Review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (PS4)


Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (28.11 GB)
Release Date: September 3, 2020
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Original MSRP: $39.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: T
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
After the back to back disasters of Tony Hawk HD and Tony Hawk 5, I thought my favorite childhood series would be forever lost to time. Thankfully, Vicarious Visions didn’t repeat the past mistakes with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. It’s the nostalgia trip every veteran of the series wanted, and the perfect jumping on point for new fans.

You can tell this was a project of love for the series. Even long time fans, such as myself, probably have not played Tony Hawk for a while. Luckily, Vicarious Visions created a tutorial to help onboard old and new players. It’s fairly straightforward and covers all of the basics.

Suddenly, I am a kid again. Everything comes flooding back to me. I remember perfecting my lines and being able to complete most if not all of the first game’s Warehouse goals in one session. OK, so maybe I am not the Tony Hawk master I remember being, but it’s good to be back. My thumbs don’t have the stamina and speed they once used to.

Tony Hawk 2 introduced the manual and Tony Hawk 3 brought in the revert. Each was a small addition, yet turned the game core mechanics on its head. Allowing players to do more and pushing them to complete bigger combos and higher score goals.

The developers could have easily left the original mechanics as they were. Most people would have been happy enough to be able to play a good Tony Hawk game. Vicarious Visions put in the work to allow players to play with the original mechanics of THPS1, with the manual, or default with manual and revert.

Additional level goals for THPS1 levels, and overall career challenges, were also added, including some hidden collectibles that aren’t mentioned anywhere.

I drop in to THPS1’s first level, The Warehouse, for the first time. I’m again hit with another big wave of nostalgia. There is the hidden tape, here is my line to collect SKATE, but now there are more challenges, a few more things to collect and some gaps to perform specific tricks over. It’s nothing major, but another small addition that goes above and beyond what was expected.

VV even added stat points to collect and boost the skaters. A few stat points could have easily been scattered in each level and we’d be good, but they went beyond that. The locations of the stats are based on the skaters skating style: vert, street, or park. Each level has three different sets of locations for stat points.

There are a few modes for people who want to skate without the two minute timer. Free skate is pretty self explanatory. Creating levels isn’t one of my strong suits so I didn’t spend much time creating a park. However it was relaxing to casually skate around some very creative parks made by the community. Speedrun is available for players who want to master individual level, setting times for how fast they could complete all the goals for a level.

While I skated as some of my childhood idols, there is a full suite of options for creating your own skater. Again, showing another touch of love, they brought forward the skaters as they now, rather than the Tony Hawk from twenty years ago.

The faithful remaster also carries forward some annoyances I remember from my childhood. The camera makes it hard to look up while closing in on a vert ramp. At times I had to skate away, stop, turn, and look to line up for the collectible I was trying to grab.

Visuals:
The game runs well and loads quickly enough, which is why it is frustrating that every time I look at decks or clothing, everything slows down. For example, when selecting new clothing, it takes a second to appear, but it is all blurry; another second after that, and the item appears in full detail.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 look great, but it wasn’t until I watched some old gameplay that I realized how much had changed. The animations and transitions between different types of tricks is smooth.

Obviously Vicarious Visions rebuilt the levels to give them modern textures, but they took bare-bones levels and brought them to life by fleshing them out in detail. The only downside to the gorgeous levels is that the school bells used to stick out like a sore thumb because they were the only detail on the plain walls. Now they blend in a little more with all the other details and wall textures.

Audio:
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is a wild nostalgia ride, and the music is a big part of that. For two decades I haven’t heard Powerman 5000’s When Worlds Collide without instantly being taken back to the school in THPS1.

In addition to the new collections of songs being added to the soundtrack, most of the original songs are there as well.

Online/Multiplayer:
Tony Hawk supports local and online co-op. The online multiplayer is nice for players looking to show off but not something I stuck with for very long. Online is a revolving list of quick matches of getting the highest combo, highest score, and other modes, like graffiti.

Conclusion:
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a near perfect remaster. The environments and animations look great. Vicarious Visions nailed the controls; fans of the series will pick up the controller and it feels right.

Whether it’s veterans looking for trip down nostalgia lane, or new players wondering what the fuss is all about, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is an easy recommendation.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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