The wait is finally over! Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is here and is everything that fans have been waiting for. Developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision, the series is back for a whole new generation to enjoy.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Details
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Genre: Extreme sports
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Incredibly true to the original games
The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise has been on a hiatus of sorts for the past few years. However, it has come full circle in a big way with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 a remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. No, it is not 1999, but if you played the originals, you’ll get those nostalgic chills as you roll down that ramp in the Warehouse for the first time. For new players, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the best the series has ever been.
Many other skateboarding franchises have gone for a more realistic experience. However, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater has always been about the unbelievable, and this new collection is no different. The game provides a ton of new content to keep you playing for hours. And, the levels and goals themselves have stayed incredibly true to the original games.
All about the tricks
The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise has dabbled with story elements in the past. However, like the originals, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is all about completing objectives, mastering tricks, and putting down huge scores. From the main menu, you can select one of the 21 skaters (22 if you purchase the Deluxe Version, providing access to Ripper) available, or create your own.
When creating a custom skater, the game provides a decent amount of customization options. While not on par with some current generation RPG titles, it’s more than enough to get you out onto the skate parks with a unique look. After choosing your skater, you can customize their gear.
And, check-in on any of the 714 challenges spanning 5 categories including Skater, Combo, Multiplayer, Skate Park, and Create-a-Park. Or, hop into either Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Although skate parks within each game are unlocked by progression, the first park from both games are available right away.
Each skate park has a total of 10 objectives to complete. And, you must complete the entirety of an objective within the allotted 2 minutes. These objectives range from getting certain scores, to finding a secret tape, to knocking over or collecting specific items. After completing a preset number of these objectives, the next skate park will become available, and so on through all the available courses.
Much easier than the real thing
There are dozens of tricks to learn and remember, let alone master. However, I found that the game’s fluid controls make even the most amateur players feel like professionals. Each type of trick, grinds, grabs, and board flips are mapped to a specific controller button. Most tricks can be performed with a simple button press coupled with a direction on the analog stick.
Furthermore, the more difficult tricks do require a larger combination of buttons. Even if nailing a specific trick or completing an objective is difficult, getting back into a park once your two minutes have expired is incredibly quick, for the most part. I felt that once I mastered tricks, or completed a specific objective that I had been working on for hours, the satisfaction was instant.
It’s easy to assume that playing the same park over and over again can quickly become repetitive and boring. However, thanks to the outstanding overhauled visuals and killer soundtrack, each trip through the various skate parks is immensely enjoyable. With improved draw distances and frame rates, and overhauled visuals, Vicarious Visions has kept levels true to the original.
And, also brought them forward to match the power of modern consoles. For example, the Mall in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and Venice Beach in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 are easily the most impressive, and will leave you saying “Wow” run after run.
Levels so beautiful they are worth exploring
Unfortunately, gone from the original titles is the collection of cash within each level, which could be used to level up your character. Instead, cash has been replaced with skill points for leveling characters. Finding the cash in each level originally meant investigating every nook and cranny of the skate park.
Skill points this time around seem to be placed in obvious locations, and takes away some of the exploration from the original. Trust me, these levels are so beautiful that they are begging to be explored. So even if you don’t have an objective to complete in one area of the park, I highly recommend exploring it anyways.
Not gone from the original, however, is the killer soundtrack that accompanies the game. Almost all the tracks from the original are back in the remake, and a few others have been added in.
Multiplayer is a mixed bag
Multiplayer in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games has always been a key component. And, all the great modes are back. Including, my personal favourite, Trick Attack and Graffiti. This is a mode where players land tricks on specific environmental pieces within a skate park to “claim it” in their colour.
The mode has been expanded and allows up to 8 players to compete in the various multiplayer modes, playing through each multiplayer mode on a specific park before moving onto the next. Additionally, two player local play is available.
Unfortunately, when going online, you can’t just play with your friends. That is, unless you create yourself a party of 8. All online games have 8 players. So, if you and a few friends link up to play together, you will be partnered with people you don’t know to create a party of 8. Although I still enjoyed myself, it was disappointing to not have the ability to just play together.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a faithful remaster of two legendary games
Even after unlocking all the skateparks in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and completing all the objectives, the plethora of challenges kept me playing for hours on end. I couldn’t help but wanting to earn more experience, more cash, and wanting to buy more things.
Ultimately, this game once again pulls players into an endless cycle of skate park runs, long after the game is done. The overhauled Create-A-Park mode itself provides dozens of hours of enjoyment, both creating your own parks and enjoying parks created by others.
In the end, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 had me saying, “Just one more run” hours after I had planned to quit, which is some of the highest praise any game can obtain!
+ Outstanding, remastered visuals
+ Best features from newer titles added
+ Killer soundtrack
+ Easy to pick up and play
– no private online parties
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF TONY HAWK’S PRO SKATER 1+2
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5