Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (Nintendo DS) Review

The Tony Hawk's series of games used to be extremely prolific, with each new edition barging its way to the top of the charts due to the wealth of fans it quickly accrued. However, in recent years it has been accused of being milked far too often. Can Proving Ground on DS change that opinion, though? Considering on the outside it looks basically the same as the past two DS efforts, perhaps the answer is 'no'. But then again, maybe a change from the 'winning' formula in this case is not such a bad thing...

Basically, what you are getting with this latest addition to the Tony Hawk's franchise is one that ditches the cartoon-style appearance of its previous two DS games and tries hard to be far more realistic like its console brethren. Sadly, however, the graphics look rather awful as a result, since the same filters applied to the N64 games are not applied here, so it looks considerably shakier and blockier than the very early 64 efforts...But fans will be pleased to know that the frame-rate is pleasingly high because of this, plus the usual grinding, special manoeuvres, combination moves and skating thrills are all back once more, working far better than the decidedly dodgy Wii version and its terrible motion controls. Along with this is an extremely robust online element that puts most other DS games to shame. Sadly, though, despite this still being a strong entry into the franchise, the fact that it is almost identical to the past two entries lets it down considerably, especially given the fact that this is the third portable game in three years!

Screenshot for Tony Hawk's Proving Ground on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

You have new skating arenas and challenges on offer, plus more customising options than you can shake a stick at and a much higher difficulty level than seen before in a handheld version to ensure owners get the best value for money. The general goal is to clear missions on all three available ranks

Screenshot for Tony Hawk's Proving Ground on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

From a technical standpoint, Proving Ground does all the right things, with smooth controls, a fast frame-rate and a clever trick system. However, it did all that the year before...and the year before that!

Graphics

Blocky and ugly throughout, but it has a fast and smooth frame-rate as a result.

Sound

The usual array of music tracks is all present and correct, providing nice variety throughout, but it can all grow annoying after a while.

Value

The online element is by far the best feature of Proving Ground, offering gamers the thrill of facing three others via Wi-Fi and partaking in trading. The rest has been seen before and will be too familiar for fans.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

Chances are that if you had any interest in the Tony Hawk's franchise you would have picked up a copy by now. Therefore, whilst Proving Ground is sturdier than Downhill Jam and American Sk8land, complete with a very robust online element, it is hard to recommend basically the same game for the third time in a row. If you have never touched a portable TH game before, though, feel free to add a point to that final score...

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15.12.2007

2

4354

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Developer

Vicarious Visions

Publisher

Activision

Genre

Sport

Players

4

Online enabled

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Thanks for that. My wife has been telling me that I don't really need to get this, despite my best efforts to persuade her otherwise. All of a sudden, I can see her side of the argument more clearly!

I honestly don't think it matters the "game" actually is. It's not intended as a stand-alone title, it's intended as packaged-in software to compliment the hardware. Think of it like Wii Sports being packaged in with Wii. With that in mind, 9 levels with 3 stages each level is really a beefy serving on what is essentially software to literally train you on using the Zapper peripheral.

I don't post much, but I will appreciate any feedback on the posts I do make. Feel free to PM
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

But the funny thing is... it's actually better without the Zapper...

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

so u didt like the Zapper then 0_< i feel alot of hate in this lol

but it get the job done i cant think of any other way of makeing the wii mote feel like a crossbow

Excitebots FC - Gambit 3738 5992 1839

Sorry about that. I was thinking about getting this, but I guess I will just stick with Wii Play for my target shooting needs.

Excitebots FC - Gambit 3738 5992 1839

I am not so sure about the zapper being THAT bad, maybe it's just one of those things you have to get used to, like the wiimote. At first it felt awkward to most, if not everybody. Nowadays it feels natural, so I would say to give the zapper some more play time to see if first impressions really were just that, first impressions.

I don't post much, but I will appreciate any feedback on the posts I do make. Feel free to PM

Whilst that review holds some truth to it, i would have rather have had Tempo review it simply because he reviewed Twilight Princess.

Now you say the models and the sounds used are the same of those in Twilight Princess. Infact i think they look a lil better and in the Twilight Princess review the Graphics and Sound both got higher scores than in your review.

Furthermore you are quick to put people off the Zapper. If you do use the wriststrap on the Wii-mote then take it off before connecting it to the Zapper. I dont use mine because i dont have a problem of throwing the controller out of my hand.

Also are you sure that you are connecting the Nunchuck correctly because it is very secure on mine, doesnt shift at all.

Maybe people with abnormally small hands will strugle with the Zapper.

No offence against your review though, you are meant to be critical. But looking at the posts made by other members, you have put them off majorly and i think this game is really one that you have to try for yourself.

For all of those in doubt i would buy this game for the pick up and play value!

One last thing...7,8,7,7 = 5?

Now i dont quite get that....surely it would equal 7?

Meh

The Zapper just isn't comfortable to me at all mainly because of the back handle on it. I find it awkwardly placed and it presses into the hand holding the trigger handle on the wrist/forearm. Believe me, I've given the Zapper a chance and tried it in the second configuration also (nunchuk in one hand, Zapper in the other), but it just doesn't feel right to me. I'm keeping it around in the hope that it'll work better with a proper lightgun game such as Ghost Squad without the need for as much movement - Umbrella Chronicles works better with it, but the game is unfortunately not designed for it despite Nintendo mentioning it when they showed off the Zapper so it doesn't work too well with that either as you need to be shaking the remote and pressing A.

Now you say the models and the sounds used are the same of those in Twilight Princess. Infact i think they look a lil better and in the Twilight Princess review the Graphics and Sound both got higher scores than in your review.

If there are improvements they're minimal. If we regarded the game to the same standards as a year ago we wouldn't be doing the game justice - we've had better looking and sounding games since then, and those scores are how I feel it stands up.

Furthermore you are quick to put people off the Zapper. If you do use the wriststrap on the Wii-mote then take it off before connecting it to the Zapper. I dont use mine because i dont have a problem of throwing the controller out of my hand.

So to use an accessory that's supposed to be quick and fun I'm supposed to remove a component I otherwise use, as many other users will do? That's just silly design, it wouldn't have hurt to have put an extra little hook on it somewhere to keep it out of the way.

Also are you sure that you are connecting the Nunchuck correctly because it is very secure on mine, doesnt shift at all.

It doesn't go falling out, but it is more wobbly than the remote. Have you seen the build quality of the nunchuk 'lock'? It doesn't exactly have the toughest hinge on it.

One last thing...7,8,7,7 = 5?

Now i dont quite get that....surely it would equal 7?

The scores aren't added up for an average. Overall I felt that the package was what the final score dictates - middle of the ground, alright, not bad but nothing worth writing home about. However, because two products are being scored at once the Zapper has taken that score down. Crossbow Training on its own would be a 6. It's undeniably good value for the price, though, and Crossbow Training has good if shallow gameplay, hence the 7s.

Because I can't edit review comments...

Minimal wobble on the nunchuk, that is. I have it secured properly, of course, but you can't deny that the way it's locked in isn't as secure as the way the remote is.

Whilst that review holds some truth to it, i would have rather have had Tempo review it simply because he reviewed Twilight Princess.

I was meant to be reviewing it, but Nintendo refused to send us a copy due to limited stock. Shame, as it would've made sense. I still think the final score Mike gives it is fair, especially based on what other people have been rating it.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Hmm fair enough, i thought the scores were done on average. I guess i was wrong. If thats the case than thats aight.

I can't say the Zapper is the coolest item for Nintendo to release, i still think it works perfectly for me.

I guess if you find Links Crossbow Training easier without the Zapper then it would be added challenge to do it with the Zapper.

Im also trying to get platinum medals on every level...that is prooving difficult.

Maybe i got a lil to pumped up a lil too quickly, but it doesnt take long to remove the wriststrap and then connect the Wii-mote to the zapper and then to reconnect it when uve finished.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The Zapper isn't meant to provide a challenge, if it's a challenge that means Nintendo fail at making peripherals. It's meant to improve experience, but it doesn't.

The thing I hate about the Zapper is Nintendo's hypocrisy. They stated the Wiimote could simulate guns, swords, and steering wheels. Why the fuck do they think we need an empty piece of plastic? It's a waste of plastic, a huge waste. Because of the Zapper and the Whiil, I can understand why GreenPeace said Nintendo sucked so much.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Yeah, the Nintendo not having stock was annoying. It was a last minute decision on our part to get a review out as soon as possible, and I was the first one willing to go out and buy it immediately.

The knot of the wriststrap annoys me, so that's why I'm not really willing to take it on and off for the sake of the Zapper.

I've just been playing again, alternating between Zapper and remote/nunchuk alone and I definitely think it's better without the Zapper - I find it less of a chore to play. I'm thinking where the Zapper will come into its own is a game like Ghost Squad where you're not having to shift around quickly as in the Defender levels.

Getting platinum medals is a great challenge, it's going to take me a bit to get all platinum. Despite the score I'd say it's worth

The Wiimote isn't a lightgun, so using a zapper isn't going to be anywhere near as good as something like a GunCon.

Add me on anything. I'm always looking for new friends/opponents/town visitors/chances to appear more popular than I actually am.

Actually the new GunCon (or whatever the TimeCrisis 4 gun is called) uses the same sort of technology as the wii remote.

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

Oh and about the game yeah i'm gonna probably give it a miss, I have zero interest in it and I don't want the zapper as is dosn't seem to add anything to anygame.

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

It's 20 GBP for you as well? Phew, as much as it is in money, I'm a bit relieved, that not only Germany pays 30 EUR, but UK as well. it's expensive methinks, that's almost 35 USD. At least it felts like this.

I already have my 2 Wiimotes under use: one in my Fender Stratocaster (Guitar Hero 3) and one to play wrapped in it's condom. Another to snap forever into Zapper is out of the question. And from the start I thought Zapper looked a bit odd with Nunchuck snapped into it on the rear.

Your Review may sound a bit harsh on Zapper, but with confirming after, that you gave a chance and was willing to let it be a fair bit of equipment (which it failed to be), I believe you, Mason. That's very okay to restate your opinion with very good arguments against very good concerns from us here. That's why I like Cubed

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

I think the game is worthy of a just hitting a 7 myself, I like it.

It may be brief but then this for me is a game where bettering your scores is the primary objective. I don't think the Zapper is all that bad but agree you can play this game a lot better without. I think the Zapper is all about feel and hopefully it will feel better in games to come.

Sounds alright, I was gonna get American Sk8tland, but never got round to getting it. Not sure about this though.

Good review Adam :Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Thanks Marzy - do you like C3's new, snappier 'Quick Review' format, by the way? Saves us writing two full pages for 'smaller' games.

If you're a fan of TH games, but haven't tried a DS one yet, then definitely choose this. It's certainly not for those who played Sk8land or Downhill Jam, though, as it's far too similar.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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