A few days ago we reported that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 had received a massive new update that improved numerous features within the game and made a few additions.
When we first reviewed the game, it had to be said that it was a hot pile of crap. Seriously. The frame rate was alright for the first couple of levels, but as you progressed further it just seemed to get worse and worse, and School III was a prime example. When you first load into the map, the game stutters heavily until you make it past the familiar big drop.
Thankfully the new patch has seemingly done away with terrible frame rates, and in the process made the game a lot more playable. It’s still nowhere near perfection, but it’s at least not nearly as frustrating as it once was. The update also included graphical enhancements in specific levels, though we’re struggling to see any real improvements. That’s not a big deal, though, as the Tony Hawk games have never been known for leading the pack with cutting-edge graphics. Still, it would’ve been nice to see a more notable improvement – heck, just the ability to switch to the game’s original art style would be welcome, even if it’s only to compare and see if the cel-shaded graphics are an improvement.
Aside from the improved frame rate, there’s one huge change that really does Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 a service: a tweak to that awful bloody slam mechanic. Pre-patch, pressing the ‘triangle’ or ‘Y’ button would either connect you to a rail, ledge, or other grindable surface, or it’d cause your character to ‘slam’ to the ground. What was initially intended as a way to save a combo when it started going pear shaped in the end it just became a finicky nuisance. It’s still there after the latest patch, but it’s been reconfigured so that you no longer slam when you mean to grind. Pressing the grind button will, as expected, initiate a grind along a suitable surface. The slam function now requires a double tap to perform. It might not sound like much, but when you’ve racked up a sick combo and you’re about to finish it off with a sweet grind, it’s a welcome change to see your character actually pulling it off rather than slamming into the ground at the most inopportune moment. It goes a long way toward improving the gameplay.
We won’t be changing our score on the game, even if it receives fifty more updates, but we’ll be happy enough to give you our thoughts on the state of the game as time passes. As it stands today, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 is a much more pleasant experience, and the new maps and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles skaters are a nice touch. If you’re a long-time fan of the franchise then we recommend at least giving it a rental before picking it up at a marked down price.
Have you played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 since the new update? Do you agree that it’s a better game after applying the patch, or are you still kick-flipping yourself in the head? Ollie on down to the comments and let us know.