Tony Hawk Underground - In Stores Now!Activision, Inc. is ushering in a new era in console gaming with the announcement that Tony Hawks Underground, the most customizable video game ever, has shipped to North American retail outlets. The revolutionary skateboarding game redefines the #1 action sports franchise with groundbreaking options that put players front and center as a skateboarder working their way to the top, in a plot-driven story thats true-to-life and gives them the power to explore their environments and achieve goals both on and off the board. Tony Hawks Underground allows players to become the lead character and virtually design their own game by creating original tricks, goals, decks and one-of-a-kind skate environments. The PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system version allows gamers to further modify their gaming experience by importing a photo of their own face onto the character to literally become the star of the game. All of the players creations can be shared with friends online or via a memory card. The game is currently available for the PlayStation 2, the Xbox(R) video system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube for a suggested retail price of $49.99 and has been rated "T" ("Teen" -- with blood, mild violence, strong language and suggestive themes -- content suitable for persons ages 13 and older) by the ESRB. Activision is supporting the launch of Tony Hawks Underground with the largest marketing and advertising campaign in the companys history. The campaign includes promotional support from AT&T Wireless, G4, Nestle Butterfinger and Tombstone Pizza, as well as such action sports companies as DC Shoes, Hawk Clothing, Vans, Transworld SKATEboarding and Quiksilver among others. Early reviews indicate that the game is on track to continue its dominant industry position, having received a perfect 10 out of 10 rating from industry leading GMR magazine and a 5 out of 5 star review from popular mens publication Maxim Magazine. "An original, plot-driven story spurs players to use all their skills and wiles to achieve fame and recognition on their way to becoming a skateboarding pro," states Larry Goldberg, executive vice president, Activision Worldwide Studios. "In the new story mode, instead of skating as Tony Hawk or a pro skater, gamers skate alongside their heroes as a peer -- eventually recruiting the pros to ride on their team." In Tony Hawks Underground, players skate as themselves and experience the trials and tribulations of going from an unknown local skate punk to becoming a superstar skater. Along the way, they get off the board and explore eight expansive levels by running, climbing or driving a variety of vehicles to complete enhanced goals, which makes the gameplay more realistic and fun. Players can put themselves directly into the game as the star character by importing a photo of their face, e-mailing the image to email@example.com and then downloading the formatted file onto their PlayStation 2 consoles. When gamers import their own face into the game, they are featured in both the cut scenes and in the gameplay. Alternatively, a more sophisticated Create-A- Skater feature enables new levels of customization if players choose to have a fictional character represent them in the game. Players can further tailor their experience using the all new Create-A- Trick, Create-A-Goal and Create-A-Deck features. Gamers can design an expansive array of original tricks, goals and skate decks that can be used in in-game levels as well as novel environments that they develop using the enhanced Create-A-Park editor. The tricks and goals can then be named and even passed along to friends to challenge their skills. In addition, gamers can go online to check out stats and rankings. Enhanced technology gives Tony Hawks Underground new levels of details that are simultaneously more realistic and cinematic. Cut scene animations are rendered by the game engine in real-time, the use of new facial animation techniques give characters in the game much more lifelike features and players also experience realistic time-of-day changes and weather effects.