Game Review: Tony Hawk’s Underground

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a game review and this next review is one of my personal favorites! Today’s game review will be on the hit classic, Tony Hawk’s Underground!

Released on October 27th, 2003, this game was ahead of its time. It’s available on Playstation 2, XBOX, GameCube, Game Boy Advanced, and Microsoft Windows. This game is part of the Tony Hawk video game franchise that includes Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground, Project 8, etc. There was even a sequel to this game called Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 and in my opinion, I find this game more enjoyable then the second addition. This game featured a story mode that has you as the protagonist of the whole game. Your character can be created in the very beginning of story mode and you have a good selection of parts to choose from including clothes, tattoos, accessories.

Throughout story mode, you embark on a journey to become the best skateboarder of all times along with your character’s best friend, a guy by the name of Eric Sparrow. You travel throughout North America to prove that you’re the absolute best in the skating community and I love every bit of it. There’s main missions to complete in each state you go to in order to raise the bar for yourself. Like every story, there’s always a twist. The twist in this game is Eric Sparrow himself. Eric is supposedly your “best friend” but in reality he was trying to put you down. Eric was trying to prove himself as well, but also trying to put you down. Everything comes to blows at the end of the game where you defeat Eric in a street skate race and you finally cement yourself at the top of the game. This story mode is so great, you’ll find yourself playing it repeatedly!

The gameplay is excellent! It’s so smooth that you feel like you’re skateboarding yourself. Each tricks are animated very well, having their own unique style. I must also mention that this game has one of the best video game soundtracks of all time! You got so much classic songs from genres of punk rock, rock, hip/hop, etc. The soundtrack is so good you could listen to it as your own personal playlist!

This game easily gets an 10/10 for me. It’s one of my personal favorite video games of all time because everything on the game is so nostalgic. The soundtrack, gameplay, and the overall scenery of this game is top notch and goes down as an instant classic. If you’re a fan of retro gaming like me, this game is a definite pick up! Don’t waste any time. Find a local game store or go on Amazon and pick yourself up a copy of this game and experience the nostalgia at its finest!

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Game Review: Sleeping Dogs

Games like Mortal Kombat, Virtua Fighter, and Street Fighter have some of the best fighting game-plays in video game history. The brutality in these games are top notch, but there’s one specific game that doesn’t get talked about that also features as much brutality as those games that I just mentioned. Today’s game review will be on Sleeping Dogs!

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Released on August 14, 2012, this game brought a whole new level of violence to the action-adventure franchise. This game pretty much had it all when it comes to these type of games which are violence, open world game-play, nice cars, very good selection of wardrobe, and most importantly a good story. Critics have said that this game is very much a GTA clone and I can’t say that I disagree with them. You put this game side by side with any GTA game and you can definitely see the similarities between them. Besides the GTA similarities, this game was pretty good and stands out to me as an underrated action-adventure game.

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The story of this game is based on the main protagonist Wei Shen. Wei Shen was a former San Francisco police officer who was then transferred to the Hong Kong Police Department to investigate a Triad organization know as the Sun On Yee. From there on out, Wei had to balance his police investigation and proving himself to be a loyal member of the Triad. Wei is assigned these missions by his superintendent Thomas Pendrew and whenever is progress is done, it’s handled by his reporter, Raymond Mak. In the mix of all the controversy, Wei and his childhood friend Jackie gets things stirred up with the Sun On Yee. Jackie wants to prove that he belongs in the Triad and as Wei stands by his side the whole time, Wei must prove his loyalty to the Red Pole boss, Winston Chu. Wei then runs into problems with rival gang 18k and things get extremely heated from there. Wei has some much on his plate at this point and the only thing he can do at this point is fight. After finally earning the respect of Winston Chu, Winston lets Wei know that if anything were to happen to him, Wei would take over as the boss of Red Pole, an honor that Wei couldn’t refuse. Winston would later on get engaged and on his wedding day, along with his fiancee, he was murdered by gang members from his biggest rival, Sam “Dogeyes” Lin. During the wedding fiasco, Uncle Po, the leader of the Sun On Yee Triad, was critically wounded and sent to the hospital, where he later died. Shen’s new mission was to find the culprit behind the attack and once he found out Dogeyes was behind everything, he captured Dogeyes and sent him to Winston’s mother, who then kills him. Wei then enters a power struggle over the leadership of the Sun On Yee against another upcoming leader Big Smile Lee. Lee was a man who would do ANYTHING to receive that leader spot of the Sun On Yee. Pendrew, Wei’s superintendent, later demands that Wei gets out of this situation before he gets into more hot water than he already is and Wei refuses. Because of this, Pendrew goes behind Wei’s back and informs Big Smile Lee of Wei’s involvement with the Hong Kong PD, causing Lee to use this against Wei in an upcoming election. After Jackie was killed by Lee’s gang, Wei gets kidnapped and tortured by Lee’s personal torturer Mr.Tong. Wei then escapes then kills Mr.Tong then later on killing Big Smile Lee. After the whole situation dies down, Wei receives a video showing Pendrew killing Uncle Po in the hospital by injecting him with some lethal drugs. Wei then finally returns to the police force and the first thing he did was imprisoned Pendrew for the murder of Uncle Po.

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The game-play is very top notch! Everything from the fighting to racing are very well developed and has a bit of realism to it. The melee combat is very brutal including the likes of environmental attacks. You can dump your enemies into dumpsters, slam them into telephone booths, slam them onto cars, stuff their heads repeatedly in car doors, etc. You can also learn some martial arts attacks by going to an local martial arts class or fighting in local street fight tournaments. Participating in street races is another big part of the game that includes unlocking new cars whenever you enter and win a race. Racing is so intense that it feels very realistic whenever you crash your vehicle. The game is set in their own version of Hong Kong that’s split into four districts named after regions of the city.

Sleeping Dogs gets an 8.5/10 overall from me. The game-play is very good and the story in my opinion is excellent. The characters are presented very well and each of them I must say are badasses. My only criticism is that I wish the game would’ve included a mission where Wei gets to kill Pendrew for what he did to Uncle Po, but that’s just me. For you fans of action-adventure games, Sleeping Dogs is a game you guys should definitely pick up and play.

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Game Review: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Now this is a review that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do! Not only is this my first game review, but I get to review one of my favorite video games of all time! Today’s review will be the on the PS2 classic: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City!

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Released on October 29, 2002, this game in my opinion became a huge milestone in the GTA series up to that point. Before this game came about, Grand Theft Auto III had already brought new heights to the series, then once Vice Cit came along that’s when the series got better. This game had almost everything that I love about any action-adventure game. This game had a good story, good gameplay, fast cars, even a good setting. The setting in this game just screams nostalgia all over it.

Vice City is GTA’s own equivalent city to Miami, Florida. Everything from cars to housings has that Miami feel to it. The biggest nostalgia of them all is the theme of this game. This game has been set to an 80s theme, more likely the year 1986. That’s just awesome to me especially the fact that I love the 80s, even though I wasn’t born yet around that time. The main character is a man named Tommy Vercetti. Tommy is the personification of an 1980s gangster if you ask me. He had style and a personality that just can’t match any other GTA characters. In the beginning of the game we find out some personal things about Tommy’s life that adds on to the uniqueness of his character. He’s a member of the Forelli Family and he had just served a fifteen year prison sentence. He was then sent to Vice City by his former boss Sonny Forelli as a caporegime and acts in a cocaine deal as Forelli’s buyer. Once Vercetti and his entourage arrived at a deal spot, he then realizes it was a set up and fled the scene as his entourage was gunned down. Ever since that incident, Tommy has been doing work for Sonny in order to pay him back all the money that was stolen. Day by day he meets new allies and then slowly starts to take over the drug scene in Vice City without including Sonny nor the Forelli Family in on it. Once Sonny realizes this, he begins to send members of his crew to forcefully collect his money from Tommy. Of course they all failed, so Sonny himself decides to visit Tommy. To back track here for a minute, one of Tommy’s biggest allies was a man by the name of Lance Vance. I really liked Lance Vance he was a really cool guy who stuck by Tommy through almost everything situation Tommy was going through throughout the game. He was the definition of a partner. Whenever you called him, he was there for ya. Even times when you didn’t called him, he would show up to help you kill anyone who needed to be dealt with. All of this was the case until Sonny visited Tommy, in order for Tommy to find out that Lance has betrayed him and aligned himself with Sonny. Angered by this betrayal, Tommy sets his sites on killing both Sonny and Lance and once his does this, he finally established himself as THE crime kingpin of Vice City. 

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Along side the good storyline, this game has a very good gameplay. If you’re a person who loves action games then this game should be right at the top of the list for ya. You can run, jump, and drive any vehicles you want throughout the whole game. The melee attacks are pretty brutal too which is fun. The best of course is the option of weapons such as pistols, AKs, and even a minigun! There’s even MORE weapon options such as a machete, sword, knife, brass knuckles, etc. Along with body armor, you can raise as much hell in Vice City as you can. There’s minigames along the way you can do as well such as the fire fighter minigame or the taxi minigame.

The soundtrack in this game is simply GREAT! You got so much 80s artists such as Michael Jackson, Rick James, Blondie, Kim Wilde, and even bands such as Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, Tesla, Quiet Riot, etc. If you’re a fan of 80s, then this game is a MUST for you to play if you haven’t already or hell just listen to the soundtrack on the game.

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This game is one of my favorite video games of all time! To this day it’s still my all time favorite game from the GTA series. So many games have tried to duplicate Vice City and it simply can’t be done. Grand Theft Auto Vice City is a great game for generations past and current so if you haven’t ever played this game before, you HAVE to! This game easily gets a 10/10 rating from me! Long Live Vice City!