Developer – Vicarious Visions
Publisher – Activision
Platform(s) – PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
MSRP – $39.99
Release Date – September 4th, 2020
Thanks to Activision for Providing A Review Copy
One thing I must commend Activision on is their willingness to remaster titles that many grew up with. In the last couple of years, we’ve gotten remasters for Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and now Tony Hawk. The success of these remasters have lead Activision to green lighting a brand new Crash Bandicoot game set for release in early October, who knows what might be in store for Spyro, Tony Hawk, and other IPs in the future.
I bring this up because while you can say a lot about Activision and their business practices (I’ll probably agree with you about a lot of them), they definitely have done right with these remastered titles. Most of the credit shouldn’t go to Activision either, it goes to developers like Toys for Bob and Vicarious Visions who have done a masterful job on these games as a whole.
Now let’s talk about the game on hand, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2. A remaster featuring the first two games in the Tony Hawk Series back in 1999 and 2000. After the disaster that was Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5, Activision and Vicarious Visions have come back with a remaster that the Tony Hawk franchise needed.
I won’t claim to be a massive fan of the Tony Hawk games, the only one I played was Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 and even then that was only for a couple of hours. So I personally was going into this game with a fresh outlook on what to expect. It safe to say, I couldn’t have been more satisfied with my experience.
I played the Beta a couple of weeks ago and one thing that concerned me was how forthcoming this game would be to those who didn’t play Pro Skater 1 and 2 all those years ago. Those concerns went right out the window, the minute you open up Pro Skater 1 + 2 you’re given the option for a tutorial. With about an hour and a half in this tutorial, the controls felt more fluid and smooth than I could have ever inferred.
The bulk of Pro Skater will be spent in “Skate Tour” going from location to location completing tasks in order to advance. Challenges will mostly consist of obtaining high scores, high combos, and collectibles. Every now and then you’ll have to complete different challenges if you so choose. You are tasked with completing these challenges in locations that have tons of variety and is probably my favorite part of Pro Skater. From a School to a Mall to a Hangar and even Venice Beach, no area ever feels the same and is always vastly different to what commenced it.
The customization, stats, and level design are rich in-depth and in detail. Customization in video games is something that others might not care for, I for one am a huge fan of this, and Pro Skater has no shortage of that. There’s a setlist of pro skaters that you’re able to choose from such as Tony Hawk, Shane O’Neill, and Leticia Bufoni. Should you choose to, you can avoid using these pro skaters and simply create your own in character customization. While not as in-depth a character customizer as we’ve seen in games like Bloodborne, Pro Skater’s character customizer is still thorough enough for the player to work with. You can customize the board decks, grip tape, and even the wheels on your skateboard. If it isn’t clear already, Vicarious Visions went all out with this remaster and left no doubt about the turnaround this franchise has made.
Passion, that’s how you can describe this remaster. From the graphics, gameplay, level design, and customization, this game achieves its goal and then some. Don’t even get me started on the music, it’s tremendous. The number of songs I’ve looked up on Youtube after playing Pro Skater has probably gone into double digits at this point. Superman by Goldfinger has been in my head for days now and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.
For a remaster on 2 games that I never played, Pro Skater delivered on all levels. Minus a few nitpicks and issues here and there, I couldn’t have enjoyed the game more. From Pro Skater to Crash Bandicoot to Spyro, each of these recent remasters have provided fulfillment to those who long to experience these games again and for those who want to experience them for the first time. I highly recommend Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 and also consider it’s one of the only big Skateboarding games we’ll be getting until Skate 4 inevitability comes out.
Rating - 8.5/10