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"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2" Review

A game reviewer for several years, Jordan reviews games from any era. They tend to ramble about game design and archiving old media.

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Writer's Note

The cool fellows at Activision sent me a copy of this on Xbox One and PS4! I thought it would be interesting to compare (when applicable) the two different ports and just give a general idea of expectations.

Without further ado, let's take a look at Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2!

Story

This may seem a little foolish to discuss considering what we are talking about. While lacking a definitive story, I suppose you could say that the "story" of the game would be to become the "ULTIMATE SKATER"—complete the challenges, find all the secrets, and max out everything.

It goes back to the arcade-style of the original games and it was a smart choice, creating a remaster with a quickly thrown in story just because, would have been a point against the game.

Skateboard and have fun, that is all you need.

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Graphics

This game looks gorgeous on Unreal Engine 4. Reflections, lighting, character models, and everything else meshes together to truly bring the environments you saw back in the 90s' to life—all with the fresh coat of paint they deserve.

On console, the game handles resolutions up to 4K, and the PlayStation Pro version uses dynamic resolution, which means it can pull the resolution down if it ever needs to (I never noticed this). The engine was heavily optimized and runs at a smooth and stable 60fps on both consoles, and includes a beautiful and easy to calibrate HDR setting.

As weird as it sounds, this is one of the best looking games on both consoles. It isn't going to blow you away, of course, this isn't comparable to other AAA action games for example. However, for what it is, they went above and beyond what you would expect in a skateboarding game.

Vicarious Visions just knows how to make a game look amazing.

Sound

Some great improvements from the original game were implemented here. When you would play the original games on the first PlayStation, they had some weird choices with the music. While the music was great and fit the game perfectly, going between loading screens or retrying a stage would change to the next track, doing this would really only allow you to listen to a song for a few seconds or so before it would be changed again by doing something else.

The remaster, however, has made sure that music stays going in between loading menus, retries, and anything else that originally would cut the music out. They have also added the ability to skip the song with the R3 button and to allow players to craft their own playlists and create their own skating mixtape.

There is a lot of music here, some making a second arrival from the original. From the sound of the skateboard hitting the rails to some Powerman 5000 blasting in the background, the sound design in the game is an A+.

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Gameplay

A standard affair, skate around the levels, while beating scores, finding secret tapes, and a whole list of other things each stage has as a requirement to advance to the next area. It is your standard arcade style romp, and it is fun.

The game also has multiplayers modes allowing unique little mini games online, or split screen. Sadly, the game only seems to have vertical split screen, and not also horizontal. It is a personal preference though and most players I am sure will not care.

The cheese of the old games is still there in terms of button mashing to a high score, but honestly, I have no idea how it could have been fixed to begin with. It is like complaining about a person using the same move over and over in a fighting game, there is no real way to balance that or fix it.

There are some little improvements to streamline the game, switching to your next move feels faster and snappier than the old games, and when you bail, the game does a tiny glitch effect and puts you back on your board. Small change, but convenient.

The 60fps difference does a great deal compared to the first game in make decisions less forgiving, but it also makes you to feel more in control while you skate. I personally was falling on my face a few times going between the games because the frame difference doesn't seem like it does anything visually, but you can definitely feel it in the controls.

Learning Curve

Easy to learn, difficult to master. This is the perfect way to explain the game, and it is exactly how the game should be! When you finally start to get better at the game, jump up the scores, and beat those challenges, it is extremely rewarding.

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Replay Value

Just like any arcade-styled game, extremely high. You will finish a stage and see you were so close to getting that high score, or that you almost have the level-specific challenges done. The game makes you want to keep playing and playing, and I found myself doing so for several hours going, "just one more."

Overall

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 is a high quality remaster that truly stands next to the other games that have gotten a remaster treatment. This game is a prime example of what to do when considering remastering an adored game. I cannot recommend the game enough to those who don't have a working PlayStation and are nostalgic for the skateboard games of before, or for younger people who may never have experienced the original at all.

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ProsCons

Great Soundtrack

Needs a horizontal split screen setting

Beautiful visuals

 

Faithful Remaster

 

Verdict

© 2020 Jordan Yenney