Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD went live today on Xbox LIVE Arcade and it’s everything we remember from both Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2…literally. What we see here is an HD remake of the original games. Besides the graphics upgrade, not much has changed, especially the mechanics. The game plays and feels the way it did back in the late 90s. This is both good and bad. You get that sense of nostalgia, but the gameplay is outdated and feels old. Despite that though, the game runs quite smoothly, with the occasional glitch here and there.
Fan favorite soundtracks are still there, but not all of them. Goldfinger’s “Superman” and Powerman 5000 are still there so players can rock out to them. Not all skaters have made their return either (Bucky Lasek comes to mind for instance), but you can use your Avatar as a skater (imagine Voltron on a skateboard doing a Madonna). In every level players need to complete challenges, but this time around, a map is available to show where to perform moves, collect objects, etc. By having this game on the seventh generation of consoles allow us to experience a multiplayer component not just with your best friend sitting next to you, but also your friends on Xbox LIVE. Traditional game types are back such as Graffiti and Trick Attack, and there’s a new addition called Big Head Elimination where players have to score points to deflate your ever-expanding head.
Overall, the graphics are nice. You forget that the original games didn’t look anywhere near this good. You can purchase the game for 1200 Microsoft Points or $15 which isn’t too bad considering you’ve got that nostalgia piece to it. It’s fun for those who remember playing the old games back on PlayStation, Nintendo 64, or Dreamcast, and it’s a great game for those who are new to the franchise. As much as it is fun, it also can be quite frustrating for those trying to obtain all objectives in each level, and those who have played it before know this. Frustration will lead to boredom and anger, and it might make you turn it off for a bit.
In closing, for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater to make a great comeback, all it needed to do was return to its roots. This is how players remember experiencing the game, and the upgraded HD look is a great bonus. The price is pretty good as well. We should probably expect to see future DLCs that give players some of those pro skaters and levels that have been left out. So keep an eye out for them. At the moment, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is only out for Xbox LIVE Arcade, but a PlayStation Network and PC release will be out soon.
Tiny Hawk’s Pro Skater HD gets a score of 8/10
By Billy Peitz