Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 (Xbox One) Review

By Cubed3 Staff 14.09.2020

Review for Tony Hawk

The turn of the millennium was a pivotal point for the emerging generation of so called Millenials, who were caught at the end of the so-called 'MTV Generation' and in the thick of the newly dubbed 'PlayStation Generation'. So much so that the Tony Hawk franchise unconsciously combined the aura and style of something that would be seen and heard on MTV with the immense rising popularity of video games. Do the stars align for the Hawkman in the latest Activision game to be remade and remastered?


 
There are few licensed games from 20 years ago that many would still hold a candle to in 2020. Of course, there are those who have strong nostalgia for retro games, but not many of these titles are still worth playing nowadays. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater[i] and [i]Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 are two distinct titles that have aged gracefully, with tight controls, an addictive gameplay loop and a solid soundtrack. Later instalments, such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and the Tony Hawk's Underground series, all introduced newer quality of life elements. Examples include the way that skateboarders handle and the introduction of newer manoeuvres such as the manual, wallplant, spine transfers and reverts, all of which help the player keep the flow of gameplay ramped up to the max. Vicarious Visions have not only brought these options to the fold in this remake, but have also retained the original move sets, just in case purists want to play without some of the additional options.

Screenshot for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 on Xbox One

What is much more apparent is the graphical overhaul that the levels have received, so much so that each level is beaming with colour, life and vastly more features, while retaining the authenticity right down to the tee. Skateboarders now look a lot more like their real-life counterparts, although that's not too surprising given that it is now 2020 and the polygonal base of their 1999 models perhaps did not accurately depict them the same way that the current generation of hardware can. The fresh coat of new paint does not stop there, as this remake not only retains the vast majority of the soundtrack and skaters but also throws in some new tunes and new skater-kids on the block. All of which feels very natural and fits in at home in the Tony Hawk franchise.

Screenshot for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 on Xbox One

It took a few hours to get back into the flow of accurately chaining together combos and for experts it should come back quite naturally. Newcomers should not feel too put off, there are a number of options, including an in-depth tutorial as well as assist options to vastly make the game much easier by being able to change rail, manual and lip balance to always being on. The vast majority of the game is either collecting items dotted around levels, performing particular moves across sections of the map or racking up a high score, so becoming intricately involved with the buttons and how to chain together long combos becomes increasingly more important as the game goes on. Vicarious Visions have somewhat partitioned off the two games in the same style as the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy by separating them on the top menu screen, however both feel the same to play, albeit there is a noticeable difference to the levels in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 stages. These feel more expansive and beaming with a bit more life compared to the original stages. Skaters now also have additional missions to complete, which can help unlock additional loot such as new decks, wheels and outfits, by performing high combos and performing particular tricks in varying locations.

Screenshot for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 on Xbox One

The feature Create-a-park is available for those who want to let their imagination run wild. Being able to create your own park or download from others can be particularly cathartic, or frustrating depending on what ends up getting downloaded. Even after such a short time there are numerous parks available to download, although some are quite ridiculous, and the vast majority of players will instantly enjoy them.

Some of the most memorable moments come in the form of multiplayer modes. Therefore, it is good to see that it is possible to compete against other players in varying modes such as trying to get the highest score possible in a short span of time.

Among all of this there are currently no micro-transactions that formulate part of this game, which is for the best as long as it stays like this. Being able to grind (no pun intended) and earn the rewards is how it should be done, rather than a pay to win model.

Screenshot for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Activision have continued their revival of 'old-meets-new' with the latest Tony Hawk instalment.
For all intents and purposes, it retains the charm and thrills from the original while adding on new quality of life bells and whistles. It hits the nostalgia notes whilst also completely revamping the stages, soundtrack, player models and almost everything else imaginable. This is now the definitive method to enjoy the first two games in this iconic franchise.

Developer

Vicarious Visions

Publisher

Activision

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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