Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 Review
The remake of the first two Tony Hawk Pro Skater games — recently released on Xbox One and PS4 — continues the recent Activision trend of stellar updates of classic games from the 1990s. This package, more than any remake or remaster in recent memory, speaks almost directly to me. The original games were among my favorites on the original PlayStation.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 perfectly captures the memories and feelings of playing the originals. The visuals are much sharper and more detailed; the soundtrack is back mostly in-tact; and the roster of skaters is, as well.
From the moment I booted the game up on the Xbox One X, my fingers immediately remembered how to play. Building up my combo and special meter, hitting my first 900, and nailing my first high score was as satisfying as ever. I do find that I’m not as good at the game some 22 years after first playing it; my combo meter doesn’t seem to go up as fast and the top scores are nigh unreachable for me right now.
One thing that has helped, however, is to use the D-pad for moving my skater around rather than the thumbstick. Controlling with the d-pad and using the shoulder buttons to spin have made the game just slightly easier.
The game is filled with a ton of content: Every level from the first two games, filled with the same collectibles and more; competitive and local multiplayer; create-a-skater; and create-a-park. In addition to the levels, there are more than 700 challenges to beat, plus upgrades for each skater in the game. Create-a-skater is fun, too, with a lot of variety in outfits and skateboard parts.
Online multiplayer adds a lot of value, as well, though it is infinitely more fun with friends than just on our own. There is no skill-based matchmaking that I can see, and while I’ll hit a respectable personal score, others will just blow me out of the water every time. I’m just not good enough to hang.
The create-a-park also greatly extends the life of the game, though I haven’t come across any truly great user-created parks yet.
My favorite part of the remake really is just jumping into free skate, jamming to the soundtrack and trying to hit different tricks. There are a ton of cool details in the game, from the school level’s COVID-era message, to the original skaters’ models being updated for their current age.
The perfect game from my teenage years is now the perfect game for my mid-30s gaming habits: I jump in when I have 10 minutes to play, or can skate away an hour or two without thinking about it. Whether you’re an old school fan or have never played Tony Hawk before, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is a great game.