Kickflip to Darkslide to Manual to Heelflip to Axle Stall to Revert to Nose Manual to Hardflip and out. What sounds like choreography direction should be a familiar string of tricks to any gamer in the early 2000’s. Driven by the late 90’s resurgence in extreme sports,Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was spinning fairly non stop inside most PS1 systems and inspired a generation of kids split their time between the controller and the skate park. Tony Hawk, famous pro boarder and well known for being the first person to perform a 900 degree rotation on a skateboard, had the idea for a skateboarding game and partnered with developer Neversoft and publisher Activision to bring it to fruition. Not only were they successful in capturing the essence and feel of skateboarding culture, but gaming itself was so good that the second iteration, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, is arguably one of the greatest gaming titles of all time.
A new campaign on Indiegogo was just posted to help crowd fund a documentary about the Tony Hawk franchise phenomenon. This full length movie will chronicle the simultaneous rise of the game and skateboarding popularity. Included will be the journey from Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 (1999) all the way through the last release, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 (2015). There will be interviews with the game development team as well as professional skaters such as Rodney Mullen, who has also been heavily featured in the series. The documentary is titled “Pretending I’m a Superman” named after the chorus of Goldfingers ska masterpiece “Superman” which was featured in the first THPS game.
I, myself, have played the series from Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 through 4. I’m pumped to see the evolution of quick session gaming in the earlier titles to the beginning of more open levels with NPC’s to interact with and give you your next challenges in later releases. The franchise has gone through many other mechanics, like choosing team Tony Hawk or Bam Margera to the addition of the Tony Hawk Ride skateboard peripheral. The success of THPS of course inspired numerous knock offs like Matt Hoffmans Pro BMX, Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure, several skateboarding levels of Spryo 3, Dave Mirras Freestyle BMX, and the later semi successful mold breaking Skate. And of course those killer sound tracks are AMAZING!
Available perks include Project updates, digital download, name in credits, physical copy, t-shirt, signed dvd, signed skateboard decks, executive producer credit, being interviewed for the documentary, or hanging out with Tony Hawk in California. If you can, donate to help this project along and so we learn a little bit more about one of the most culturally influential games of our generation.
Cue the horn section…