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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 15 - 2020

Feeling good to be back on a deck.

 
By the time that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater released back in 1999, I had already hung up my deck and left my skating life behind. However, the game clicked instantly and it was like I had never left, exploring skate parks that I could have only dreamed of back in my skating days, and performing tricks that I could never have managed. The success of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater proved that there was a market for extreme sports games and while many other types of these games popped up for a while, it was always the Tony Hawk’s games that led the pack, not least with the equally excellent Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 that launched just one year later. These first two titles were easily the best skateboarding games made, but sadly the subsequent releases started to decline in quality, just as the interest in skateboarding seemed to decline.

 


 
Fear not though, brave skaters, as Activision have seen fit to not only perform their remastering magic, along with Vicarious Visions and Beenox, but also package Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the sequel into one lovely bundle of grinding goodness. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 brings together all of the skateboarding action that players will remember, along with a few new additions to make the game more appealing to newcomers. Frankly, it is just as awesome as I remember.

 
That is the weird thing about memory. I remember playing the first and second game. I remember the various locations, and I remember the skaters with a fondness. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 looks exactly as I remember, which is silly because this remaster looks so much better than the originals from 20+ years ago. Back in the day, as long as the controller inputs resulted in awesome tricks, the visuals were not of that much importance. The games looked as good as they could back then, and now they look as good as they can. I know that the models of these skaters, some of whom I have seen in real life, are vastly superior to how they used to look, and I know that the locations have been smoothed out and refined into the parks of skaters’ dreams, but it doesn’t really matter as long as I can link together tricks to reach massive scores. Obviously the visuals get the new players through the doors, but returning players are more likely to say “that looks nice” before the muscle memory takes over and they perform a high scoring combo as if they had never left. THPS1+2 will not disappoint anyone in the visual department, looking every bit a modern video game.

 


 
Players are able to choose between the two included games when they start up, and will be treated to all of the skating locations from both games, along with all of the skaters. There are some modern skating heroes included for those who want to be more current. There is a healthy tutorial that can be played in an indoor skate park that will give those new players a chance to learn the basics before moving onto the more complex moves. There is also the chance to create a skater for those who want a more personal experience, and create a skate park for yet more locations to enjoy skating around.
Interestingly, some more modern gaming ideas have slipped into the games, including the accumulation of cash that can be spent in a skate store on cosmetic items, such as grip tape or stickers, and a progression system. This will allow the player to level up their skater as they progress, and thus improve them and make them a better skater. The great thing is that these systems run across the two games, almost melding the two titles into one as the player chops and changes between them, carrying their improvements with them. The systems both work seamlessly in the game and feel like they should have always been there.

 
When it comes to the actual gameplay, most of the time the player will be dropped into a two minute run on a given location. There will be a variety of targets for this two minute run, and completing enough of them will unlock the next location. It is instant satisfaction presented in small packages. The targets are plentiful and various, with the player having to perform certain tricks in certain places, reach a score, perform a combo, collect the letters from SKATE, and all sorts of other things. Some of these things are quirky, but they are all fun and compelling. The subtle tinkering of the remaster shows here as well with the inclusion of new targets that will raise a smile on the faces of the returning veterans.

 


 
Split-screen multiplayer returns, but there is also now an online mode that will offer some entertainment for the skating masses. It’s not exactly the most inspired mode at this time, with random targets being dropped for players to compete to achieve, such as a set score or combo score. However, it is something that had to be included, and it can be great fun, if a little short lived.

 
One other new addition comes in the form of the soundtrack. The original iconic soundtrack is still here in all of its glory, but there are a few new tunes that have been added for the new, younger players. Again, it had to be done, but it is testament to the developers of this remaster that they haven’t taken away anything that matters, and have instead only added to the game. Strip everything away and the game plays just as smoothly as it ever did, and is just as entertaining.

 


 
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is sheer joy. The original games were both great, and this remaster brings the two games up to date and relevant, all in one glorious package. The changes and additions are all meaningful and welcome, and the core gameplay is just as much of a blast as it ever was. As one of the best remasters I have ever had the joy to play, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is pretty much perfect and is an essential purchase for all gamers.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★½ 



 

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