The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series is probably the first franchise in history to transcend its original scope to the point of making the Californian skater more famous for titles created by Neversoft and produced by Activision than for its exploits on the board. After the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 in 2015, a title so disastrous as to earn the title of “Worst Game of the Year” by many gaming titles, The Birdman tries to raise the fortunes of the series for the first time without the help of Activision but with the collaboration of Maple Media with which he developed and published Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam.
Gameplay and Sound – Like old times but …
This new chapter takes up all the main elements of the past starting from the career mode with a structure made up of wide levels to explore in search of the best line where to complete a series of objectives such as achieving a certain score, completing a combo, performing a particular trick and collect the letters HAWK.
The novelty of the title is the other modality from which the game takes its name. In Skate Jam it is possible to participate, registering by spending the in-game currency, to time-based multiplayer events with other players in different specialties where to score points to climb the rankings and at the end receive the prizes up for grabs. These modalities, however, suffer from problems of imbalance towards in-app purchases : before each new event it is possible to buy power-ups to improve the characteristics of the character such as speed, balance and rotation, clearly benefiting the users who have funded the card of credit.
But the real problems, however, are those that come out after a few minutes of play: touch controls do not allow speed and precision to perform the most advanced combos and aim for the best possible score. Moreover, the system of collisions and landings that are not refined often frustrates the efforts made for a combo with an unexpected fall and against the laws of physics. These combined with the control system make the title less enjoyable.
In those few seconds when everything works as it should all the magic of the franchise comes out, but they are just flashes ruined immediately by a decidedly deficient physics in a title that turns out to be more of a console port wrong than a title developed for the mobile market.
Graphics – Rock ‘n’ Roll
Technically the title points to realistic graphics but has low quality textures and fairly simple polygonal patterns. Excellent rock soundtrack with songs by Interpol, Cold Cave, Frontside, Hanni El Khatib, Se Vende, Honduras, Petyr, Starcrawler and others.