The year was 1999 and in a decade full of great movies, music, toys, and video games, we were treated with another such video game of the likes in which we had never seen before. A game that is so important to the culture of the video game industry that it spawned other games that tried so hard to be just like it. That game would be Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, of which at that time there were really no other true to life skateboarding games that featured so many real-life professional skaters. This game was released at a time when the X-Games was in it’s prime and Tony Hawk himself is a very prominent figure of said event. Not only was THPS 1 such an incredibly well-done skateboarding game, but it features one of the most iconic soundtracks in all of video game history with hits from bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Powerman 5000, Dead Kennedys, and of course the one song that the game was known for the most, Superman by the band Goldfinger. While there have been many great Tony Hawk sequels such as THPS 2, American Wasteland, Underground and Proving Grounds. The last game to be released, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, left a real bad taste in the mouths of everyone that played it and even being reviewed as one of the worst in the entire franchise with some thinking that this would be the end of the series as we know it.
Back in May, Activision announced a remake by Vicarious Visions of the first two Tony Hawk Pro Skater games. A lot of people were a bit uneasy about such a thing considering the abundance of disappointment from THPS 5. Well, having spent some time thanks to Activision with a full copy of the game, I am here to tell you that this is the game that you have waited for as Tony Hawk has come full circle. As soon as you boot up Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, you are treated with the ever-powerful Guerrilla Radio by Rage Against the Machine from the first game’s soundtrack with a video introducing you to all of the playable pro skaters you can play as since THPS 1+2 features 21 licensed pro skater of which most from the first two games returning such as Bob Burnquist, Jaime Thomas, Rodney Mullen, and Steve Caballero just to name a few. Much like the originals, the game plays in two-minute sessions in the career mode that has you doing much of the same things as you did before, such as collecting the SKATE letters, finding hidden cassette tapes, hitting certain gaps, and also trying to get your score up to a certain total. Doing these various tasks will cause you to level up your overall level in the game and also the ability to unlock skill points for the various pro skaters, but for those of you like myself that would much rather play as your own character, the create-a-skater feature returns with various customization options to unlock with the money you earn in between levels.
The levels themselves have looked never better than they do here with the levels you know and love. One of my personal favorites, School, looks so incredibly crisp and clear as well as plays incredibly smoothly unlike never before. Pulling off moves is also just as easy as you remember as the controls have not changed all that much for those that played back on the PlayStation or even the Dreamcast. The soundtrack is back and shines yet once again and features all the same music you loved from both THPS 1 and 2. The game outdoes THPS 5 in every single way as Manuals, Grinds, Kickflips, and even the 900 itself just feels so much better here in true 4K fashion. Also returning is the multiplayer mode which has you matched with up to seven other players in a lobby where you will be playing various mini-games such as who can get the highest score to who can grind and trick off of areas and tag them the most. Local multiplayer is also featured in the game by being able to play a game of H-O-R-S-E where you and a friend have to do one-shot combos in a level and see who can do the longest combo.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 does a fantastic job of giving fans a great taste of nostalgia while still providing a very challenging skateboarding game. Also, the game has added a ton of various challenges for you to unlock and help level up your created skater not to mention online leaderboards for all the levels. Granted, the career mode might be short for those that remember where all the collectibles are in each game, but for those with a creative mindset, the create-a-park feature doe sin fact return here as well giving you the option to show off your skate park making talents and also be able to upload your customized skate park for others to enjoy. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a game that any fan of the THPS series will definitely enjoy and appreciate as well as find themselves playing also just to listen to those same sweet tunes, over and over again.