Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, which was released by Activision in 2015, almost ruined the franchise. The game was hastily released in an unfinished state to meet a deadline, resulting in a disastrous outcome. The game had to be released before the end of 2015 to prevent the license from expiring, as per the instructions of the higher-ups.
Regardless of its success, Tony Hawk took great pride in his involvement with every game. However, this particular game became a source of immense embarrassment for him, as it was beyond his control. Despite his efforts to ensure a high level of quality, the outcome was out of his hands.
Activision is aiming to regain popularity by revisiting their past triumphs with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. Similar to the remastered Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Crash N. Sane Trilogy, this game is a combination of the two most beloved skateboarding games from the early 2000s. Utilizing Unreal 4’s advanced technology, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is considered one of the top games of 2020.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (reviewed)
Release Date: September 18, 2020
As soon as you start playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, you can tell that you’re in for a treat. The high-definition footage of skateboarders pulling off impressive tricks and occasionally wiping out, all set to energetic punk music, immediately sets the tone. The game introduces both familiar and unfamiliar skaters, including Riley Hawk, Tony Hawk’s son.
The opening credits begin with a gradual drumming of the most iconic ska song ever produced, “Superman” by Goldfinger. For those who grew up with this series, a wave of emotional nostalgia washes over them, causing them to clasp their palms over their mouths and shed tears of joy.
Returning home feels like reuniting with a beloved family member who has been away for a long time. It’s like being rescued from a chilly evening and being wrapped in a cozy blanket that soothes your soul. You feel a sense of relief and tranquility that makes your heart flutter.
Experience the ultimate Tony Hawk gameplay with an impressive lineup of characters and expanded modes that have been refined for an unparalleled gaming experience. Thanks to Vicarious Visions, the play control and physics have been flawlessly executed, making for an exceptional gameplay experience.
Returning to the role of the birdman felt like second nature. Experienced skaters will effortlessly execute their signature moves, akin to a baby sea turtle making its way towards the sea. The fluidity of transitioning from a grind to a spinning ollie, followed by a smooth landing into a manual, and then wall-riding into a wall-jump is not only gratifying to perform but also captivating to witness.
The game’s straightforward and captivating gameplay loop, which involves completing as many objectives as possible in two-minute runs, makes it easy for newcomers to get into the groove. Despite being marketed as a “sports” game, the game’s structure and design are more akin to that of a collect-a-thon.
Similar to Banjo-Kazooie, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 follows a progression system where levels are unlocked as the player completes objectives. The player-character also gains more abilities as they progress through the game. The levels are designed to be open-ended, allowing the player to complete various goals at their own pace.
In certain stages, the aim is to gather a range of themed objects, whereas in others, the focus is on mastering intricate level-specific tricks or jumps. Additionally, each stage features overarching objectives that necessitate achieving diverse par high scores, accomplished by executing elaborate combos.
The level of challenge in these tasks will differ based on the abilities and approach of your skater, as each skater possesses distinct stats and gameplay techniques. Additionally, the game offers various unlockable outfits and skate footage for each skater, further motivating players to replay. This feature allows players to explore the diverse styles and combinations of each skater’s performance.
Users can unlock unique features for their custom skater, in addition to the 20+ options already available. Although creating a skater that resembles Shrek or a tiny mariachi is not feasible, the clothing and customization possibilities are virtually limitless.
In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, players are consistently rewarded with cash to enhance their profile and purchase customizable features such as apparel and skateboard options. The game offers an ever-expanding range of expression, with cash being earned even when a run is unsuccessful and objectives are not fulfilled.
In addition to level-specific objectives, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 also feature challenges that extend throughout the game. These challenges are divided into three tiers: rookie, veteran, and legend. Completing each tier offers unique rewards, and they are designed to be long-term goals rather than something that can be achieved during a single stage run.
These timeless classics have been enhanced with new features, including additional challenges. The stages from the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater have been updated with extra goals to match those in the sequel. Advanced techniques from later games, such as half-pipe transfers and reverts, have also been incorporated.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 has a significant new feature in the form of an incredibly comprehensive create-a-park mode. Even if you don’t attempt to navigate the countless options to design your own outrageous courses, there are plenty of pre-made samples that have been carefully crafted.
Obtaining user-generated parks is effortless and provides limitless entertainment when testing out the diabolical death-defying obstacles that twisted players invent. Coupled with the option for split-screen local multiplayer, the amusement is never-ending.
In the past, engaging in a battle of wits with the punk sitting next to you was always a thrilling and intense experience. However, nowadays, most games involve playing against anonymous opponents. It’s just not the same as experiencing the intense rivalry and humiliation of having your best friend outclass your combo right in front of you.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 revives the classic gameplay experience. The game reintroduces the thrilling H-O-R-S-E multiplayer mode, which remains one of the most captivating modes to play. In this mode, two skaters compete to outdo each other’s combo score, resulting in a test of skill and strategy. It is the only mode that is available exclusively for local multiplayer, and players can customize the five-letter word to create amusing outcomes.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 offers a substantial amount of content, regardless of the mode you choose to play. With 19 stages filled with various gimmicks, hazards, and intricacies, the game has meticulously recreated details from the fifth console generation. The inclusion of Officer Dick, portrayed by Jack Black, adds to the game’s overall charm.
Regrettably, one notable absence from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is Bam Margera, who was previously part of Team Element. Bam’s unique personality and comedic style set him apart from other skaters, and he was a prominent figure in seven Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. However, his recent personal struggles may have contributed to his exclusion from the game.
While it’s understandable that characters like Spider-Man and Private Carrera are missing, their absence leaves noticeable gaps. Additionally, the custom skater is limited in terms of costume options, with only a selection of regular street clothes available.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is an exceptional game that offers an enjoyable and generous package, despite its few minor shortcomings. The game’s core mechanics provide an exhilarating experience, and the abundance of modes and unlockables make it highly replayable. This game is a prime example of a definitive remake that surpasses the original and is highly recommended.