Published on September 30th, 2020 | by Joseph Saulnier0
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 Takes What Was Old And Makes It New And Amazing
It’s a sunny day in Southern California. Friends are gathered around the Playstation and the CRT. The game in the console is letting us do what many of us just can’t do in real life. You’re mashing buttons trying to string together those combos for bragging rights among your friends. There’s a cold drink by your side, and your friend’s mom pops in to see if anyone wants some tortas. Nostalgia at its finest. I know this wasn’t everyone’s childhood, it wasn’t even mine most of the time. But those moments when we were blissfully unaware of what the future holds were some of the greatest of our lives. And like some out there, I can link a lot of this to video games, and few are more important in my life than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
Flash forward 21 years and the world is crumbling around us. But there’s still that shining light waiting for those of us that know. An escape. A chance to do something we really can’t do in real life. Most of us couldn’t do it in 1999 either, but that’s neither here nor there. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is the perfect release during this pandemic, whether you believe in it or not (I can’t believe I actually have to type those words). It gives the nostalgic fun to the old-timers like me, and introduces a whole new generation of gamers.
As I am sure you know by now, THPS1+2 is essentially the exact same games that we know and love, with a few minor tweaks. First and foremost, graphics have been updated significantly. From cut scenes to gameplay, everything has been modernized. Even the veteran skaters in the game have been updated to their current appearances, though their original appearances in the game are still available. There are other small things, like Subway Tokens being updated to Subway Cards, which, in true Tony Hawk fashion, are also about to be discontinued from use in the NY Subway System (tokens were on their way out when the game first released).
We also see some new skaters this time around, with a good addition of female skaters to the game. But beyond that, the games are, in many, many ways the same as original. It feels the same, and quite honestly looks the exact same to what I remember. Now clearly, this is not the case, but it’s weird what the brain will tell you when looking at things 20 years apart. Not only is the game play, goals, and levels set up exactly the same as it has always been, even most of the original soundtrack is present, with the addition of 37 new songs as well.
There’s not a lot I can tell you that will convince you either way. You’re either a fan of the series or you’re not. If you had a problem with the series back then, especially some people’s issues over the controls (which brought about competition such as Skate – which is being rebooted as well – or the newly released Skater XL), you will likely have the same issues now. As mentioned, and as you will see in many reviews, the gameplay is nearly identical to the first releases of both games. It is just really nice to revisit an important part of my young adult life, even if they still included those crappy competition levels.
With a price tag of $39.99, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 seems the perfect bit of happy distraction to help get us through the unknown in these difficulty times. My only qualm with the game would be platform availability. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (by way of Epic Games Store), but I think they hindered themselves with 2 decisions: no Nintendo Switch version and EGS. I would love to be able to take this game on the go with me on the Nintendo, and the alleged anti-consumer practices of Epic Games regarding their store, not to mention their current publicity stunt with Apple and Google, has left a sour taste in the mouths of many gamers. Hopefully we will see availability on more platforms, including Stadia, in the future.
5 stars out of 5