When I think of skateboarding, I think of Tony ‘The Birdman’ Hawk and while there are so many, many popular skaters out there, Tony Hawk was the one that drew me to the sport in my childhood years. While my time with the sport was short lived and many years have passed, getting to play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was a great way to rekindle fond memories. Fast forward 20+ years and we get another go at probably THE best skater game every created, but how does it hold up?
In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, we get the two games that started it all and each of them has been given a major upgrade, while keeping the gameplay intact. Each of the parks you visit has the same tried and tested challenges on offer and you must complete so many of these tasks in 2 minutes to unlock more parks to skate in. They layout of each of the parks that are on offer are practically mirror images of themselves from the original games, but some of them have been given that 2020 feel to them. The Mall map for instance, this once clean and shiny shopping mall is now a desolate, crumbling, and abandoned, which makes it great for skating. The parks you get to skate around have really been given a lot of attention when you look at the visuals. This is no mere remaster, this is more of a remake, a new game. While the visuals you see aren’t on the same level as a AAA title, they aren’t trying to be and do look amazing!
The same goes for the sound, as it all gels together perfectly with the visuals. The way your board grinds on metal and wood and sparks are flying to when your board’s wheels hit the ground, you get that amazing sound of the wheels and the bearings clashing together with the park surface as you land that perfect jump.
The controls in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is just as how I remembered, and everything came flooding back as I started off in the Warehouse. Controlling your skater just came naturally when starting off and while there are those awkward moments like hitting the wall or those pesky stairs, everything just felt right as it did before. There is the usual selection of moves you can do like flips, grabs and grinds and each one is done by pressing the X(flip), Y(grind) and B(grab) buttons. It’s when you combine these moves, is where the fun and your creativity can start. Head to a Vert ramp and grab a rail, drop in with trick to earn some cool points is the aim of the aim of the game, while looking cool at the same time! To link all your moves together, you can use manuals as they can keep your multipliers going on your trick score as you move back and forth between dropping in from a Vert ramp to grinding a rail.
Each of the parks has their own uniqueness and variety to them that you will never feel the game is monotonous. You will always be pushing towards that high score or that one trick you want to try. With so many tricks and combinations on offer, you will be racking up some epic scores in no time!
With each park you visit the challenges that need to be completed not only unlock more parks for you to kick about in, but also give you XP. Earning XP by getting high scores on parks or pulling off massive tricks will level up your skater. Every time you level up you get rewards, and these can vary from clothing or skill points to improve your skater. In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 you have tons of customisation options that let you choose the clothing, the board, tattoos and more. Like I mentioned earlier with the challenges, completing them will also give you cash. You can then use this cash to buy gear/clothing in the in-game store with the money you have earned.
The hook that is in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is the challenges, and that you get hooked on trying to grab each one of them before moving on to the next park. Some of the challenges are tough and you will be cursing yourself for not reaching them in time! The challenges range from collecting the S-K-A-T-E letters to finding those Secret Tapes, as well as the usual highest score challenges. Before you know it, you will probably have spent well of an hour just on one park as you grind out these challenges, but due to how fun the game is, you barely notice the time fly by. Of course, you don’t need to complete every challenge to progress to the next park and you have a set amount of goals to reach for unlocking the next one. But, where’s the fun in that!?
Finally, there is the multiplayer Create A Park mode, and while I found the multiplayer fun at the start, it was not for me. I found the online aspect of Tony Hawks to be a bit of a muddle and too chaotic! You can got take part in different challenges like Trick Mode, Graffiti and more. I barely dabbled in this mode and found myself wanting to jump straight back into the single player game. There will be those of you who love it and sink many hours into the game mode.
The Create A Park makes a return as well and there is a plethora of options for you to build the best park you can. Some of the tracks that the community has built is insane and are a lot of fun! Everything from half pipes and rails to the dreaded stairs is here for you to tinker with. You can also pick up new stuff to purchase in-game. I preferred to play in the custom parks more than creating them, probably due to me not being the most creative skater when it comes to designing parks. It’s still a great mode for all to step in and take a look on what’s on offer.
The Birdman is back and finally we have a skateboarding game that many fans of the genre deserve! Memories flooded back when I started to play this game and it’s as fun now as it was back when my brother and I first played it all those years ago. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is THE quintessential skateboarding game and is a MUST play! So, grab your board, head to the park, and have fun!
GoG Rating: 9/10