|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Page 44 Studios / Neversoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 15, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Most unfortunately, the visuals are bad. This is becoming more than a recurring theme for Wii titles. I'm almost ready to drop this section from my Wii reviews. Supposedly the Wii is more potent graphically than its predecessor; I have yet to see that proved true. If it is the case, developers need to devote more resources to the visuals. The environments in this game are passable because everything is easily distinguishable. However, everything looks fuzzy rather than crisp and character likenesses look scary because they're so artificial. There really is no fluidity to the visuals other than the movement animations. Thankfully, movement is the most important aspect so the game is still very playable. The game is so ugly though that it almost overshadows the great controls and makes you want to pick up the title for one of the other next generation consoles. Greater emphasis should have been made on the visuals.
The sound quality of the game is very good. Tony Hawk is one of the few titles that actually have very solid music support. If you've got your Wii running through an AV receiver, then I suggest turning up the background music. The background effects are also quite good. Rail grinds, ramp roll outs, and bails all sound very realistic. There is a lot of high profile voiceover work too. Many of your favorite professionals have lent their talents to provide a realistic feel. Unfortunately, the voiceover work is not well synced to the lip movements, and it looks brutal. Other than that issue, the sounds are really quite good.
There are no online features in this title which is a shame but not a total detriment. It would be great to best fellow gamers' scores online, but the story mode is compelling enough that it's not essential. There is a two player component that is not nearly as convincing as the story mode, but it's good for a few laughs. The two player competitions include Free Skate, Trick Attack, Graffiti, and Horse. I've always liked taking friends on head to head and these games do the job admirably.
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground for the Wii is a good game with classic gameplay and creative controls. The graphics fall short and there is no online component, but it is a very entertaining title on the whole. The developers struck the perfect balance between old and new content as well as familiar and inventive controls. If the graphics weren't so poor, I would give the nod to the Wii version. Unfortunately, they are bad and it does detract from the overall rating. If all you have is a Wii and you're a Tony Hawk fan, I whole heartedly endorse its purchase.
CCC Freelance Writer