Tag Archives: tony hawk

The Original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Soundtrack Is Still A Blast

Gaming series known for their superior soundtracks often have one thing in common — a wide array of powerful or catchy music orchestrated to fit a specific environment. Though plenty of games (mostly annual sports series) have used popular prerecorded tunes as part of their soundtrack in the past, they rarely stand out from the crowd. But Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater did, and two decades later it remains one of the most iconic game soundtracks of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.

While the popularity of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games may have made it seem like the only decent skateboarding series in existence, the first entry was actually inspired by games such as EA’s Street Sk8er for the original PlayStation and Sega’s Top Skater arcade machines. Top Skater, which featured a full-sized mountable skateboard as a controller, was an especially big influence for the original Pro Skater team at the now-defunct Neversoft Entertainment.

When it came time to choose the music that would accompany each two minute skate session, the Pro Skater team decided to follow both Street Sk8er and Top Skater’s use of legitimate alternative and punk rock tracks. Straying away from any unnecessary applause or obnoxious announcers, their game would feature the two types of audio that truly mattered — realistic skating sound effects and funky fresh jams by bands like Primus and The Dead Kennedys.

Growing up in a strictly Nintendo household, Pro Skater was far off my radar when it launched in the August of 1999. Luckily, a neighborhood friend with access to a PlayStation and a copy of the Jampack Summer ‘99 demo disc was already hooked on its arcade-style gameplay. After he acquired a true copy of the game we spent an entire weekend catching sick air and tracking down VHS tapes. Pro Skater’s realistic physics and showy tricks wowed me, but it was the upbeat soundtrack (with just a few swears thrown in) that really embedded itself into my adolescent brain.

And look, the Pro Skater soundtrack isn’t as hardcore or punk or metal as rock gets. I’m well aware of that now. But for a nerdy kid growing up in the suburbs of Indiana, it was far more extreme than, say, Air Bud or Rocket Power. Maybe not Rocket Power… those kids could shred.

In my mind Pro Skater was the epitome of cool, and when word got out that the game was coming to the Nintendo 64 in March of the next year, I began scrounging around the house for loose change. Featuring one of the few blue cartridge casings, the game was soon added to my small N64 library with the help of my older brother (who had taken up actual skateboarding at the time).

Though the tracks sounded much less crisp on the Nintendo 64’s compressed cartridges, and some of the vocals had been completely removed, Pro Skater was still a monster hit in my household. The game was one of the few games my family owned that required a memory pak for saves, a fact we realized only after we had brought it home. Instead of buying one, my brother and I decided we would just sit and play through the game in its entirety whenever possible. From the warehouse to downtown to Roswell, we knew all the best combos and the location of every secret tape.

Of course, playing a game that much really ingrains the soundtrack into your subconscious. Today, as an adult, I still find myself humming many of the Pro Skater tunes I listened to for hours on end as a child. Sometimes I even boot up my worn N64 copy and skate around for old times’ sake.

Having played through every Tony Hawk game up through Underground 2, none have stuck with me quite like the very first. Even though other entries may have featured improved skaters, venues, and tricks over the years, it’s hard to top the the soundtrack that started it all.

The three tracks embedded in this article were my favorites growing up. The entirety of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack can be found here.

Source: Kotaku.com

I Want To Be Like Tony Hawk’s Twitter Account

Photo: Zak Kaczmarek / Stringer (Getty)

Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk tweets about a lot of stuff. He tweets about his kid. He tweets about skateboarding. He tweets about his skateboarding video games. And he tweets about people being surprised he’s Tony Hawk.

Tony Hawk, who’s 50 now, is famous for his prodigious skateboarding career. In 1999, Activision released Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, a video game inspired by his skating career. The games came out more or less annually through 2015; the most recent is 2018’s mobile game Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam, the first Tony Hawk game not published by Activision. The games mostly involve playing as different skateboarders who perform tricks for points in different areas, all accompanied by an awesome soundtrack.

These days, Tony Hawk still skates, and he also runs the Tony Hawk Foundation, which helps build skate parks in low-income communities. Because it’s the 21st century, he also tweets.

Much of Tony Hawk’s Twitter is taken up by encounters in which people don’t realize he’s Tony Hawk. In one tweet, he claims a car rental worker deleted his reservation because they thought the name “Tony Hawk” was fake.

In another, a TSA agent checking Hawk’s ID wonders what Tony Hawk is up to now, to which Hawk responds, “This.”

In a recent tweet, a worker at a drive-thru is excited to meet him, but no one else knows who he is.

Sometimes, people think he looks like Lance Armstrong. Another time, someone at a grocery store asks him, “You ever get mistaken for Tony Hawk?” Someone recognizes him and then is surprised, telling Hawk that he’s “not that recognizable.” “I’m not sure what that means,” Hawk replies, “but you recognized me, so here we are.”

In one tweet, someone recognizes Hawk, inspiring a guy who overhears the encounter to say, “I haven’t seen any recent pictures of you. You’ve gotten older.” Hawk replies, “It happens.” Encounters like this, Hawk writes, are “redundant…but they’re all true.” Whether they are or not, their redundancy points to the weird experience of someone living his life after being a household name. People remember Tony Hawk, kind of, but they’re confused that mostly forgetting about him didn’t make him stop existing. Rather than being annoyed, Hawk seems cheerfully resigned to this struggle, and even occasionally plays along.

These tweets are hilarious, but I also find them touching. Like many of the people in these tweets, I’ve always sort of known who Tony Hawk was. When I was a kid, he would be in the magazines and video tapes my twin sister and I would get from the owners of the skate shop, two guys in their 20s I both worshipped and was intimidated by. I didn’t know about the Tony Hawk games until years later, when a group of friends from college rented a ski house that had a PlayStation and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. The game’s roster let me feel like all the cool guys I’d eye at the snowboard park pulling off tricks I could never master.

Being like these guys wasn’t just about having the guts to hurl myself off the ramps at the trick park. Looking back at my infatuation with skater dudes after I realized I was trans, they embodied a masculinity I wanted before I even knew I wanted it. When I was young, being a skater was a rebellion against the masculinity of jocks. It was a manhood that was in reach for more people, though still not for me. When I was in early transition, I’d dress like those boys I’d admired as a kid, in torn jeans and punk band T-shirts. It’s funny to look back on those feelings now that I’m 37. Tony Hawk’s tweets resonate with me because they’re anticlimactic—he’s just some guy now. It’s comforting to stop taking yourself so seriously.

Now, I mostly feel like any other old man (or any other old man who’s a queer anarchist ex-chaplain who writes about video games for a living and rails at his young staff for calling things “cringe”). Being on hormones for years made some parts of masculinity easier, and being out as trans in my work and social life helped me value things I’d once seen as deficits. I used to have a mohawk; these days, I shave my head to deal with steadily encroaching baldness. A few months ago, one of my younger colleagues told me I looked like “someone’s punk dad” when I slouched into work in my standard outfit of black jeans, a black hoodie, and a black hat.

When Tony Hawk’s self-effacing tweets end up on my timeline, they feel like more than just funny jokes about fame. They remind me that these days, Tony Hawk also looks like “someone’s punk dad.” He’s patient and finds the humor in getting older, providing another model for what my own masculinity could be.

On Twitter, Hawk is good at living through the kind of irrelevance that comes for all of us as we get older. We’ve both hit ages where the world isn’t quite as about us anymore. I sometimes joke about looking forward to the day the trans youth eat me alive, but I genuinely love watching younger people do things better than I did. Hawk doesn’t seem bothered by his slide into semi-obscurity, and he performs it with a grace and gentleness that’s rare to Twitter. It’s an attitude I can strive to emulate more than the trappings of what drew me to guys like him when I was young.

Source: Kotaku.com

The New Tony Hawk Game Is For Phones And It’s Bad

Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam is the newest skateboarding game from world famous skater Tony Hawk. It tries to recapture the magic of those old Pro Skater games, but ends up feeling really bad to play.

I loved the Tony Hawk games. For years I would excitedly buy each new installment. So when I heard The Birdman was working on a new game, I was ready to play it. Even though it was a mobile game, I was still curious. I’ve enjoyed plenty of mobile games in the past. Maybe I’d enjoy Tony Hawk’s new game?

The short answer is: No. I didn’t like Skate Jam at all.

In Skate Jam, Tony Hawk appears at the start of the game and teaches you how to play. He looks a bit sad and quickly reminds me that it’s him, Tony Hawk. I know it’s you dude, I just downloaded your game.

The tutorial immediately made me realize that touch controls and skateboarding might not be a great mix. In other mobile games, like Shadowgun Legends, I feel like the developers have done a good job of making controls that feel responsive. That isn’t the case in Skate Jam.

Doing an ollie is easy enough, tap a big button. But the moment the game wanted me to do tricks, things got harder. Sometimes I could pull off a kick-flip, other times I would just ollie up and down without doing anything. I was never sure why my trick wasn’t working. It was very inconsistent and at one point I got stuck in the tutorial for a few minutes because I just couldn’t figure out how to grind on a rail. I was hitting the button, but I would just jump over the rail.

Eventually I did finish the intro. Then I was faced with a mess of a main menu. It feels like three different mobile game menus got put into a blender and mixed up into this monster.

Levels in Skate Jam work like old Tony Hawk games. Each map has a series of challenges, like score 50,000 points or collect different letters. Actually completing these challenges is frustrating.

I play a lot of mobile games and I think I’m fairly comfortable with touch controls, but I just couldn’t get the hang of these controls at all. My skater flipped and flopped around the level desperately trying to grind a rail. Sometimes my manic flipping and swiping would result in a decent combo, though more often it resulted in nothing. Not even a funny crash.

This game seems to be a re-skin of a different mobile game made by the same developers of Skate Jam. That game is called Skateboard Party 3 and I played it when it came out and I didn’t like it much either! Just adding Tony Hawk doesn’t make something better.

Tony Hawk Skate Jam does have one fun ability. When you fill up your special meter you can activate it and become Tony Hawk. Sadly, even as Tony Hawk I couldn’t pull off any sick tricks. Instead Tony Hawk just slid around a park, sometimes running into walls.

Perhaps it was my big fingers, but I sometimes had a hell of time seeing what I was doing. All the buttons are moved to the edge of the screen and still I found my fingers getting between me and Skate Jam. Even when I could pull off a trick, my fat fingers covered it up.

Tony Hawk Skate Jam isn’t the Tony Hawk Pro Skater successor I wanted. Maybe if this is ported to the Switch and I could play it on a bigger screen with a controller this might work. But for now, Skate Jam is just a sad and frustrating game.