Developer: Vicarious Visions
Release Date: August 14th, 2020
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Back in 1999, a ten year old me discovered skateboarding. It all started with a demo of Tony Hawk Pro Skater on the Dreamcast, that I played endlessly until the game actually released and I came at it with the same energy I did the demo. I remember endless mornings in my room trying to perfect the game with Blink-182 blasting from my CD player. While skateboarding in the material world never took me anywhere due to my lack of dedication, I always stuck with Tony Hawk and watched the games’ popularity soar and eventually crash. It goes without saying that when Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater 1 + 2 was announced, I was obviously a little skeptical.
Thankfully, any doubts you may have had about this remaster can be put to bed because it’s actually pretty damn good. As the name states, both Pro-Skater 1 and 2 have been remastered in all of their glory. The campaigns have players skating through a variety of different locations and completing objectives within a time limit. Objectives range from simple to challenging and only get more so as you progress throughout the game. If you don’t want to play through the campaign there are other modes the remaster has to offer. Players can free skate through the maps they’ve unlocked or challenge themselves by playing through a map in Speed Run mode and seeing just how fast they can complete that maps objectives. There’s also a multiplayer mode for skilled players to go online with and show off their skills. I however, am terrible at it and can’t keep up with some of those badasses.
There’s a handful of skaters to choose from and a few secret skaters that can be unlocked by meeting certain requirements. If you like creating characters, players can also create their own skaters and there’s a plethora of options earn by buying them from the shop with cash you’ve earned from challenges, leveling up and placing in the top 3 in skating tournaments. The character creator is probably one of the weakest parts of the game if I’m being honest. It took me a long while to come up with a skater that I actually liked and I’m far from picky when it comes to this sort of thing. However, I did love a lot of the tattoo options for our skaters.
If you’ve never played a Tony Hawk game before, then fear not for the controls are simple and easy to pick up and returning players will find it’s like riding a bike(or a skateboard?). Tricks are pulled off by pressing a button alongside a directional command. With that being said, the game remains challenging. It’s all about getting big air and busting out stylish, clean tricks. Performing the same tricks over and over again will offer diminishing returns and chaining your tricks into large combos is key to scoring high and crushing the competition. A slight miscalculation can throw your whole combo out the window and make meeting the point requirements for a location’s objectives that much harder when taking the time limit into consideration.
The locations themselves are all lovingly crafted and look fantastic. Some of them, like the school and warehouse, are large sandbox-y maps where players can skate around doing tricks to their hearts content(or the timer runs out) whereas others like the dam and abandoned shopping mall have a beginning for players to skate down through where they’re magically transported back to the start of the map once they reach the end. Most of the games’ original soundtrack has returned but not all of the songs made it due to licensing issues, however, the developers have remedied that situation by adding in new songs. One nice addition to the game is the ability to skip songs while playing too which is done by simply pressing the right stick in. While all the songs fit in nicely, it is nice to have the option to skip a song if you’re just not feeling the vibe of it.
All in all, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is probably one of the best remasters done this generation. While I do have a small complaint about the game, I honestly wish I could experience these games for the time again like I did back in 99 and I’m a little jealous of the younger generation picking up this game for the first time ever. It’s clear to see a lot of love and attention to detail was put into making the game great and reminding us why we fell in love with the game in the first place.
WeTheNerdy gives THPS 1+2 9 skateboards out of 10.
Simple controls, challenging gameplay
A lot of content with multiple single player modes
Weak character creator