In 1999, "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" became a cultural phenomenon that brought skateboarding to life, even if you weren't a diehard skateboarding fan. Skateboarding was primarily an underground sport with the X-Games just starting to take off when the game was set to be released. Then Hawk landed the first "900," and there was a sudden interest in the sport.
The game introduced fans to a completely different sport and one that hadn't been successfully made into a video game up to that point. The original "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" was met with critical acclaim and has generated $1.4 billion in sales over the years. Fans had the opportunity to play with skaters like Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Rodney Mullen, and Hawk himself. The game allowed players to learn some of the sport's biggest stars while also learning the tricks and intricacies of skateboarding.
Since the first game's success -- as well as the success of its successors -- fans has been clamoring for a modern spin on the "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" franchise. In September, everyone got their wish. With the remastered release of "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2," fans can relive their glory days and shred with some of the most famous skaters that the sport has ever seen.
It's a trip down memory lane that's well worth taking.
What I Liked
Whether you're playing the first or second installment of "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" in the remastered release, the levels remain the same as they did 20 years ago. In "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater," playable levels still include the most notable places, like Warehouse, School, Mall, and Skate Park. In "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2," Hangar, School II, Marseille, and Skatestreet are among the levels that are once again included. Just like the original installments, players complete objectives like collecting the S-K-A-T-E letters, achieving the three high scores, and finding the secret tape.
Original and new skaters
When the iconic franchise began, many gamers didn't know a ton about the skateboarding world. However, in playing "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater," they were able to learn more about the sport and some of its biggest stars. The remastered release has the old playable skaters like Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Rune Glifberg, and Hawk himself among others, but in addition, the game also features some of skateboarding's younger stars. Riley Hawk, Shane O'Neill, Tyshawn Jones, and Leo Baker are all playable. It's a great mix that will reel in the generation that grew up on the early games and make fans out of the younger generation.
Aside from the stellar gameplay, the original "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" had an iconic soundtrack that fans loved. Whether you were into punk rock at the time or not, this was a soundtrack that may found to be absolutely phenomenal. The remastered release gave the fans what they wanted and returned with many of the classic songs that helped make the original game so popular back in 1999, like Goldfinger's "Superman," Primus' "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" and The Vandals' "Euro-Barge."
What I Didn't Like
Not much has changed
Anyone who grew up on the original "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" games is going to love the remastered release. And it is just that: a remastered version of two older games. But to me, it's very much, almost too much, the same as the original games. Nothing has changed despite two decades of advances in technology. Now there are some online modes in which you can compete against other skaters, which is something that the original installments didn't have. However, that's really the only aspect of the game that has changed 20 years later.
And speaking of the online gameplay: In "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2", players do have that luxury and can go up against other skaters in the game's online platform. When you begin playing online, the game will randomly drop you into a level and have you compete with other skaters. There's modes to see who can land the highest-scoring trick or who can have the best run. My only gripe is that you can't choose what level you're dropped into. As many do, there are levels that I definitely prefer to opposed to others. The game randomly selecting a level forces players to adjust their strategy at the drop of a hat. Maybe if you were able to select the Warehouse in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" or the Hangar in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2," you'd immediately realize that you access to the half pipe and can go crazy trying to achieve a high score.