REVIEW: ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2’ is How Remasters Should Be Done (Xbox One)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Tony Hawks Pro Skater

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (THPS) franchise was one of the most popular and best-selling video games in the early 2000s. Well after multiple critically acclaimed games the franchise became a shell of itself and eventfully bottoming out in 2015 with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5which ended up as consensus  “Worst Video Game of the Year”.  Fast forward a few years later to the present. Now, Activision and Vicarious Visions along with Tony Hawk decided to try to rejuvenate the franchise with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a skateboarding game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. The game is a full remaster of the first two critically acclaimed Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. To put it simply, if you are a fan of the franchise (especially the original games) then there is plenty to love about this remaster from the get-go. All the original levels, original pro skaters, tricks, and game modes have been brought back. Create-A-Park and Create-A-Skater have returned and with a wide variety of options for both.  All the original pro skaters are back including some that haven’t appeared in a Tony Hawk game in about a decade such as Kareem Campbell, Elissa Steamer, and Rune Glifberg. Vicarious Visions and Activision made sure to bring back as much of the original soundtrack as possible. Almost all of the original soundtracks from the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games are included, pending licensing issues, along with 37 new tracks.

As much as this game is a blast from the past, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 doesn’t come without some new additions. Along with all the original skaters, the roster added some of today’s most premiere skaters. This includes Nyjah Houston, Leo Baker, Leticia Bufoni, Aori Nishimura, Lizzie Armanto, Shane O’Neil, Riley Hawk, and the legendary, Tyshawn Jones. All of the visuals and graphics have been revamped and upgraded to current gaming standards which means no more 2000s polygons. The gameplay has also been updated with more goals and challenges along with an additional game mode: “Speed Runs.” Speed Run mode is where you must complete 100% of the Park’s Goals in a single run and in the quickest time possible. You can share your best times with each of the Park’s Leaderboard which allows players to compete with friends and other players. Vicarious Visions also made the decision to include some of the best well-renowned features from some of the later games such as the “revert” along with all the manual abilities allowing players to pull off some sick combos.

The game starts off with an updated tutorial that allows players both old and new to work their way through controls. This tutorial does a great job of showcasing the controls for the basics along with helping players understand the advanced controls and how combos work such as manuals and reverts. The game gives players the option of choosing from the new default controls or the layouts from either THPS 1 or THPS 2. The ability to map all of your tricks whether it be simple grinds or special moves is a great feature that really allows for players to master which moves they want to learn along while helping them pull off high scoring combos. The gameplay itself is smooth and the controls ar simple and tight. To be honest, after playing some of the later THPS entries the controls had been a mess, so it was a sigh of relief that the controls had been reverted back. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 for the most part does play and feel like you are back in 1999/2000. And I mean that as a compliment.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

Additionally, you are able to either select one of your favorite pros or create your own skater to do Career Mode – now known as Skate Tour – consists of all the parks and park goals from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 as you play through each of the games again.  All collectibles and stat points are character-based and each pro along with created skaters have their own set of goals and challenges to unlock. This allows for multiple play-throughs that pushes the replay-ability of the games. That said, there are over 700 challenges in the game in total so for those players and completionists looking for a challenge there is plenty to be found. These challenges are also not just limited to each individual park allowing players to compete on their favorite parks to complete some of the trickier challenges.

Now, the customization works much the same as the original game in which you complete goals and challenges to collect money and that money can be spent on items in the “Skate Shop.” The Skate Shop is where can buy apparel, new decks, logos, and other items of that sort.  Vicarious Visions did a nice job of including plenty of styles and brands that really allows each player to make their skater unique. This updated shop includes old favorite decks from previous THPS games and new designs to fit how skating culture has developed over time,

The other game modes are Speed Run, as mentioned previously, Free State, and Single Session modes. These are just more relaxed skating sessions with no goals, medals, or collectibles. Multiplayer returns with online or local multiplayer. There are six game modes that can be done in online multiplayer which are Free Skate, Score Challenge, Combo Challenge, Trick Attack, Combo Mambo, and Graffiti. Tag and H-O-R-S-E are two other multiplayer game modes but they are only available in local multiplayer.

These game modes are played within the two playlists which are “Jams” and “Competitive”. Jams being the casual competition playlist to play with other players and Competitive being the more ranked version of these games. Both Jams and Competitive do come with their own leaderboards. Create-A-Park isn’t really another game mode, but with all the time, effort, and customization you can put into building your own park that it might as well be. The intriguing part that lots of park creators will enjoy is that your park will have its own individual stats and can be made available for other players online to play and check out.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Tony Hawk game without an amazing soundtrack. The ability to bring back the majority of all the original soundtracks was already a win for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. Anyone that has ever played any of the Tony Hawk games overs the years knows that soundtrack is as important as the actual gameplay itself. There were only five songs that were sadly unable to be included. However, we also have 37 new tracks to skate to. This works out great as you get the majority of the iconic original soundtracks along with more songs from today’s skating culture. This added to the overall feel of the game of giving something to both older and new fans of the series. A nice touch is that the music plays on every screen, every park, and even when you load, with no interruptions. They also added the ability to customize your soundtrack and remove any song you do not wish to listen to while playing. These are both super small things, but also really great additions that players will enjoy.

Fans of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series have been waiting years for a  new Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game to come along to bring energy and life back into the franchise and this is exactly what Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 does.  It may just be a remaster, but it is a remaster done at it’s best as this game hits on so much nostalgia feelings for older fans while also showing newer fans what the series was all about back at its peak. The addition of present-day premier skaters and tracks along with an addition of “game mods” that allow new players and fans to hop in and not feel left out if they can’t pull certain moves. Throughout the game you can just see and tell how much love was poured into this remaster as just does an amazing job of highlighting and showcasing the best parts of the beloved and critically acclaimed THPS1/2 that transcended a generation of skateboarders and video gamers alike.

Overall, if you loved any of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games you are going to love this game. Whether its the feeling of nostalgia, the great gameplay, or even just the incredible soundtrack there is something for anyone and everyone in this remaster.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is now available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Overall, if you loved any of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games you are going to love this game. Whether its the feeling of nostalgia, the great gameplay, or even just the incredible soundtrack there is something for anyone and everyone in this remaster.