Game review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
FYI, this story is more than a year old
Skateboarding games have always been one of my favourite ever video game genres of all time thanks to the release of Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding in 1999. Due to that first game, I pretty much played every Tony Hawk game released to date.
Sadly though, the PS4/Xbox One generation previously lacked any good skateboarding games. Prior to 2020, the only console released skateboarding game available to play was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. The fifth Tony Hawk game was a flop though thanks to it being buggy and having bad physics.
Well now it’s 2020 and we already have two skateboarding games. In July we saw the release of Skater XL, and now Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is out for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
For those people who don’t know, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 isn’t the first time the first Tony Hawk games have had a remake. In 2012, developer Robomodo tried its best with the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD.
I personally didn’t like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD for a variety of reasons. The game lacked offline multiplayer like the original games, plus the ‘revert’ ability was locked behind a DLC paywall. Not to mention the physics felt off much like they did in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5.
Well I’m glad to say that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is finally a return to form thanks to its new developer Vicarious Visions. Vicarious Visions successfully revived Crash Bandicoot with its remake in 2017, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is just as great.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 brings back the revert ability in all its glory, plus I can play the game with my brother thanks to the split-screen multiplayer option. Both Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 lacked offline multiplayer, so it’s great to see it finally come back here.
The game also sees the return of all of the original skaters. This time though, they have all aged and Vicarious Visions has updated all of their character models. The developer also added several new faces to the game including the likes of Riley Hawk, Leticia Bufoni and more.
Aside from the cast of playable characters, this new remake also adds several of the original songs that defined the first two games. Tony Hawk games always have great soundtracks, and this new remake preserves the series’ best songs. Even some of the newer songs are also great to listen to as well. There’s a healthy mix of punk rock and hip hop songs, so the soundtrack does cover a good amount of other musical genres.
Graphically, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is far superior looking to 2015’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. The fifth game looked budget and ugly as Robomodo used a weird cel-shaded filter. In this remake, the game engine uses Unreal Engine 4 and the graphics look awesome. I remember playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 a few years ago, and the PSone graphics are horridly outdated by today’s standards. Now the graphics look amazing with the HD upgrade.
The most important thing that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 does right though it that the gameplay physics are the best they have ever been. The physics feel like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and 4 and I’m glad I was able to pull out lots of cool combos as a result of this.
I remember I wasn’t able to score over 1 million points in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, but in this remake I’m able to reach that benchmark quite easily. I can also beat lots of other players in online multiplayer using my cool combos too.
Speaking of online multiplayer, this mode has been pretty smooth for me during its launch week. I did not experience any lag or network issues while I was playing online. As of this moment, this game could be one of my favourite multiplayer experiences of all time because it’s so fun!
Outside of multiplayer, gamers can also dive their teeth into two different single player campaigns. One mode you can go play missions based on the first game, while the other mode you can do missions that are from the second game.
Vicarious Visions has pretty much retained the same missions and old fans will remember how to unlock all of the secret areas and levels. The only downside to the campaigns is that they’re way too short in my opinion. I would have added even more challenges like the ones seen in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.
We will have to wait and see if Vicarious Visions will add more free DLC content in the near future. I’m hoping there will be more challenges because the base missions in this game were way too easy for me. I ended up trying to get all the trophies as that was a much harder goal for me to reach.
Another small downside to the game is that there are no private lobbies available right now for online multiplayer. I wanted to play a game with my friend online, but I wasn’t able to do so. Hopefully this is something that could be added in a future update patch.
Aside from a few flaws, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is one of the best remakes that I have ever played. Not only do the graphics look nice, but the gameplay is as addictive as it was over 20 years ago. I recommend fans to buy this game because it has a lot more content than Skater XL, plus the gameplay is more accessible for people as well.