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T.H.U.G


NickC
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Here are the closing comments from the review:

 

There is a big gap of opinions in the IGN offices concerning Tony Hawk's Underground. On the one hand, there are the fans who love just about everything about the new game. On that same side are the PS2 owners, who feel like they got the best deal, with face scanning technology and an immense palette of online games with which to endlessly celebrate.

 

On the other side are the slightly disgruntled Xbox owners who feel like they should have those damn online capabilities. Xbox live is flourishing, well handled and most good games on the system are online. So why isn't THUG? No reason is good enough. Then there are the Cube owners who have generally given up on seeing any new online games, and who are happy about the graphics, but seem to, at the very least, admit the game controls better using the PS2 controller.

 

While still catering to the hardcore fans, the game should indeed appeal to the mass public. The Story mode is a light pleasure the first time through. Along with the face scanning technology, it creates a real sense of being in there, however trivial it might seem to an outsider. The Create a-Trick/Park/Skater/Deck additions are robust and long lasting.

 

The trouble comes with the off-the-board moves, which are a mixed blessing. The controls are rough and awkward. They serve the purpose of creating new combos and more of an adventure element, but the mechanics stall the fun. At best, of-the-board moves are an acquired taste, like monkey brains or raw squid. Some people like them...most don't.

 

Overall, however, Tony Hawk's Underground is a solid, if not a perfect, outing. The level design is virtually flawless, with a honed mixture of wide open and tight designs. The gameplay is still as stellar as ever: Neversoft's brilliant collage of on-the-fly experimentation and lighting-fast trick-popping is still as addictive as any drug and as intoxicating as any exotic woman. If you're a PS2 owner, go get it. If you're anybody else, you may want to just hold that thought before diving in.

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