Finally, after Tony Hawk has spent years having an existential crisis on social media, the one thing his fans have been asking for has come true: a remaster of if his first two video game titles. In 1999, the first Pro Skater was released. Its popularity quickly spawned a second game a year later.
Unfortunately, Tony Hawk overestimated how popular his series was going to be if he tried to change too much of what was working originally. The video game population as a whole has tried to forget Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. We just want to pretend it didn’t exist. Fortunately, the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a step in the right direction because it gives us the sweet release of dopamine-induced nostalgia. Booting up Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 for the first time provides a rush of familiarity to the accomplished veteran.
Fortunately, Tony Hawk himself had more of a say in the remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 to make the game more enjoyable, such as more potential for those high scores in the thousands. Who doesn’t love seeing those numbers stack up after every trick and combo through everyone’s favorite abandoned warehouse?
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the nostalgia trip to the original first two titles. The first two titles may have looked amazing to us because we were children at the time. However, if we were to look at the original two games now, we would wonder how we thought it was as photorealistic as we remember it. At least now, we have 60 frames per second. The first game isn’t just a pointless skate around an abandoned warehouse. There are more added objectives to clear while skating, making it more challenging, even for veteran players who are completionists. You don’t have to skate around to pick up cash anymore. The way to earn some money in the game is by completing various challenges or objectives.
While there are some minor changes to the games, the developer, Vicarious Visions, did their best to bring back the games we loved over twenty years ago, with its structure relatively intact. You’re still collecting “skate” letters, trying to get the highest scores you can, trying to perform aerial tricks over certain locations, all while bringing us much better visuals and smoother controls.
However, this remaster goes beyond bringing a game back with fancier graphics. All the skaters from the first two games make their triumphant return in high-definition, there’s more customization with the create-a-skater mode, and who doesn’t love skating around to some of the classic songs from the original? The developers really made sure to appeal to all the senses while taking advantage of newer technology to bring a beautifully done remaster.
However, while skating through the warehouse or hangar levels provide hours of fun, there’s something fun about creating your own park. There are a lot of tools you can choose from to make something realistic or something completely out of this world. Imagine building a “roller coaster” out of rails that your skater can grind on while completely ignoring physics. It gives you that anxious feeling in your gut, just thinking about it. Not only can you make your own parks, but you can share your own parks in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2. The intuitive online mode lets you share your creations for others to enjoy.
Speaking of an online mode, there’s a multiplayer in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 that wasn’t around twenty years ago. It makes sense since the technology wasn’t there at the time. However, it’s fun to take your challenge to the next level while skating around with up to eight players in match, trying to score the most points you can.
It might not be as much of a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who weren’t around or who didn’t play the originals. However, if they were around for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, then they’ll definitely appreciate the series going back to its roots. It’s a very immersive game that will keep you playing for hours until you lose track of how much time you’ve been playing like we did when we were kids.