I picked up my first Tony Hawk game back when I was about 12; Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 and 3 were my favourite Playstation games back then. My friends and I would gather round each others TV's taking it in turns to try and get the highest score. One time I ended up getting a ridiculous score and managed to get it published in PSM, the unofficial Playstation magazine of the time.
I followed Tony Hawk from the Playstation to the Gamecube where Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG) 1 and 2 introduced a story mode and you could finally get off your board! These games were great as it wasn't just your usual pick a skater and do your best in 3 minutes but you were an unknown making a name for yourself with a group of skaters and trying to not get screwed over by your friend Eric (turns out Eric is a bit of a dick).
When the next generation came about an amazing new game from EA came out; Skate. Skate was great because it was open world, had a really innovative control system and was way more grounded in the reality of actual skateboarding than Tony Hawk's was. Tony Hawk's is a much more arcade experience where learning to button mash will get you further than precision moves, Skate on the other hand really is about getting the muscle memory for particular tricks and the games of SKATE can be really hard if you've not got this down.
To this day Skate 2 is still my favourite game and I really do hope that EA release a new title in the franchise. If I wasn't already in the PS4 camp I would very much be buying a Xbox One just to play that game again, but for now I've made my bed so I have to keep myself occupied with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5.
What I expected going in
The game had a reputation for being buggy with loads of videos of skaters falling through the scenery. Although I did encounter this a few times I would not say this happened a lot. Here's a video of me falling through a quarter pipe for the sake of showing what people were experiencing.
One thing I was not expecting having been so used to Skate was the amount of combo-ing you need to do in order to get a half way decent score in the game. You pretty much need to keep a combo of 10+ tricks going to get any points when you eventually can't keep up with the balance meter.
The road to platinum
I unlocked most of the trophies just through normal game play with my default character. The trophies around getting a quantity of points or distance were unlocked by completing all the challenges in the first 4 levels with all the available skaters.
Eventually after a lot of skill points, grinding, manuals and bails I unlocked the platinum after completing Big Head Survival in the Astroid Belt level (more on that later):
By far the most annoying challenge was Big Head Survival in Astroid Belt. Due to the combo nature of the game and the power up forced on the player you have to last 95 seconds. It doesn't sound like a lot but the picture below shows my most infuriating moment in the game - being 12 milliseconds out of getting the Sick score for this challenge.
The pro missions on the Berrics level were quite good, they seem impossible at first but once you've learned the trick (most of the time finding the correct line) they are quite rewarding.
While Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is a good game in it's own right it doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Maybe I've been spoiled by Skate but considering the graphical still I don't think it would have been too much to have a more open world approach similar to Skate. One of the best parts of Skate's open world was you could just lose yourself making lines whereas Tony Hawk's maps just feel like a foyer between missions.
If I was to take anything from Tony Hawk's I would probably take the power ups. The ability to change the physics of the player is quite interesting especially in a more open world setting as this could lead to players discovering new areas only accessible with power ups obtained on the other side of the map.