New Book Documents Every Single Tony Hawk Game

We love a good book here at the Junkyard, especially if there's some interesting and original Dreamcast specific content contained within said tome. Naturally, due to this we're eagerly awaiting the upcoming Dreamcast books from Pix 'N Love and Read-Only Memory, but here's something you may not have heard about previously: a brand new publication that goes deep on the entire series of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater releases, which also includes the two awesome Dreamcast versions.
Tony Hawk's Gaming Domination: The Rise and Fall of the Hawk Franchise (website here) features in-depth investigations on all 17 Tony Hawk games, across 25 different platforms and promises to be the most comprehensive examination of the Tony Hawk series ever laid down. The fact that it's written by the most knowledgeable Tony Hawk expert around - Trevor 'Slateman' Esposito, founder of Planet Tony Hawk - only adds extra weight to this lofty claim.
The book includes comparisons of the Hawk games
The Dreamcast played host to a number of skating titles, but the Tony Hawk ports are regarded as the very best not only on the Dreamcast, but the finest versions of those respective titles; with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 singled out in particular for how good a conversion the Dreamcast received.

The VMU images that would be displayed while playing THPS
As well as looking at the development of the Tony Hawk games, the book features hundreds of screen shots, developer interviews, biographies and comparisons between beta versions and final releases. Interesting facts about the development cycles and comparisons between the various versions of the same game are also included. Below is a look through the book's pages:

We asked Trevor about his inspiration for Tony Hawk's Gaming Domination and in particular, his affection for the Dreamcast entries in the franchise:

"As a huge Saturn fan, particularly of Capcom fighters and the bustling shmup genre, the jump to the Dreamcast was an obvious one.  Alongside countless others, 9/9/99 remains a fond memory of mine. September of '99 is also when Tony Hawk's Pro Skater launched on the PlayStation and my site (Planet Tony Hawk) had already been running for a few months by then. Treyarch's conversion of the first two Hawk games to the Dreamcast represent the best console versions, if you omit Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X, despite Sega's unwieldy shoulder buttons. 

"After more than a decade running Planet Tony Hawk and a few quiet Hawk years, I wanted to go back and tell the story of every version of every Hawk game, the good, the bad and the oh-so-ugly. My goal was to detail what made every version different and the book includes the VMU messages appearing on the Dreamcast version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, screenshot comparisons to the N64 and PlayStation and also details about the cut four-player mode and demo differences in Pro Skater 2, of which there were several."
- Trevor Esposito
The very last game released on the Nintendo 64
At this point, I thought it would be interesting to ask Trevor about the non-appearance of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 on the Dreamcast, even though the game received a very late release on the N64. Here's what he thought:

"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 shipped in 2001 and by then we know the Dreamcast was already getting a little weak in the knees. In addition, Treyarch, who handled both of the existing conversions to the DC, had been enlisted to work on Pro Skater 2X which also shipped in the autumn of 2001. I guess Activision felt it was better to put their chips on the impending launch of the Xbox than to work on the fading Dreamcast. In addition, the visual perks the PlayStation 2 offered might not have translated so well to the DC. With the N64 receiving Shaba's version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and not Neversoft's, I think they just opted to pull the plug.

"Oddly enough, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 on the N64 was considered canceled for a few months there. It was a weird time. Suddenly Edge of Reality was back to porting Shaba's game."
- Trevor Esposito
A comparison of PS1 and DC draw distances
Tony Hawk's Gaming Domination: The Rise and Fall of the Hawk Franchise is available now in physical paperback or as an e-book, and looks like a must buy for fans of The Birdman. You can find more information and details on how to purchase by visiting the official website here, and also find it on Amazon US here and Amazon UK here. Also check out Planet Tony Hawk for literally anything else you could hope to discover about the franchise.
Will you be investigating this new book? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group here.

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hoogafanter said...

I still play THPS2 regularly, it's such an awesome game...

Tom Charnock said...

Agreed - will definitely be picking a copy of this book up too