Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 PlayStation 5 Review

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Skating
 
Rating: M15+
 
Release Date: March 26th, 2021
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


 

Positives


- Nostalgic bliss
- Super smooth gameplay
- Great level editor
- It’s not THPS5.

Negatives


- No option for raw classic mode
- No new ideas.


Posted March 29, 2021 by

 
Full Article
 
 

When the PlayStation 5 launched late last year, the last thing we thought we’d be playing on it was The Warehouse map of the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, but when Activision revealed that the remake of the classic first two games was heading to the new generation of consoles (including Switch), we were the first to board the hype train! With 120 FPS at 1080p and 60 FPS at native 4K resolution, join us in our review of the latest version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is packed full of everything fans of the series could expect from the remake. From the main hub, you can quickly choose to play the first or second game, or to play around in free skate, speed runs, or single ranked sessions. There are two different progress systems in place, the first being upgradable stats which carry across on all game modes, while the other provides challenges organized into a rookie, veteran, and legend structure. There are a whopping 820 challenges to complete across all game modes, each rewarding you with cash and XP which levels you up to unlock more items to buy with said cash.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2

Developers Vicarious Visions have been meticulous in their recreation of these classic games which we immediately noticed skating down that infamous first ramp in The Warehouse level. Each of the original levels brings back memories of old, fun times from our youths such as collecting the S-K-A-T-E letters, ollieing over homeless bums and wall-grinding bells, and now new players can experience it all with far superior graphics. It’s always fun to think back on how these games looked with rose-coloured glasses while playing the remake, but it’s not until you watch a YouTube side by side that you actually remember what it looked like back in the early noughties.

For those that may not have played a skateboarding game, this is also a great way to get started. The package still starts off with a tutorial teaching you how to maneuver, kickflip, grind, grab, and all the basics but what it doesn’t teach you is how to pull off the epic combos you’ll need to make waves in the leaderboards. While most of the game is a pure recreation of the originals, a few minor changes have allowed for better and easier combos such as reverting out of an aerial, spine transfers, and wall plants. Without the use of the revert, combos mostly required lengthy grinds with near-perfect balance and a lot of frustration but with these minor changes, we were soon hitting 200,000+ point combos again.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2

Our only concern with this remake is that there’s no way to play a purely vanilla version of the game. We’re not talking vanilla graphics, nobody wants to go back to that, but being able to play the game without having the extra features at our disposal, and perhaps having a separate leaderboard for the more authentic original version would have been a nice touch. Also, although Vicarious Visions has created a bunch of maps using their own editor, we would have liked to see them create their own levels to be completed alongside the base two games. The only ‘new’ touch they’ve added is a glowing blue V that can be found in each level which upon locating them all unlocks a deck and a player icon which you probably won’t use.

Outside of the skateboarding, players can customise their profile look by purchasing things like badges, but most of your hard-earnt cash will most likely be spent on boards and gear in the skate shop. All the store items from the original two games are in the remake, with some new items also available such as animated board designs, though you’ll have to grind out the challenges to unlock them.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2

The game’s Create a Park and Multiplayer modes are where you’ll find the new content, as well as reasons to come back and play the game once you’ve completed the original levels. Much like what we said in our review about Skater XL last year, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2’s longevity will largely depend on community-created levels and challenges. Currently there are a bunch of custom levels created by Vicarious Visions showcasing the potential of the mode, but it will be up to the community’s creativity to see how crazy the designs can get. The game offers both local split-screen and online multiplayer, though there’s not a lot of depth to the gameplay modes.

Visual features of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake include sharper dynamic shadows, reflections, and lens flares, and you’ll also notice the skaters and objects throughout each level have enhanced textures. This all marries well with the two different framerate modes that we mentioned earlier, though the game doesn’t look as good as games built for modern times like last year’s Skater XL. Still, it’s hard not to appreciate the effort Vicarious Visions has gone to in recreating these groundbreaking games from more than twenty years ago.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2

When we think of Tony Hawk games, something that always comes to mind is its punk rock soundtrack, and thankfully this remake brings 2.5 hours’ worth of almost all your favourite tracks back, now with added spatial audio providing the most immersive Tony Hawk game to date. Songs from bands like Bad Religion, Millencolin, MxPx and Papa Roach bring back all the feels, and you can view and play the full soundtrack on Spotify.

A lot of games have been hit by long delays this year due to the global pandemic meaning owners of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles are faced with slim pickings right now. While the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 package is by no means a revolutionary new game, it still offers a complete skateboarding package that can provide many hours of gameplay depending on how much you get into it. With the challenges, online multiplayer and level builder, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 has enough going on to keep you busy until the covid delays are overcome.

Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 on PlayStation 5 with review code provided by the publisher. It is also available on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC via the Epic Games Store. For more information, head to the official website.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Go8 university but only uses his unique set of skills writing for passion. By day he's a stay-at-home father of two, by night he responds to the Bat-Signal. Where does he find the time?