Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Review – Ollie Perfection
A man once said that the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater is “an extremely short burst of Video Game Perfection”. Its THE quintessential arcade game that makes playing it the fun thing about it. And that was two decades ago.
Since then, Tony Hawk and Vicarious Visions have come together to remake the best skating game ever.
And boy, have they succeed.
As expected from a remastering, THPS 1+2 brings the visuals up to the modern era and makes it quite beautiful and smooth. Fair to say that Vicarious took notes from the lacklustre fifth game that launched years ago and make it better with more realistic texture models and smoother gameplay.
They even went the extra mile to model the original lineup of skaters as they are now, older but wiser (more of that later). And even spare no expense with the new generation of skaters too, with them received their own well-done models as well.
Even the UI design takes a more modern approach as well, it’s cleaner and easy to read, even when you’re stringing together 20x combos and the text is basically adding over each other. Menus are also quick to navigate and switch from menu option to another is almost seamless. A good call on the developers there.
The sound. Where to begin with this one? The soundtrack is still a banger with some of the original songs from the music list is now using an updated and clearer version of the songs.
Likewise, all of the skaters also have their own small bit of voice line like in the original and cheer or groan when you do tricks that lands, or bail terribly.
In-game,the sounds of the deck hitting pavement and grinding are all revamped and sounds amazing on surround sound. A super neat touch, all in all.
From a gameplay standpoint, it’s a mix of the original games from back from the PS1 and PS2 era.
But with the new technology available, Vicarious Visions have refined it to the point of it being perfect recreation of what we had played back then. It’s these types of improvement that makes this sort of remakes worth it.
Even the tricks are still the same style which is easy to pull off but hard to master and no degenerate special tricks only mode (looking at you, THPS 5). If you knew the combination when the special meter fills then you’ll pull that trick, just the way I and many others like it.
It also still retains the 2 minutes to clear objective goals and it’s still a rush to play this minute-to-minute gameplay as you frantically try to clear them in one run. Which also correlates with the multiplayer mode which follows the same formula as well.
Lastly, my favorite part of the whole game is the progression system. It’s where you collect the game’s stat points and upgrade it to the fullest from two game’s worth of levels.
But the reason why I like it is that the base stats, according to the Hawkman himself, is set by the skaters themselves as of 2020. And since they are all now seasoned skaters, they would go for more interesting stats, which adds more personal touch towards the skaters.
For a game that’s highly keen on remaking the original, Pro Skater 1/2 makes sure all of the levels from the original has been remade to fit the current time area and still maintain the fun of it.
Small stuff like having a car or Jack Black in a buggy be a ramp to get the secret tapes and more neat stuff littered around the levels like this, making it exciting to replay the levels over and over again.
One of the staples of the Tony Hawk games is the customization of your skaters and boy did they deliver. Most of the items are unlock-able via the daily cash shop or even by leveling up. And you want to customize your skater because these designs are pretty good, fashion-wise.
And lastly, the Create-A-Park mode is back and thanks to the power of the internet, we can finally share them! And from what I’ve played, the creative juices from the user-created parks shared online are amazing.
A recreation from past games’ hilarious parks to serious designs like the real-life Tokyo Park makes this addition into the game quite neat and if they get multiplayer working on these parks, it would be quite a fun mode to enjoy with friends.
I freaking enjoyed THPS 1/2. There is no “but” or “if only” in this one. It is what the fans of Crash and Spyro felt when their childhood game has been remade with love and care.
And I feel that this is the one game from this generation that I’ll replay when I get stuck in a rut or feeling burnout. It’s 2 minutes of just turning off the brain and play, just the way I like it.
Tony Hawk has done it. After a decade of disappointing games from Robomodo, this remake reminds me and many others that fun games are quite simply fun when it clicks. And for that, it deserves its marks for just being a high-quality skating game in this weird year.
Reviewed on PS4, Copy purchased by the reviewer.