How often do you sit and play a game, almost completely in one sitting? Every level, every goal. Listened to probably louder than is safe, audibly speaking. What about one that you’ve already played entirely, twice? And loved every single minute of it.
This is my experience of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2. An incredible, and definite remake of one of the most seminal games (or two of the) of all time.
It’s a completely accurate remake, with an obvious (as you’d expect) graphical overhaul. Not only is it supportive of the current console native resolutions, it’s silky smooth at 60fps. This allows the fighting-combination-esque skating combos to be pulled off at speed, feeling more precise and determined than ever.
For those who haven’t played the original, or the first set of remakes, each level is a 2 minute run in which you must complete 10 goals. Each has 3 score goals, a combo goal, the letters ‘SKATE’ to collect, a secret tape to find and a collection of level specific goals. These range from vandalising 5 cop cars to draining a fountain to smashing barrels, to jumping over ‘the magic bum’. A combination of muscle memory and actual memory burned in from completing the originals with all characters will mean it will all come flooding back. A testament then to how well it all plays.
What about the soundtrack? After all, THPS is responsible for sending a vast number of bands to the forefront of cultural relevance. There’s a great documentary which details how it all came about originally, carefully selecting songs and balancing what works within the game vs. the original budget. Importantly, the songs must fit well with 2 minute runs – no quiet downtimes here. And it should be varied, so you won’t get bored. The first two games (and the third) sport the best soundtracks in my opinion, so I’m pleased to report it’s here in full, as well as with a few new inclusions.
I think, that the songs used to play per run, and each run you would get a new song. Here, it plays in full and spans sessions and menus. Not one you like? You can skip.
If this wasn’t enough, a couple of super secret levels are added in, and some celebrity cameos. But most notably, a persistent character level system sits over the whole thing with a vast number of challenges to complete. Challenges give cash and XP, which grants levels which unlocks outfits and boards. ‘Create a Skater’ let’s you build your own monster, and stat points dotted around the levels let you level up any of the characters (essential for later challenges).
‘Create a Park’ let’s you build anything to skate about in. Already, there are some popular real world locations built, along with some incredibly close remakes of levels from later games. There are some disasters too but including practically infinite levels is a genius idea. A fully fleshed out online mode completes the portfolio, offering up free skate with your mates, as well as typical score attack, HORSE, graffiti and combo modes. It’s done well, which you’d expect but is especially pleasing considering earlier games online offerings have been whiffed.
It’s pretty much the total package then. How can it be that a PS One game becomes one of the best PS4 games, at the end of the generation? Well, it’s both an awesome game, given awesome treatment. In a lovely touch, the original skaters are all in, with a smattering of new ones, including Riley Hawk – Tony’s son. It’s quite fitting really that here’s in here, as a new generation get to experience this absolute classic.
Reviewed on PS4
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