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Tony Hawk's Project 8

Wednesday 4 October 2006
Here's the funny thing. In a world that's all about instant gratification and one-upmanship, where the focus is on faster spins, flashier moves and Matrix-sized air, Tony Hawk's Project 8 is the only game that's actually making the easy stuff harder. A kickflip, once a throwaway one-button move, can now be the tricky highlight of your routine. Is it madness? Masochism? No, it's not. Shush, let us explain.

It's all down to the much-touted focus mode. Most of Tony Hawk's Project 8's skating works as normal: grinds, flips, grabs, reverts, spine transfers, big air, the usual. Click both analogues as you fly, though, and things change - the camera zooms in on your skater's feet, time slows to a crawl and suddenly you're in complete control.

The controls are simple: the left stick moves your back foot, the right stick your front. Flick the right stick forward, and you'll pull off a heelflip, kicking the board towards your heels with your toes. Flick the left stick to the right and you'll do a pop 'n' shove it, spinning the board 180 degrees. Flick both sticks in different combinations and you'll rotate the board in both axes, mirroring the physics of a varial kickflip.

Whatever you do, the most important thing is to get the tape safely back under your feet before you release the sticks - otherwise you'll get your feet caught on the spinning board, scuff it and find yourself chewing pavement.