An unfortunate trend in this day and age is the release of broken and buggy games. It seems there isn’t a month that goes by without at least one anticipated title being released in a busted state. But all is not lost and with the wonder of the internet a great game is often only some time and a patch away. This is where “As Time Goes By” comes in. We look at these once broken games a few months on and let you know if they are now worth your time, helping you decide once and for all if the game is finally something to be purchased or a title to be forgotten forever.
As Time Goes By – Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5
Like many people I spent a lot of time during my teen years playing Tony Hawk games. There was something special about the gameplay that kept me coming back for just one more run. The various level objectives, crazy humour and awesome soundtrack all combined to make some of the most addictive gameplay available in the PSone/PS2 era. Sadly the franchise began a steady decline until it became a joke for long time fans such as myself. But Tony Hawk 5 was supposed to change all that and bring Tony back to the forefront of gaming. The promise from Activision was a return to old school sensibilities and the removal of all the fluff that had polluted the more recent entries. Sadly it wasn’t to be, the game was released in a super buggy state that made the physics system a joke and gave the game more glitches then a whole truckload of Bethesda releases.
Thankfully Activision hasn’t just let the game die and have released 2 fairly hefty (about 6 gig each) patches for the game so with a heavily discounted price (it is available in most places for around $30 now) I thought it was worth a stab to see if the game is finally in a playable state.
You know what? I am glad I grabbed it. It still has its problems and it doesn’t reach the glory of Tony Hawk 2 or 3 but it has a huge helping of nostalgia that helped me look past some of the short comings. The best thing I can report however is the game is vastly glitch free now. In my 6 hours or so of playing I didn’t experience any of the level warping or scenery clipping that was reported upon release which was nice. I still came across some strange physics on occasion but that is hardly anything new for the franchise and could almost be considered a feature at this point.
It is clear that the developers here really wanted to capture that classic Tony Hawk gameplay but in there effort to do so they missed that special X factor that made the earlier entries so wonderful. But to be fair they have given us the best Tony Hawk game since number 4 and it is miles ahead of the dross that has been released in more recent times. Is the game worth full price? No not really but at half price it is certainly worth a look, especially for fans of the series. There isn’t anything too new or exciting on the table but there is some nice maps for everyone to show off their long thought forgotten skills once again. Hopefully the developers use this as a foundation for further improvements and bring Tony Hawk back to the top of the mountain he vacated so long ago.