Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD
Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD
Platforms: XBLA (reviewed), PSN, PC
Genre: Extreme Sports
Modes: Singleplayer, 2-4 Multiplayer
HD rereleases or remakes have been a hit & miss thing these last few years. Nostalgia alone can’t often justify the asking price for what some of these types of games are charging, and with the questionable past of Robomodo’s Tony Hawk game development, there is a lot to be weary of with Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD – or THPS HD for short. Is this another failed rehash? Or is this a trip down memory lane that you just shouldn’t pass up?
Anyone old enough to hold a controller has likely had their fair share of experience with the Tony Hawk franchise. With over 10 games having been developer over the past 10 years, the Tony Hawk series is very prolific, or was until essentially dethroned by EA’s Skate.
Tony Hawks Pro Skate HD isn’t really a re-make of the original, but rather a mash up of the best bits of the first two instalments. There are 7 levels in the game, a kind of ‘best of’ from the classic titles, including series staples such as Warehouse and School II. For 1200 Microsoft Points on the Xbox 360, I think I would have liked more than 7 levels though, seeing as none of actually new.
For anyone who has played through some of the later Tony Hawk games, the controls in this might feel a bit off. There are limited combo opportunities (such as the exclusion of the revert feature) compared to the pro-THPS4 era games, and this really throws a spanner in the accessibility and fluent gameplay factors. However, the simpler mechanics do help further the sense of nostalgia that comes from playing through these old-school levels, which many of you may remember from your PS1 and N64 days.
There a few very disappointing exclusions in THPS HD, such as a lack of Splitscreen play, and a lack of the highly popular Park Editor mode that almost every Tony Hawk game includes. Park Editor could have really helped extend the games longevity, and splitscreen should be a requirement in such a fun, casual game as this. But the online modes we are given are still very fun with a few friends. Graffiti is still the best example of THPS multiplayer, but the new Big Head Elimination mode is great, too. This has players’ heads constantly expanding as they try to pull off combos to keep it down. Can’t keep up with the rapidly expanding head? It explodes, and you’re out! This mode with 4 people can be a great experience.
This is definitely one of the finest looking HD remakes ive seen, with more than just model and texture improvements, but rather fully redesigned environments. That’s not to say they’ve changed or redesigned the actual levels, instead just opting to fully re-render and develop the scenery. The details have all been greatly improved, making levels you know and love fun once more to explore and skate through.
In my time with the game, I did run into more than a fair amount of glitches. I found myself numerous times falling through the floor after a stacking a big jump, or landing in an awkward position. The worst part is, even after falling through space and subsequently being teleported back above ground, as soon I couldn’t land the drop, I was once more ‘revived’ back in my original pit of despair, falling once more. A handful of times, I actually had to quit out to fix this. I understand all games carry their glitches, but this was just too common to ignore, especially while playing online with friends.
Anthrax & Public Enemy’s Bring the Noise, Millencolin’s No Cigar, Bad Religion’s You, Goldfinger’s Superman, Lagwagon’s May 16 – these are just a few of the tracks you’ll be tearing up the skatepark to. It’s a solid mix of tracks that featured in the classic THPS games, and also a handful of new ones thrown in for more modern relevance. All of the skateboard sound effects are as good as they could be too, with very little room for anything other than what’s delivered.
- Strong sense of nostalgia
- Fun online multiplayer
- Looks and sounds great
- Clunky controls
- Lack of content
Robomodo have really given this their best, after the arguably disappointing Ride and Shred titles, Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD shows that these guys should be lending their talents to bringing back the kind of great experiences that many fans of the skating genre have been longing for for years. This is by no means a flawless adaptation of the classic THPS titles, as the formula doesn’t exactly transfer that well into our modern age, and the pricing is way off for what we’re actually given. But it’s a fun trip of nostalgia for those who enjoyed the games in their first run.
Written by Lax