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Video Games

Tony Hawk Pro Skater

1 & 2 Remaster : A Review

Like many of us, skaters or not, the Pro Skater franchise had a huge impact on our childhoods. For me, it was always Pro Skater 4. My brother and I spent countless hours playing that game. I say spent, but the truth is I still fire that game up from time to time, most recently about 6 months ago. I love it! Admittedly, it hasn’t aged well and is a bit clunky to play, but is still very fun. I don’t think I’ve ever played Pro Skater 1 and I had a brief experience with Pro Skater 2 at a friends house (if you’re reading this, hello Daniel) but it wasn’t much. I was right into the skate culture though and it’s held a special place in my heart ever since. When I heard this remaster was on the way, I preordered the special edition instantly. It came with a really cool skateboard deck, which I plan on wall mounting. If I remember, I’ll add some pictures at the close of this article. Anyway, let’s talk about the actual game!

I started with this tutorial, even though I was tempted to ignore it (we all know how that worked out for me in 2k21). The game played exactly how I remembered. It felt so good to be back. I was quickly busting out all my old favourite combos and tricks, the triple impossible, handstand manual, the air-walk, you name it, it was all there and all played exactly how you remember! It was so smooth to play and very satisfying to land a big combo. I finished the tutorial very quickly and was so excited to dive into the rest of the game. Arielle had recently got home from work, so I thought it was a good chance to test out the local multiplayer.

Firstly, I’m really glad this game kept split-screen local multiplayer. I have so many good memories of it and can’t wait to make many more. We started with a free skate, just so Ari could get a feel of the controls. She isn’t much of a gamer and has never played a Pro Skater title before. The controls are still simple enough to pick up the basics and have fun almost instantly. Ari is a total noob though and she struggled a bit, but picked it up enough to play. There are a few different multiplayer game modes, but I decided to challenge her to a game of HORSE.

I was glad you could change it to spell out whatever you want. More memories of my brother and I, giggling like clowns at whatever dirty word we made the game spell out. Nothing has changed and I once again set an inappropriate insult that the loser (Ari) would be known by henceforth. Her rookie combos were no match for me and my almost 20 years of experience in the field. I swiftly crushed her and then we had to turn off the PlayStation and watch a movie. I regret nothing.

The next day, I decided to dive into some of the single player. It was simple enough. You start with one level and it has a list of challenges. As you complete challenges, you unlock more levels and more challenges. The challenges are things like setting different combo scores, level scores, collecting letters or items, breaking certain things, grinding on different objects etc etc. You can play each level as much as you want, but you only get 2 minutes at a time. Each challenge needs to be completed from start to finish within the 2 minute time limit, (for example if I collect 3/5 items when the timer runs out, I start with 0/5 items the next time I play the level) there is no carry over for half completed challenges. Once the challenge is complete, it’s crossed off for all future play throughs on that level.

The levels and characters look great. I don’t usually give points for good graphics in a game anymore, and this is no exception, but it’s worth noting how nice it looks. The tricks and combos, whilst often ridiculous, still look believable enough to be realistic. The sound effects in the game are awesome. Each ollie and grind sounds exactly how I remember it sounding from when I was at actual skate competitions. Not as a competitor, try as I might, I was never very good. One thing I wish this was in this game is blood! I remember in Pro Skater 4, we’d always have to extra gore cheat on and it was pretty funny to watch blood stain the ramp when you wiped out. Maybe I’m just a bit gory. The rewind visual in this is pretty cool after a wipeout. Speaking of cheats, you start with a few of the perfect balance ones unlocked. I would strongly recommend playing without them, at least at first.

It wouldn’t feel right to talk about a Tony Hawk game without going into detail about the soundtrack. It was a frequent argument amongst myself and my old work colleagues. Which Tony Hawk Pro Skater title had the best soundtrack? They were all wrong, the answer is obviously 4. They are all good though and this is no exception. In short, it’s awesome. They have added some new songs to the soundtrack. I like the additions, but I also wish they kept it just the same as it was. I kind of like the nostalgic vibe it was giving me when I just listen to Less Than Jake, Goldfinger or Zebrahead. It was weird hearing a song about different social media platforms in a game that I associate with a time before social media. Not that it was a bad song and overall it is still a very good soundtrack.

I’ve only messed around with character customisation a little bit, but it was fun enough and I was able to quickly set up a character I liked the look of. I have not attempted a create-a-park or any online play yet. I’ll mess around more with that stuff later.

I can strongly recommend picking this game, especially if you were into it back in the day. It’s nostalgic but fresh enough that it still feels like a new release title. I’m having a lot of fun and it’s bringing back a lot of good memories. It’s easy enough for a beginner to pick up and it’s fun to play solo or in local multiplayer. How good is local multiplayer?

That’s basically all there is to it! There is still a lot for me to do, and if you guys want further updates as I continue to play, I’ll be happy to write some more or even stream some on twitch and/or YouTube. Just let me know!

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