Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2

The day has once again come to grab 60ft of air only to bail and somehow not snap your board in half, or even your leg for that matter, because Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater  1 + 2  is here. Fans of the once revered franchise can rest easy because this is the epitome of how a remaster should be done.

The obvious difference between this and the originals is the graphics and there is no doubt that the technology has taken massive leaps. The experience on PS5 is a sight to behold as the action comes at you incredibly fast while maintaining a buttery smooth frame rate. The levels are layout wise recreated just like they were previously but with a fresh new 4k coat of paint. It will all look familiar and at the same time completely new.

The title features all 19 levels from the previous releases with those who still remember the classics having the advantage of being aware of the locations for objectives, gaps and collectibles. There are a small number of new collectibles like alien plushies and Vicarious Visions logos added to the levels in hidden or hard to reach places just to freshen it up a bit.  Anyone who spent countless hours in these levels 2 minutes at a time and expects something new may be disappointed, everyone else will have a blast.

The create-a-skaters physical options are admittedly a little lacking which was initially disappointing. This is however made up for by the fact that their progress and unlocks can be used in either campaign, free skate or online mode as you go. Additionally there are a ton of cosmetic unlocks that can be purchased with the cash you gain from the added challenge system. This system will provide a list of objectives as simple as completing levels to far more difficult combo goals that award the currency needed to grab new boards, outfits or even move slots.

There are still the original stock skaters available if you don’t want to make your own and even a number of new names such as Riley Hawk and Leticia Bufoni added to the mix. More impressively is that all but 3 of the songs from the soundtracks return plus an additional 37. You of course have the option to skip tracks or turn select ones off the rotation entirely so you don’t have to listen to anything you don’t want to. Special shout out to Lagwagons May 16…for…reasons.

None of the previous information matters if the game isn’t fun to play and in my opinion it definitely is. The controls remain unchanged with the exception of things like reverts from later games being included. Its simple tricks pulled off with a single button press while holding down a direction and hoping you can string together a combo of them. It’s as easy to pick up and play but challenging to master as its ever been. This all provides the same adrenaline filled, thumb blistering, combo crazed action that nostalgia junkies will undoubtedly champion. My only real complaint is that this is the first time I have almost immediately wanted to turn off the adaptive triggers. This won’t be a concern for almost all of the versions and luckily on the PS5 they can be toggled off.

Remastering Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is ironically the shot in the arm that the franchise desperately needed, proving that the biggest culprit to its years out of the lime light was its own self-inflicted oversaturation. This is an easy recommendation for most gamers but especially those who are looking for a burst of nostalgia that respects its origins with an eye on modernization.

~~Sandro Luketic~~

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