Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Remake
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater has been a popular skate game for many years. After the 5th part, the series bled a bit to death. See you this year! How does Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 remake play? Read it in our review!
It's 1999, I still shit my pants full, because at that time I was only 4 years on this planet. My father, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed a game of Tony Hawk. Over the next few years, I went on to play part 2 (2000), including Call of Duty (2003) and Medal of Honor (2002), with him. Those were good years anyway! The skate scene dominated MTV, my clothing style and also the places I visited in my youth. For the past few years, after Skate 3, the pipeline has been a bit dry for these kinds of games. A new SSX is still on my wish list, as is Skate 4. Yet 1 of the 3 games on that list has become reality with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 remake! But, is the game better than Pro Skater 5 or the older HD remake? Let's see!
Besides Tony Hawk himself, who is in his 50s and still takes the halfpipe like he has the lungs of a 16-year-old, there are a lot of old skaters in the game. Jack Black also makes a cameo, but you have to unlock it first. Erik Koston is also a nice face to see coming back. Beyond that, there are a lot of new, both male and female, skaters to play. This is how one of my favorites, Nyjah Huston, can be played. As well as top cat star Lizzie Armanto, along with many others. You can also make your own skater. The clothing options are present, although not very extensive. Still, putting together your skater is a fun aspect of the game. Skating in pink Stefan Janoski's was enough for me anyway to reflect back on my teenage years.
You can level up your skater in a fun way, where you spend points in specific skills such as Ollie, Speed and Twist Speed. Here you notice that, the higher all your skills are, the better your tricks will go and the more points you can score in the re-worked maps.
The areas you'll be skating in have been kept as close to the original as possible, but with a significant graphical upgrade. The game looks fantastic, from the character models to the animations, to the maps themselves. Also, the game plays very smoothly, where my frame rates were always stable and the UI never interfered. On the contrary, the UI is very nicely done.
Each map has a different theme, from a school district to an abandoned shopping center to a lot of different types of skate parks. The lighting is well done in every map, which brings out the atmosphere of every area. Each area also has its own challenges, except for the skater challenges that you can complete in each map. Complete enough challenges to progress to the next map. Once in a while you come across a Heat map, where you participate in a kind of tournament. Do you score the highest Heat Score? Then you can continue. Even in maps where I had tapped 100%, I still felt the urge to improve minus high scores, because of this I often came back to older areas. You can play the areas of both games from a drop down menu.
The gameplay is arguably the best thing about the entire game. I've never played the original, but was pleasantly surprised by the controls in the remake. Everything felt responsive, fluid and I felt like a real boss at high combos. Making combos can again have a big learning curve for newcomers and returning players. The controls on their own are not difficult, but combining all possible combinations, without repeating yourself, is something you will have to train for yourself. You can of course just follow the tutorial! The online in Pro Skater 1+2 is not very exciting, the Graffiti mode is fun, but that's where it ended for me!
From grinding to twisting, every trick felt fantastic. The game plays like a nice arcade skater but stays within certain standards so that it doesn't seem like you're some superhero who happens to have a skateboard in his claws. Warehouse, being the first map, was really cool to experience. You soon find out that by grinding up and down with different tricks you can quickly get a high combo, always fun! You obviously have 1-2 minutes per folder to do your thing. The challenges each area has come together with collectibles. In any case, you collect the word SKATE in almost every area, but outside that there are always 5 collectibles that are in the theme of the map. For example, you can pick up 5 train tickets in an area,then open a gate where you can complete another challenge.
The gameplay is downright fantastic and I couldn't keep my hands off the controller. It's been a while since I've experienced such a cramp in my hands and still wanted to play!
Music and sound
The golden old soundtrack of Pro Skater is of course present in all its glory, besides that a number of new tracks have been added. Seeing artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Hopsin, Token and Tech N9ne pop by is a breath of fresh air for the hip-hop head. MGK's new song 'Bloody Valentine' was arguably the most nostalgically uplifting punk-rock song on the new list. Also the sounds of achieving challenges and high combos is a straight forward exciting experience, as well as the skateboard sounds themselves. I have next to nothing to complain about here.
I never dreamed that I would be able to enjoy a Tony Hawk game in 2020. With some minor flaws, the game is seamless and an experience that everyone should experience. If you really have nothing to do with skateboarding, then this is of course a different story. However, especially for the price, I can really recommend the game to any returning fan as a new player. Let's hope Skate 4 is going to be a banger too!
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