Tony Hawk’s ProSkater 1+2
In all my years of gaming, I have always said remasters need to reinvigorate gamers not just make them relive an old game. We have seen a few games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro do this but it doesn't happen all the time, well I can say that Tony Hawk ProSkater 1+2 has finally proved what a Remaster can do for gamers and an entire game series...bring it back from the dead. The Tony Hawk series has been one that truly brought joy to my life for a long time, but after many failed attempts at bringing the series back to life, I almost lost hope until now. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is not just a remaster, it's a full relaunch of the series and a great glimpse into what is to come from the next Tony Hawk games! Today we will be reviewing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2, Let's dive in…
A HEELFLIP TO THE HEARTS
In THPS1+2 Vicarious Vision brings the world of two games into one and man does it bring back some wonderful memories. From the start, you have the option to either jump right into THPS 1, 2, or the Free Skate Challenge mode. You also have the option to play multiplayer, but due to my recent internet issues, I was not able to play this mode.
Let me start by saying this game is a graphical masterpiece, I mean it, this is by far one of the best looking remasters/remakes I have ever played. The first level you have access to in THPS 1 is the Warehouse and of course, the first song that started playing was Goldfinger's “Superman”. This song was originally released back in 1996, so when the game came out in 1999 it made a lot of fans go crazy for this band, me being one of them. With that being said, this is what this game did to me, right off the bat I felt like it was 1999 all over again.
The levels look so amazing and it made me feel like this was a new game, yet, really made me enjoy gaming like I used to. Playing with no care in the world, grinding rails, doing kickflips, and just having fun. As I said at the beginning, the game just looks so damn good, I was just in shock. All the levels, skaters, scenery, hell even the small details like birds in the sky or graffiti on the walls look so authentic to the original but stood on its own when comparing it to games on the market today.
The gameplay mechanics have been much improved as well. Plain and simple it just a very easy game to pick up and play. Gone are the days of slow/sluggish gameplay of past consoles, with this remake we got wonderfully updated controls that feel so much better than previous games. As I played, it was such a smooth experience, transitioning from one move to another was effortless, not once did I feel any latency, nor did I ever feel like that game was fighting against me for control of the game. The moves are simple to learn as well, to grind you approach the grind rail, jump with x, just easily tap the triangle as is, or tap it and use the left analog stick in any direction to attempt different grind moves.
This goes for the heelflips, kickflips, special moves, and more...it's just easy as hell to have fun in this game. If you don't think it's too easy and need help, well, Tony has got you some new Game Mods that can be turned on to help you along your way. This game mods give you the ability to have perfect balance, never bail from failed tricks, and more. This is cool and makes it so much easier for news players, or in my case my 3-year-old daughter, to play this game without getting irritated for not being able to pick up the controls super easy. Turing this mod also does not take anything away from your experience or your achievement. There are a few levels in the game that you can not access this mode, as well as the Free Skate/ Challenge mode. . .which is understandable.
A WELCOMED CHALLENGE WITH GREAT REWARDS
Though I said this game is easy, there are challenges in these games that can get a bit stressful at times. As per the original release, there is no story mode available, just challenges to take on. So, the challenges range from collecting the letters SKATE, getting all the VHS Tapes, Score challenges, and more. This was one thing I loved about the original was the challenge in each level. As you make your way through the 18 levels the challenges of course get a bit more strenuous and I freaking loved the challenge. Now, with that said I only completed 92% of the challenges in THPS1 and 89% of the challenges in THPS2. There were a few challenges that were just too hard for me to overcome, but hey I still had an amazing time trying to complete them. With these challenges, you get the money that will help you unlock items for your character.
At the beginning of the game, you get to create your character and though this is a cool aspect to the game, I wish there were more customizable options for your character. Yes, you can change their face, hair, but one thing that bothers me is you couldn't change the weight/size of your character. I know this might not be that big of a deal, but I love it when customization is unlocked fully and you can make your character either look just like you or however crazy you want him to look. The one thing I did like is the apparel, boards, and accessories you can buy in the shop. You can buy classic clothes, boards, and more to make your character look more like the classic game, or you can buy some of the latest styles to make your character look like a true pro skater.
Another option for customization in this game is the Create A Park mode. This is probably one of the coolest parts of this game and I was surprised by some of the editings you can do in the park creator. We have seen this before in many other Tony Hawk games, but this time not only can you build your park your way, you can also edit many items to your liking. For example, I placed a ramp in the map and wanted to have it circular, by placing the “Smart Item” down I was able to pull and shape said ramp however I wanted. You can do it with many items like rails, ramps, and more, but it made the editor feel like you were creating your level instead of using bits and pieces provided to you. I liked that ability to be able to do what I want in this editor to make my park the wildest and craziest park I ever played.
There is one more thing I wanted to talk about and it is multiplayer. Though I was not able to play the online mode, something I did get to play a lot of was the local multiplayer with my wife. We have been without the internet for 4 months...yes FOUR MONTH. So these last few months have been very trying for us. One thing that did keep us sane for these last few weeks was THPS’s local multiplayer. It is exactly how you remember it, you can challenge friends via split-screen play in score challenges, horse, graffiti, and more. One of my favorite thing back when this game was on the N64 and Playstation 1 was challenging my brothers to a game of HORSE or Score Challenge. So of course Dara and I had to challenge each other in this mode and boy was it amazing.
Yes, I was a total sore loser when Dara beat me time and time again, but this is exactly what gaming is all about. To experience one of the games I loved from my teen years with my wife (who also played it in her younger years) meant a lot to me. We already have an amazing connection, but cheating each other on and taunting each other as we try for the top score was a breath of fresh air. Couch co-op has always been very important to us, so the fact that the dev team wanted to bring this game back in literally 100% of its great gaming glory made us happy. It shows how much the team cares about their game's community and shows how much they love this franchise.
Tony Hawk ProSkater 1+2 is a truly amazing game, this is not a remake or a remaster. This is a relaunch of one of the best franchises in the history of gaming. This game is an utterly breathtaking feat and is probably one of the most fun games you can play in 2020. With all that has happened this year, how about you take some time out of your day, crack open a Mountain Dew, order a pizza, and play the best Tony Hawk game I have ever played! I want to thank Activision, Vicarious Visions, Neversoft, and of course Beenox for giving us the change to review this title! Thank you and BUY THIS GAME NOW!