After the incredible work done with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Vicarious Visions is back with the remake of one of the most loved brands of the 90s. We're talking about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, and this is our review
It's the 90s. Kids all over the world jump on skateboard to battle the last trick, between bruises and ruinous falls. One of them all, Tony Hawk aka "Birdman" is preparing to become the best in the world first, then a real legend. At the same time, taking advantage of the golden age of the skate phenomenon, Neversoft sviluppa Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
Needless to say, the game achieves incredible success, so much so that it has been succeeded by numerous chapters over the years and generations. Today, 21 years later, Vicarious Visions accomplishes the feat: a remake of the first two chapters of the game. Let's find out if Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a successful experiment, in this new review!
Call me Birdman
Tony Hawk certainly needs no introduction. The legend of the skate it has influenced generations of kids who dreamed of taking flight skateboards at their feet. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, the series dedicated to Birdman and his friends. More than 20 years after its debut in the videogame world Vicarious Visions, team, author of the much acclaimed Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, try the feat again. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 collects the first two chapters of the Neversoft game, rejuvenated and improved for the occasion, as well as enriched by an online mode and a wider roster and of which we will give an opinion in our review.
By launching the game, we are catapulted directly as Tony Hawk, in a large skate park. Here we are introduced to the game's tutorial, which showcases beautifully modernized gameplay in all its glory. After exploring the various types of tricks, the Gaps and using the “Special” bar, we are ready to begin our climb to the reputation of a legend.
Here, we are asked to choose the skater for the career and we are surprised again in the positive. The definitive roster of 1 + 2 has presented itself to us in its entirety, understanding both world-renowned pro skaters and young promises as Riley Hawk (son of Tony). Let's start off on the right foot. Let's continue with the review of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.
2 is always better than 1 - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 review
In the main menu we find the classic items of the game, with the addition, however, of an unexpected one Multiplayer. This mode allows you to challenge friends locally (split screen) up to 4 players, or online users in different challenges. Between challenges to the last trick, high score or timed tag, the online mode features the same modes as the single career sessions, but sharing maps with other players.
We are a little sorry for the lack of variety of modes in this multiplayer, but we understand the desire to remain faithful to the classic game. Another small drawback of this mode matchmaking times, often a little too long. Furthermore, playing on a shared screen, the "computational" weight is evident, and we often pass by 60fps stable of the single player at a lower and unstable frame rate.
As for the campaign, we find the Tour in Skate of the first two chapters of the series, distinct but playable with the same chosen skater. The Skate Tours feature all the maps of the classic chapters, polished and completely modernized. Here we are again surprised by a remake of the maps characterized by a really high quality level design. Furthermore, the styles of the individual athletes lead the player to have to study different ways to reach the secret areas of the maps, or to overcome the challenges proposed by the game, which have remained unchanged.
As per tradition, we are asked to pass the threshold scores, collect the collectibles and break the hidden crates for the map. Beyond that, they have been added challenges to be completed to unlock numerous aesthetic contents for skaters and boards. In addition to that, scattered around the maps it is possible to find mysterious alien dolls and gods "Vicarious Visions tokens", useful for unlocking additional hidden content.
Old habits, new gameplay - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 review
One of the aspects that most struck us about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 and that we are going to highlight in this review is the “hybrid” gameplay that the Vicarious guys have decided to adopt. The team has thoroughly studied the sector of the first two chapters, however making necessary changes and improving the little things that didn't work well. This gives rise to a fluid gameplay, functional and devoid of those small defects that after a few hours of play, to the umpteenth unjustified fall, led you to destroy the pad against the wall.
In addition to the notable improvements in gameplay, the team has taken over some fundamental mechanics from Pro Skater 3 and 4, such as the Revert, the Spine Transfer and the Manual. All this makes this remake a real upgrade of the classic chapters, even from a technical point of view.
Performing tricks, thanks to the new control system, is engaging, fluid but at the same time a challenge for those who aim to overcome previous scoring records. The Manual allows you to land upright and not lose the skills you have performed, and the combos between the keys allow you to chain the tricks properly without being unreal. In addition, skaters have up to ten slots for "Special Tricks".
These tricks can be characteristic of skaters, such as Tony Hawk's 900, or decidedly exaggerated fantasy moves. These skills can only be used after filling the classic barra Special with evolutions and stunts of all kinds, and which will be reset in the event of a fall. In this regard, the effect with which the skaters return to their feet on the skate after falling out of place a little too much with the style of the game.
Nice to see and hear - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 review
Continuing in the wake of the splendid work carried out in this remake, the graphics sector also deserves an honorable mention. In addition to the excellent restyling of the maps, the work done on the skaters and the almost infinite customization possibilities are a real gem. As already mentioned, the animations are fluid and well done, the textures and details of the characters are accurate and in full aesthetic line with the canons of the current gen. In addition to this, the boards are customizable in all their components as well as the "custom" character. This is where big names like Birdhouse, Vans e Nike SB, giving a big plus to the customization sector.
Thanks to a editor (quite complete) you can change your avatar in voice, skin color, physical appearance and much more. If on the clothing front we are faced with an enormous choice, the side of the pure physical aspect is a little less elaborate but not inferior. The proposed models, on the other hand, appear realistic and convincing.
In addition to skaters, you can also create maps, thanks to the mode "Create a Park". As the title suggests, it is possible to build your own skate parks thanks to tools including ramps, railings of all shapes and sizes, and much more. There are also decorative elements and “smart pieces”, which can be deformed at will to suit our needs.
Dulcis at the bottom for our review of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is the soundtrack which has remained unchanged from the original chapters and this could be, for some, a double-edged sword. If, on the one hand, leaving the soundtrack unchanged helps to keep the soul of the game intact, on the other hand, a “rejuvenation” operation could have been good and right. Many of the pieces of the soundtrack could be "outdated" to the younger players of the series, who probably will not recognize even a name among those of the bands. However, nothing compromising.
Airwalking to conclusions
Well, in light of the above we are ready to take stock of this review on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a remake almost perfect in almost every respect. Vicarious Visions work was mammoth, and the team has managed to do full justice to a long-awaited historical series by fans and veterans alike.
In addition to a superb refurbishment work, the inclusion of numerous new gameplay elements, collectibles and aesthetic components have contributed to enrich a milestone of the history of video games. If we add to this an excellent graphics sector, revised and improved animations and the addition of the multiplayer mode, the game is done. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 it is the perfect gift for anyone who has been too long without jumping on a skate. Including us.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is available for purchase today 4 September 2020 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. We wish you a good run around the skateparks around the world, and as always we remind you to stay tuned to techigames. Hello and good skating!9 A return in great shape!
Points in favor
- New graphics
- Smooth and realistic animations
- Addition of gameplay elements
- Rich customization
- Multiplayer mode
- Drop di framerate in multiplayer
- Long matchmaking times
- Soundtrack (perhaps) to be rejuvenated