games have intrigued me ever since
television’s First Class profiled a series of middle-class
spectacle-racks bailing their way down 720’s Downhill Park.
Fuck doing it for real. I am small and I am lumpy. Not crazy on
levelling up in either stat, either.
To start with, Tony just didn't do it for me.
He was brash, rough and American. My barriers came tumbling down
when a housewide addiction to the second game took full hold.
Tony got into my pants big style, and he’s been giving me
a damn good seeing to ever since.
If you’ve managed to resist Tony’s
charms until now, you must be some sort of bliss-dodging prude.
You obviously don't know a good thing when you see it. It’s
Street Fighter On Skates, for God’s sake. Get your knickers
Translation – “Get
the letters in one continuous combo. And gimme the backpack or
I’ll torture you”.
These games are combo platters with extreme
sports garnish. They’re about risk versus reward, about
landing the cheeky-fucker trick which separates a God from a cack-handed
chancer – the one trick that can silence or inflame the
sofa-load of sniggering bastards you call friends.
Underground is the deviant of the series - the
changes might be kinky, but they're still pleasurable. Those who
get their kicks by taking Pro Skaters through a career should
prepare to go floppy.
In THUG, you’re given a mere gimp to play
with. This piece of New Jersey ghetto trash may start out with
the statistics of a supermodel, but will submit to your every
demand. Lankiness, podginess and scruffiness can all be sorted
with the Create-a-Skater maker. The PS2 version proves most pliable
of all – suitably jacked-in little boys and girls can digitally
graft their own faces onto their put-upon playthings. Identity-supplanting,
eh? Told you it was kinky.
The other Tony Hawk(s). Sadly, not underground.
Your initially careening catastrophe eventually
evolves into a skating demon. You don’t collect or buy ability
in this game – you earn it. Wanna rail better? Grind that
fucking wall, then! Wanna stop falling on your arse like some
shaky pensioner with her mobile set to vibrate? Get better. And
you will. 'Cos you'll want to.
I could harp on about the graphics or blow camembert
over the hyper-hip soundtrack, but I really don’t need to.
Tony has delivered year on year, and this is his most impressive
fat load yet. Pro Skaters aren’t missed in Career Mode.
Driving the odd vehicle (car, truck, milk float) proves more the
occasional diversion than a constant distraction. Despite the
ominous narrative pretensions, it's still through-and-through
The new Face-Mapping system is a great
boost to customisation creativity.
He’s reaching out for virgins this year,
too. If you're new to the series, now’s the time to jump
on. Thanks to cleverly designed goal tasks, you'll be broken in
gently and respectfully. Regulars aren't forgotten either - the
pitbull end of the pooch-pound can savage the new Sick mode. It's
a tougher little baby, but bad dogs should still rip through it.
It’s been emotional. Always has been.
Through Tony, I’ve flown on the backs of angels to be sodomised
the by fiery forks of hell. Victory is never out of reach and
Tony doesn't help. He'll persuade you to risk a roasted ringpiece
for gaming immortality, and you'll do it every single time. He’s
a charmer, you see.
RODENT CASH RATING -
"I'll radical you, yah wee scamp - this one's ace."
Things to 'Make' and 'Do'.
Feel like a clumsy lummox
by watching the amazing vids on Tone’s official site.
The Activision THUG
site. Surprisingly ace.
Actually go underground
and experience the petrifying claustrophobia of caving.