Activision knocks another remaster out of the park with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, an incredible re-release for the twentieth anniversary.
It’s been a long time since I played a really great skateboarding game. I’m thinking it was probably Skate 2. Given Activision’s recent track record with remasters – and Vicarious Visions and Neversoft teaming up again for the remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 – I had a feeling that this would be great.
Thankfully, it’s just as good as it was when it originally launched, although probably even better to be honest. I have great memories of playing it when I was younger, and bringing it into the modern age with one of the most faithful re-releases was just what I was looking for.
A faithful remake
I’m probably going to end up beating a dead horse with this one, but it blows my mind just how loyal it is to the originals. All of the maps, skaters, move sets, soundtrack, is about as close to the original two games as you can get.
There are some new features here like create-a-skater and some new challenges to go through. Overall, the experience is exactly like you remember – and that absolutely isn’t a bad thing. Looking back, I think that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 were probably just ahead of their time. The fact that this release is basically identical to the original releases – just with some very updated visuals and tightened controls – is a testament to that.
On top of the skater roster being the same lineup, a few new skaters have been added too. But that’s not all. Along with almost every track from the original two games, the soundtrack has 37 new tracks. It fits well with the original, even if I don’t care about any of them other than Billy Talent and American Nightmare. It all becomes background noise after a point.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 have never looked so good
Every remastered map has been meticulously crafted to fit well on modern consoles, and the stages are beautiful to explore. Light pours through daytime stages, while fluorescent lights bounce off the walls during nighttime. That being said, it was frustrating looking for some objectives, given how much busier some of the stages appear. With additional detail comes additional distractions, and objectives aren’t always easy to track down.
Players should expect the same gameplay from the different maps they’re used to. You’ll be hunting down S-K-A-T-E, finding a couple groups of collectibles, performing specific tricks on different ramps or railings, etc. Again, I can’t believe how well the gameplay and map design holds up twenty years later.
There are a few other modes that players can jump into here like create-a-park and online multiplayer. I didn’t spend more than thirty minutes in either though. Much like Skate 3, I don’t consider myself to be very creative. I’d rather spend my time in other players’ parks.
But for creative types, there are a ton of customization options to perfect your own skate area. So for those willing to sink some time into creation, there’s a lot you can do. I also don’t think I’m good enough at Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 to be competitive online. I just continually opted for single player.
That’s fine, though, because there is plenty of content to keep me occupied. Even after spending 10-20 hours, I kept revisiting early maps just because of how iconic they are. I spent hours and hours playing these stages when I was younger. They look damn good and are still a blast to skate around in. I don’t know if Activision has plans to remaster 3 and 4 (or even Underground 1 + 2), but I would love to see another pack of remasters.
I was never great at the original releases from when I was younger, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is accessible enough that you’ll easily be able to progress through all of the stages even if you’re just decent at them. Some later levels get a little frustrating if you are able to get tier two or three high scores, but as they say, practice makes perfect. Practicing and getting better at the arcadey combo chains is something everyone should enjoy.
It’s great to see both titles re-released for both new fans and returning ones. This modern-day reinvention of one of my childhood favorites is a breath of fresh air from a lot of the more mature game launches this year.
Game Freaks 365 received a free review copy.