(Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC)
(PlayStation 4 version used for review)
Activision earlier this year announced that after completely killing the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise between their terrible peripheral based game Ride and the terrible Pro Skater 5 that was not only bad but also literally had the entire game patched onto the disc on day 1, (which means in the future when the servers go down you won’t be able to go beyond the tutorial) a remake of both Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 from the PS1. Now these beloved ps1 games have been given the modern generation treatment. The game has arrived and it is for the most part a faithful remake of the game with some modern extras with the game being developed by Vicarious Visions and Beenox who handled the Crash Bandicoot and CTR remakes. Rather like those games it’s very much the original game if it was made for todays consoles and it certainly has feel of it. that’s not necessarily a dig at it there’s a reason people still think fondly of these games and get tons of views on twitch streaming them. The game itself doesn’t have too many extras from the initial outset though the addition of Online multiplayer certainly helps and there is a few unlockables (no one of them isn’t Spiderman unfortunately).
- Graphics: this game looks seriously good. Considering the limitations of the original PlayStation there wasn’t the most massive environments, in retrospective sense, they could make but they looked good at the time and the updates made are brilliant. They maintain the designs of the original game but look great. Fans from the original will get an immediate nostalgia bomb the minute they upload the Hanger or Venice Beach. There’s also some real attention to detail in some of the little moments of play which makes it a very good looking game for this generation
- Gameplay: simplicity is key to why this game works. While it fixes up a lot of the physics from previous games it also really retains much of the simple good fun nature of early Tony Hawk which the series had been getting away from. this pushes it right back to the arcade nature of the game giving you tons of timed challenges in each skater park to unlock the next one which will put your skills to the test but don’t worry because all parks are available from the start in free skate mode. The game takes a real skill to learn especially if like me you haven’t played these games in a while and are rusty but it incentivises you to get better to pull off better tricks and get higher scores. Put it this way I suck at this game but I was still having a ton of fun and playing loads trying to get better (I didn’t at this point in time).
- multiplayer: this game has fantastic multiplayer offering a variety of competitive games such as who can pull off trick to get their graffiti across most of the park or who can pull off the highest scoring combo with everyone skating at the same time. The game allows for 8 people to play at once and opening a room to play with your friends is very easy from what I could gather though I didn’t have any friends who bought the PS4 version to test this out. playing with random people was still really good fun and I really didn’t run into much lag though maybe I got lucky and no one I played with had bad connections.
- Soundtrack: The Ska and Alt Rock has returned. The soundtrack has virtually the entirety of the iconic licensed soundtrack from the first 2 games which will make you nostalgic for late 90’s MTV when Jackass was premiering. The soundtrack includes people like Less Than Jake, Anthrax and Rage Against the Machine but also has new tracks from artist like Machine Gun Kelly and a brilliant feature the game has is the ability to skip a song if you don’t want to hear it so be prepared to have a ton of great song to skate to.
- The Create a skater features: while the create a park features are excellent and most aspects of the create a skater features are really good I can’t help but think that it feels rather limiting in certain areas and that there was an opportunity to expand this in a way that hasn’t been taken advantage of.
- Skill level required to get most out of the game: I can see people not used to this design philosophy giving up on this game. while there are good tutorials if you don’t get good at this game like me a lot of the best features are locked out for you though as said all of the parks are available at the start for free skate so there really isn’t too much restricted
- Cant create a playlist or chose what song you hear: why is this not a feature, later Tony Hawk games had the ability to choose which songs to hear so what’s this game excuse
- There might be microtransactions later: this won’t effect the score right now but I have a bad feel Activision will do what they did with Call of Duty WWII and CTR Nitro Fuelled and add microtransactions in after the release which will effect gameplay. The skater shop is already kind of set up for this so be weary
- Where’s Pro Skater 3: this also shouldn’t effect the score but I really think it was bad move to not have any parks from pro skater 3 given it was also on PS1 and had some of the best skater parks. Activision has expressed in interviews that they would like to make remakes of 3 and 4 but given were heading into a new generation of consoles I think it’s not likely this will be dlc.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater remakes are really good fun which is something the series really needed. This is a really good time and is an excellent time with friends on the multiplayer thanks to the brilliant controls and well-tuned physics. It does have a skill barrier but the game encourages you to experiment and get better and the feeling of satisfaction pulling them off is excellent
It’s an excellent deal for a full priced release track it down though there are digital editions with extra content that might be worth it.
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