Nintendo Consoles

Nintendo Consoles

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Playground Series 3: Most Overlooked Gamecube Game

Overlooking something. It's like assuming, but makes less of an ass out of everyone involved. It is definitely understandable why this next title would be overlooked. This game may be a little off the beaten trail for a lot of gamers, but it goes to show that if you exclude any genre of game, you will probably miss at least a few great titles. Play every game you can - it doesn't matter if it is the most popular game ever, or completely underground.

Tony Hawk's Underground
did anyone miss the puns?

The Tony Hawk skateboarding games kind of lost their balance towards the end of their 50,000 point tailslide, finishing it up shamefully with Tony Hawk Ride and Tony Hawk's Project 8. It is still uncertain if the successful Skate. games were to blame for the fall of Tony Hawk, or if the games simply plummeted to the ground after trying the nail that famous 900 for the thousandth time. Despite the disappointing end of the Tony Hawk series, there is no doubt that they left a mark on gamers forever. Anyone who has ever played a Tony Hawk game instantly became the witness of the most vulgar humor, strangest Easter eggs, and ridiculous physics, but it is important to know that the game that REALLY cashed in on all of the wacky antics, and really set the Tony Hawk games off in a new direction, was Tony Hawk's Underground.

Tony Hawk's Underground was the 5th installment of the Tony Hawk skateboarding video game series. The original games, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1-4, spawned your favorite pro skater into a small level where you would have to complete different random goals within a certain amount of time. Once you completed enough goals, you would unlock the following level until you essentially beat every goal, and there was nothing left for you to do in the game. What was so impressive and refreshing about Tony Hawk's Underground (T.H.U.G.) is that it changed up the formula for these errand-boy games forever. T.H.U.G was the first ever Tony Hawk game to ever feature an actual story. Your custom-made skater and your best friend Eric are trying to make it big by becoming pro skaters. You start off the game by skating around your hometown of New Jersey, and you spend the game progressively getting sponsored, making team films, winning amateur and pro skateboarding contests, and of course, watching Bam Margera be a dick. The new concept to the Tony Hawk series, a story, really made the game more enjoyable the same way adding a story to any list of tasks would. The characters are relatable, the antagonist makes you angry, and watching the thrill of your pro-to-be makes you proud to be a player. Suddenly, right before your very eyes, a Tony Hawk skateboarding game becomes an emotional experience.

What I was trying to allude to in the prologue of this post is that the reason why this game is overlooked, is because anyone not interested in skateboarding would never be interested in a skateboarding game. It seems that with all of the shooting games, driving games, action games, why would anyone want to live out a fantasy of skateboarding, instead of one of the aforementioned? Really, you might not, but you should. T.H.U.G. is the perfect place for new fans of the Tony Hawk series to jump onboard. With every addition to the Tony Hawk series, new tricks and features are added. T.H.U.G. is not only the first Hawk game to include a story, but it is the first to include the ability to "get off your board" and walk around on foot AND include the ability to drive cars and busses (this was the only Tony Hawk game that included the ability to drive). T.H.U.G. is the perfect game to get an authentic and modern feel for the Tony Hawk franchise. Some of the older titles might feel a little bit dated at this point in time, some of them being well over 10 years old, and a lot of the newer titles (T.H.U.G. 2 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland) are better enjoyed after playing different Tony Hawk games first.

The soundtrack and gameplay of this game are both amazing, typical to Tony Hawk titles in the past,
and I won't give any secrets away, but if you plan to play this game, keep an eye out for various references to the greatest Hair Metal band of all time throughout the game. For anyone ignorant in the topic of heavy metal, the references will become more than apparent during the game's final unlockable stage....YEAH IT'S FUCKING GENE SIMMONS.

In conclusion, I understand that it may be very likely that you have overlooked Tony Hawk's Underground, especially if you don't care for skateboarding in real life. That being said, I insist that you try this game. The fact that it is literally less than 2 dollars on amazon, combined with the fact that it is just a great game not only within the Tony Hawk series, but as a stand-alone game gives you not a single excuse to avoid picking up your own copy, and start shredding. This game shines within the Tony hawk series, and as a stand-alone game. Fans of Tony Hawk games will be treated to the best Tony Hawk experience to date, and gamers looking for something new to play will not be hindered by the age of the game, or their disconnection to skateboarding. Play. This. Game.

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