Game Review: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2

Release date: 2020
Version played: PlayStation 4 in 2020

A remaster, by way of full remake, of the first two games in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is a 2020 arcade/sports video game developed by Vicarious Visions (taking the place of Neversoft from the originals). Controlling a host of famous pro skaters, including Tony Hawk, Elissa Steamer, Bob Burnquist and everybody’s favourite Chad Muska, as well as a fully customisable Create-a-Skater, players can play through all the original levels from the first two games, completing objectives and reaching huge score combos.

+ all of the original levels are as good as ever, with suggested lines to run (from collecting S-K-A-T-E) and particular objectives, such as my personal favourite ‘Ollie the magic bum’. The core gameplay is truthfully not all that different from the originals, but when it’s already simple but effective, why should it be
+ the inclusion of reverts, transfers and wall plants from the later games in the series make these original levels feel fresh and new. The controls are simple, as all specials can be mapped to any button combination you like, and you can choose to play with the analogue sticks or the d-pad, or a combination of both like I did
+ the soundtrack features almost every single BANGER from the games’ original lists, including “When Worlds Collide” by Powerman 5000, “Blood Brothers” by Papa Roach, and “Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine. What else do you need?
+ both the Create-a-Skater and Create-a-Park modes are a lot of fun, and it really makes you feel part of the world. There is no story as such, in the veins of Tony Hawk Underground (but also, remake of that please?) but just seeing a character you made in a park you set up is really empowering

– I admit I didn’t play around too much online, but the few sessions I did join were clearly not matches by skill level, because I came dead last (or second last, once!) by an order of millions of points
– it’s petty, but frankly I could not care less for the vast majority new additions to the soundtrack. The new rap and/or hip hop where you can barely understand the lyrics are not my type of music, and I skipped them every time

> it’s hardly a negative, but I do admit I wish there was the option to play with old-school graphics. Not all the time, but just for a level or two for some nostalgia

Should you play this game: I bought this the day it was released, and I finished it about a week later, and I’ve been mulling over this review for a while now. In a world full of remasters, remakes and rereleases, this was a step above and clearly made with a real love of the original. If you played the old games, you’ll get a kick out of this; if you are too young to have experienced the Tony Hawk craze, this might help you understand it.

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