There are few games that resonate with the PlayStation One generation more than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Released in 1999, THPS melded music, culture, and mechanics in a way that became the blueprint for many skateboarding, snowboarding, and extreme sports games to come. 20 years later, Activision brought the nostalgia and prestige of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 to a new generation of gamers.
For many gamers, myself included, the sights and sounds of Tony Hawk Pro Skater bring back so many memories. For me, it is playing THPS2 with my brother, taking turns as we pushed each other to get the highest scores. Those memories came flooding back the moment I started the game. I will admit the illusion was broken briefly when I realized my reflexes were also 20 years older and I was rusty.
For the unfamiliar, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is a skateboarding game where you can either play as a famous skater, including their own brand marketing and merch, or create a skater of your own. Then you are dropped into various skate parks to perform routines, practice your skills, obtain the various collectibles, or just free skate and enjoy the ride.
Performing tricks or skills earns you points and stringing the tricks together will earn you combos. The better and original the trick plus the combo you can build will earn you more points. Those point totals, along with collecting items, will complete the park’s objectives, earning you the right to open the next skate park with its own various objectives and obstacles. There are also levels that are competitions you must compete in to continue the main storyline.
Tricks are performed by using a combination of the face and directional buttons: Right + X will do a Heelflip, Down + B will do a Tailgrab, etc. Using a variety of these will continue to keep your scores high as continuing to do the same tricks will not get you as much bang for your buck. The mechanics themselves really haven’t changed since the originals minus the inclusion now of the analog sticks. And with the exception of the touchiness of pushing up on the stick, which has you exit a pool/pipe instead of doing the trick, the mechanics still hold up. I think the simplicity of the original games’ design affords it the ability to still make an impact in 2020.
The music in THPS 1 and THPS 2 was an integral part of the original games’ experience and not only have they brought back the original soundtrack, but Activision has also improved upon it by adding more to the playlist. I was constantly jamming while I was putting in the time on my board. The game also added a multiplayer element if you wish to play online with your friends or randos. I’m not sure it was necessary, but I’m sure someone will like it.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Review Final Thoughts:
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a remake worthy of its predecessor. It kept the core game mechanic that made it so popular and brought it forth lovingly to the current generation. Whether this was your jam 20 years ago or you are new to the lifestyle, you will not be disappointed in this remaster.