Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is something that fans of the series have been asking for, for a very long time. It’s a return to the glory days of this once legendary video game franchise, and one that literally takes us back to the best two entries in the entire series.
Now I’m not going to mince words here, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a phenomenal game. And the major reason why it’s such an amazing game is that it builds on the already established levels and gameplay of the roots of this series. Pro Skater 1 and Pro Skater 2 might be around 2 decades old at this point, but there was something really magical about them that just wasn’t there in the later entries in the series.
This game then improves upon nearly every aspect of the originals, the most obvious of which is the visuals. Now, Pro Skater 1 and Pro Skater 2 were never ugly games for their time, but the graphics have aged about as well as as you expect. This remake brings these games up to the standard of current-generation visuals, and the result is gorgeous.
The new animations, the lighting, the draw distance, all of these look great in the remake to the point that you might not even be able to recognize that these are the same games people fell in love with so many years ago.
The updated art direction is great here, and it breathes new life into locations that otherwise felt barren and lifeless before. Each of the old maps from both games has been lovingly recreated, with mostly the same layout and collectible placements.
There are some new additions to be sure as the developers have taken some artistic liberties and given their own twists to some of these locations, but for the most part, returning fans should feel right at home here. The maps have just been updated for the year 2020, and I’m very glad they were.
New challenges have also been added to each map in order to give players more to do in them, but on top of that, there is now also a central challenge tracker that keeps score across all maps. These new centralized challenges can take up a lot of your time, but in return, they provide you with unique skateboards and cash that you can use to unlock new customization items in the store.
The gameplay is also fantastic, and it feels much smoother and faster than ever before. The same risk and reward trick system that has come to define these games is an absolute joy to play with, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 not only features all of the tricks from the original releases, it also features some of the best additions from later titles like Pro Skater 3 and 4.
Chaining combos is addicting to an almost unhealthy degree, and the pure unfiltered euphoria of pulling off tricks that score in the tens of millions is a feeling that is incomparable in the world of sports games. Basically what I’m trying to say is that gameplay is great, perhaps even the best we’ve ever seen in a Pro Skater game.
The original control scheme has also been updated to accommodate the increased number of tricks in the game, but players who wish for a more traditional experience can choose to change it back to the classic controls of either Pro Skater 1 + 2. It might feel more traditional, but it does take away a lot of simple improvements.
In terms of music, almost all of the original tracks are back here again. But the playlist has also been over doubled in size with both older and newer songs from artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Machine Gun Kelly. It’s a pretty well thought out collection, and these songs will keep you company throughout your time with the game.
All of the original playable pro skaters are also back again in the game, and their character models have been updated to reflect their current ages. A bunch of newer skaters has also been added like Riley Hawk, Lizzie Armanto, and Aori Nishimura. Of course, you can also create and customize your own personal character as well if you want.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 also features a Create a Park mode where players can design their very own skate parks. The tools are complex yet intuitive enough that you can create some absolute monstrosities in your pursuit of the ultimate park. Players can also share their created maps online, and the game already has a number of different fan-created parks available to play in.
In conclusion, the gameplay is stellar, the updated tracklist is great, and the tricks flow smoother than ever before. The updated graphics and art style do wonder for the old maps, and the new set of challenges should provide hours upon hours of content for players.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is something that should appeal to both newer and older fans of the franchise. It’s the series at its absolute best, and I can see myself coming back to it again and again over the years.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Review (Xbox One)
Game Reviewed on: Xbox One
Game description: Drop back in with the most iconic skateboarding games ever made. Play Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ & Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 2 in one epic collection, rebuilt from the ground up in incredible HD. All the pro skaters, levels and tricks are back and fully-remastered, plus more.
Final Score - 9/10
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a fantastic return for a series that has been stagnant for far too long.