I have to admit when I first learned about this game, I was super pumped! Being a 90s child growing up in the action sports scene Tony Hawk was a household name. Watching Tony hit the 900 at the 1999 Xgames in San Francisco was such a monumental moment in Action sports history! Tony Hawk’s video games broke the meta bringing the action sports scene into your living room.
It was really important to me they preserved the music which they did for the most part. All but 3 of the original tracks are still in the game with an additional 37 tracks added into the remake. I think they did a really good job with the music they added as well, it really fits the game seamlessly. We would always leave the game on for the music while hanging out after ripping an IRL skate session. Hop on the sticks and relive our day virtually if we wanted too. In this version, you can customize your own playlist. Good music is a must when mashing a hardcore skate session IRL or virtually. One thing I was very disappointed about is the censorship they added to some of the original music but other than that cheers to good music in the remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2.
I literally spent 3 hours in the tutorial just mashing the course it was so much fun. You will notice a subtle difference in the artwork on some stages due to the lack of definition in the first game. I think there were just some areas where they had to really use their imagination to recreate the scene. What was once a pile of pixel blocks now has turned into a full-blown building. In some cases, the original game did not even have a backdrop! I also noticed some added obstacles which were not in the original game. Every aspect of the graphics has been updated including shaders, reflections, shadows, lighting, resolution, and models. One big disappointment that was a staple for previous Tony Hawk games is the lack of blood. When your skater wiped out it was always so dramatic with blood splattering everywhere. Later down the road pools of blood on the floor were added in the Tony Hawk’s Underground series. Now you get a rewind effect when you bail not to be confused with instant replay which his not in this version.
In this first release version, the physics feel a lot like the Tony Hawk’s Underground. It’s no question the gameplay is as smooth as ever, we are talking about 21 years in technological advancements. They kept all the moves from 1 & 2 but added more variations of ramp transitions and grinds. Manuals and double-tap tricks have also been added to increase your combo length. They also introduced a bunch of new tricks that were not available in the original 1 & 2 including flatland tricks. It is a completely new game with a different feel and new mechanics, don’t expect this to be a reskin of the original version. There might be a few things missing from the game now, but we will have to see what the plan is for the DLC and updates. I would imagine they will be adding new tricks and adjusting mechanics as we get into later versions of the game.
The content was limited in the original game of course due to hardware limitations. In this version, you have a few different modes including skate tours, ranked, and free skate. Skate tours take you through the campaigns in the original 1 & 2 but include added achievements which will extend your gameplay time. You will also compete in new competitions which are judged by other pro skaters. You no longer need to complete campaign goals with each individual skater. You can start or stop at any point in the campaign with any skater of your choice and still complete it. Your statistic points however are not universal and you will need to replay the campaign with each individual skater to upgrade them. In ranked mode, you can play online competing against other players on a leader board. Yes, it still has a multiplayer mode! You can even play in split-screen mode just like the original. It also includes all the old multiplayer modes like graffiti, trick attack, horse, and slap but unlike the original, you can play on the full versions of the stages. A player profile was added which allows you to level up and earn items like cosmetics for completing challenges. A free skate mode is included to practice your tricks and of course a new and improved park editor to build your own parks.
I was able to play the game on max settings on my ultra-wide monitor 2560 x 1080 with no issues. I recommend changing your field of view, I set mine to 87 which is max. Having more field of view makes it much easier to set up your next trick. I was a bit worried about input lag with all these new graphics, but it is almost nonexistent. It’s a well-developed game in all aspects. If you are looking for a reskin of the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 you should stick with your PlayStation 1. I think Vicarious Visions & Neversoft did a phenomenal job bringing this game back to life with next-gen technology. I am very excited to see what lies ahead in the DLC and updates!