September 4, 2020
After spending hours riding around The Warehouse Demo, I knew that Vicarious Visions were onto something wonderful with the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. Every two-minute round saw me doing all that I could to rack up high scoring combos whilst fitting in as many tricks as humanly possible, but I missed all those challenges that became such an addiction in the originals. Neversoft’s skateboarding gems have been remastered, and they are everything I wanted them to be. Memories came flooding back about where certain secrets were, how to make the most out of each course, all whilst taking in the excellent work that has been done to make me feel like I did 20 years ago.
While the layouts of each park are practically carbon copies of the originals, they look great on the current gen. The visuals aren’t on par with your AAA titles, but it doesn’t matter. THPS 1+ 2 have the feel of the originals, but feel fresh in their own way. It’s amazing how much muscle memory comes into play, but there were so many challenges I’d forgotten about. Each one pushes you to use every trick in your skill set, from wall-riding to Nosegrinding, everything you know is utilised throughout both games.
Controlling your skater takes practice, and I’d forgotten how awkward it can be if you’re trying to get up and down the stairs. Hitting a wall can knock you off course, and getting back into a rhythm will shave a few seconds off your window of opportunity. What makes THPS so addictive is the need to finish off every challenge. You might attempt to get the highest score in one round, then collect all the SKATE letters the next. You’ll have played through a park over 30 times before you realise an hour has gone by, but you won’t care at all. You don’t need to finish off everything in each park to progress, but because it’s fantastic to play, you’ll probably do so anyway.
You have a selection of flip, grab, and grind moves, and each one is activated by pressing a direction and a corresponding button. Using an Ollie at the moment you leave a vert ramp will be followed by a Kickflip or an Airwalk, and if you manage to rotate, you’ll grab a higher score. Mix this with a grind when you land on the railings, and you’ll build your combo. Manuals are important pieces of the puzzle, as these help to get multipliers on your trick score. With the variety of courses and the sheer amount of moves at your disposal, there’re plenty of opportunities to reach some pretty epic scores. You’ve also got special moves which can be initiated by a selection of buttons, and these can be unlocked or changed in your Skater menu.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 have tons of customisation options that let you alter the clothing of your skater, the board, and more. You can unlock these by completing challenges, or buy them from the in-game store with the money you own. You can create a skater to play through both games with, and it’s cool seeing yourself in your new gear as you race around NY City or The Mall. To earn Stat Points to level up your skater, you must collect them in the courses and parks, or complete Challenges to do so, improving everything from how much air you get or how quickly you spin.. There’re tons of objectives that grant you stats and items, with some of them as simple as hitting a Melon or changing your t-shirt. There are also different levels of challenges ranging from Rookie to Veteran, and they kept me busy for hours as I tried to hit each one.
There’s also the return of some of the best multiplayer games from the series, such as Horse and Tag. You can play them locally or online, and they are just as fun as I remember. Introducing my daughter to the world of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater felt weirdly like I was passing the torch, and she loves them just as much as I do. Create-A-Park returns as well, and there’re plenty of options for you to build the best park you can. Everything from half pipes to railing is available, and you can also purchase new stuff in-game.
To say I love these remasters is an understatement. The old soundtracks are back, as well as other songs from new and old artists alike; kudos to whoever decided to add Sublime to the mix. The skateboarding culture has never died out, but it was never as popular as it was when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was in the limelight, and I’m glad it’s back. Not only are these great looking remasters, they stay true to the originals whilst updating the excitement and satisfaction of the gameplay.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 make me feel joyful. I adored these games when I was younger, and they’re just as much fun to play now. Seeing guys like Bucky Lasek and Rodney Mullins as older guys in the game definitely made me feel better about still enjoying skateboarding, but it was cool to see newer talent included as well. If you adored the originals as much as I did, then I can honestly say Vicarious Visions has done an amazing job in bringing back the noise.
Loads of parks and challenges
Turning is still tricky
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 are perfect remasters that remind me fondly of the original, offering excellent gameplay and tons to do. They look great, sound great, and have tons of replayability.