumping into you, which the game rewards with a notification every time it happens.

Those glitches are just a rotten cherry on a sundae of garbage.

The terrible controls feel as old as Tony Hawk is now. Not to knock the Birdman, because he probably has a contract to appear in these games, but the controls feel like they were copied from a 2007 racing game. Using the Right Trigger to accelerate, then A to jump and the bumper buttons to spin is so confusing; it makes my fingers anxious just thinking about it.

This game introduces a slam feature, which lets skaters come down to the ground with authority. I do not know why someone would ask for this feature, since it does not seem physically possible, but it is mapped to the same button as grind. There were countless times where I tried to put together a trick combination, but instead of adding some cool rail grind, I just slammed to the ground and killed the momentum. A move designed to end some really cool combo is assigned to the same button as a move to continue tricks is just dumb. Why would any developer make a mistake like that?


This franchise used to have the same style and attitude of the skaters in the game. Players rebelled against the man by destroying objects of oppression with their tricks and spray-painting graffiti on billboards. Now they knock beach balls out of a pool and collect ice cream cones. Yes, those are real tasks in the game. This series has officially sold out.

I hope I never meet someone who bought this game because I could not properly apologize to them. The fact that this game is being sold for $60 is gross and those responsible should be ashamed.

Stars: 2 out of 5

Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AMiller_DE