I have to be honest here when I first heard that the first two Tony Hawk games were getting the remaster treatment I was absolutely terrified. I am all for games getting the remaster treatment, but Tony Hawk is so iconic and it would have been disastrous to see anything go wrong with the game. Thankfully, my worries never became a reality.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the perfect ode to the original games. Despite the impressive graphics upgrade, you still get the feeling you got when you were taking on the original game. Nostalgia aside for a moment, even if you are new to the game and don’t have the prior experience of the Bird Man games – the whole experience plays out amazingly well. This isn’t just a great Tony Hawk game, it’s a great game altogether.
Launching down that ramp into the Warehouse will never get old and now you have the glorious graphics to accompany you. The improvements in the graphics are phenomenal and the game runs ridiculously smoothly considering the speeds your skater can reach. I am a big fan of the ‘recovery’ animation when you bail a trick (which happened quite often). Your character kind of blips and reloads back onto their skateboard. It’s such a small addition but it just makes the experience feel so much smoother. Overall, the skaters look seriously impressive. The models look exactly as you remember them from back in the day, and the more modern-day skaters look spot on.
Gameplay-wise, Tony Hawk offers the user a vastly enjoyable skating experience. Yes, this is not exactly a realistic experience like you can find on SKATE or SkaterXL, but it’s a fast-paced, arcade-like game that takes you away from the realism of life and allows you to kick-back and zoom through a variety of environments completing missions along the way. The game has longevity as well. Mastering the courses and grabbing all the specific items to complete the objectives is no easy feat. To put it lightly, there will be no way you can complete an area in one run – and that is a big win. Even after you have finished certain areas, you have the want to return to them and find new and innovative ways to grab those combos.
The combos are difficult at times to remember, but I feel they are easily accessible to most users once they get the hand of the gameplay. Areas, where objects are hidden, can be accessed, but will often take time to master. I had some frustration initially figuring out how to reach certain areas and master elements like the wall revert and manuals, but after a while, the game really opened up to me and allowed me to mix together some amazing combo moves and score those much desired huge combo scores.
Overall, the remaster does a great job encapsulating the fun and nostalgia the original has. Obviously we have come a long way gameplay-wise since the original, and the new edition really holds up nicely. The frame rate is constant, the game runs smoothly whilst looking amazing and the characters visually represent their real-life counterparts perfectly. Honestly, it’s just a whole lot of fun and a game I would highly recommend to anyone who likes those kinds of arcade-style games. Grab your board, hit the 900-degree ollie, and have a serious amount of fun with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2.
[Featured Image Credit: Activision]