Over the years, the name Tony Hawk has been synonymous with quality. Not only was he a great pro skater, but his, aptly named, Pro Skater series has sat at the top of the skateboarding video game mountain.
Unfortunately, as time went on the series started to decline in quality, ultimately leaving us with the car crash that was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. It’s honestly that bad. The decline in quality ultimately happened when Robomodo took over development duties from Neversoft and effectively killed the franchise.
Then it happened, the news we’d on been waiting for, Activision announced a combined remake of the first two games to be developed by Vicarious Visions. Not only did they manage to revitalize Crash Bandicoot, they also developed a ton of handheld Tony Hawk’s games dating back to the Game Boy Advanced. They were pretty good too.
With the franchise back in good hands, it was left to the fans to wait patiently to play the new old game. That wait is now over.
As of yesterday, anyone who has pre-ordered the digital version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 can download a brief demo to whet their appetites. For others, I’m sure the demo will get a wider release soon as only marketing something to people who have already bought it seems crazy.
I couldn’t be more excited for this game, so I thought it only fair to bring you my impressions of the demo, especially if you’re on the fence over buying Tony Hawk’s 1 + 2 or not.
As I booted up my PlayStation 4 and clicked on the demo I was filled with an excitement not seen for many a year. My TV screen burst into life and Rage Against the Machine’s Guerrilla Radio exploded from my speaker. At the same time, an introduction video played that showcased the talent of the returning skaters and well as the new ones, playable for the first time.
We’ll go through the skaters more in our review, but it’s safe to say that just this brief introduction hit me with a perfect sense of nostalgia. Something that wouldn’t be of any use if the game itself was terrible, however, it’s great to think that a new generation is able to feel the way we did all those years ago.
The actual demo only features the obvious combination of Tony Hawk as the playable character and, the Warehouse level to do so in. There isn’t any actual purpose as such, there are no goals, or collectibles, just 2 minutes of uninterrupted free skate that allows players to get the feel for the game and get the highest score they can.
Being a newer version of an older game series, many fans will be interested in how this looks, and I have to say it’s pretty beautiful. Sure, it isn’t Ghost of Tsushima, but it looks great and brings the Tony Hawk’s franchise right up to date.
It plays really smoothly as well. Throughout the entirety of my runs (there were many), I never had any problem with stuttering, screen tear, slowdown, or input lag. I didn’t have any problems at all, which is rare for me as I have a talent to break every game I’ve ever played.
As I played, the muscle memory kicked back in as, after all, the buttons have remained the same for many, many years. X still jumps, Triangle grinds, etc. etc. You know the score.
A word of warning, though for anyone expecting an exact remaster of the first two games, you won’t find that here, and that’s a good thing, at least for me.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 has incorporated moves that didn’t feature until games such as 3 or 4, which enable you to rack up huge combo scores.
On my first run, I did a flip trick from a half-pipe, reverted into a manual to another halfpipe, grinded my way along, and finished off with some flatland tricks to finish with a score of over 300,000 for the combo. A fairly mediocre combo sure, but with these added moves I know I’ll be able to get scores not possible in the original.
Adding these in helps older levels (at least the Warehouse) to feel fresh and I’m literally drooling with the possibilities that will present themselves in the main game.
If you’re sitting on the fence, get down and join me, as we sing. And here I am doing……..
Let us know your thoughts in the comments and let us know how long it took to get that song out of your head. I’m not even sorry.