Tony Hawk's Project 8
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|Tony Hawk's Project 8|
|Developer(s)||Neversoft (PS3 & X360)
Shaba Games (PS2 & Xbox)
Page 44 Studios (PSP)
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable|
Tony Hawk's Project 8 (THP8) is a skateboarding video game, the eighth installment in the Tony Hawk's series. It was released on PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, and PlayStation Portable. It also complements the release of Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, which is conversely available on Nintendo systems.
The game begins in the custom skater's hometown in Surburbia. After breaking out into the main streets, a team is created by Tony Hawk. The team is called Project 8 and comprises eight skaters. The player character starts ranked 200th and by completing challenges and goals, it will improve your ranking constantly.
For the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, Project 8 features a city to skate in, which contains various skate parks and "hidden sections". An E3 preview by a member of the PlanetTonyHawk.com staff stated "The levels are massive and an amalgamation of just about every level in the early THPS games. So Suburbia, School, Downtown and Factory (I, II and III) are all interconnected and part of the same town."  There are about 45 skaters in the game, including unlockable characters, who each have a unique mo-cap style, providing a different experience and no recycled animations.
One new feature is the 'nail the trick' option. When a player enters this mode the camera will zoom in on the side to focus on the skateboard and the character's feet. Players will then be able to use the right analog and left analog sticks to control the right and left feet, allowing the player to flip and rotate the board in any such manner; including tapping the underside of the board in the air and merging various techniques to form new moves.
Another new ability in the game is to control the characters in the game during crashes, allowing you to obtain a high "Hospital bill", with bonus money awarded for broken bones—this feature is used in numerous challenges across the story mode (on PS3 and Xbox 360). Players can induce a wreck manually. Lastly, players still have the option to get off their skateboard at any time and run, though it plays a very small role in the game overall, other than avoiding bails and extending combos. On the PlayStation 2 and the PSP versions, it has people that are called "Stokens". Stokens are people that stoke you for your tricks on your board. If you hit them and make them fall and if you get closer to them while they are getting up, they will sucker punch you. There are various genders and types of stokens in the game like teenage boys, teenage girls and mechanics (only on Downtown, City Center, Car Factory, Fun Park and Crete Park).
The game has been met with mostly positive reviews, with the Xbox 360 version garnering an overall average of 81% on GameRankings. It was especially the subject of praise for its "Nail the Trick" mode and graphical enhancements (it has, however, received criticism for the removal of several key features).
In the GameSpot review of the PlayStation 3 version, Project 8 was criticized for its lack of online play and unstable framerate. Criticism has been aimed at the versions of the game on all Sony systems (PSP, PS2, PS3) which all lack any online multiplayer functions. Major gaming websites like IGN and GameSpot note that since the Tony Hawk franchise was the first game series available to be playable online on the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3's omission is strange, especially considering the Xbox 360 version is fully playable on Xbox Live, and all prior versions of the series back to Pro Skater 3 have been fully supported by online play with the PlayStation 2.