Sports in Media: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remastered

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“Most of my time has been taken up due to setting the controller down and jamming out to “Superman”.” - Ethan Butterfield. BagoGames

Bringing back the 90s

For those who grew up during the golden days of the PlayStation, you will no doubt remember the absolute gem of a franchise that is Tony Hawk Pro Skater. More specifically, you will remember the first and second iterations of the game, two titles that recently found new life in remastered form on the Playstation 4 (among other consoles). As someone who has a fondness for those older Tony Hawk games, I couldn’t help but pick up the newer versions and see what they did to make them fresh and worth the new coat of paint. And honestly, what better time to revisit some old classics then during what seems like an endless quarantine, truly these are happy days.

Well first and foremost, I have to talk about the music. This is such a collection of 90s trash and I love every minute of it (I mean if you know me you know how true that statement is). You’ve got Sublime, Reel Big Fish, Papa Roach, Billy Talent, Rage Against The Machine, Powerman 5000, the ever-important Goldfinger, and even Bad Religion back when they were good trash rock instead of just nowadays trash rock. Also, the reason I mention the ‘ever-important Goldfinger’ is due to the fact that most of my time has been taken up due to setting the controller down and jamming out to “Superman.” It may as well be the theme of the game, I mean come on, if you’ve played the games you know what I’m on about.

Anyway, moving on to controls, this is where I was thoroughly impressed with what the remaster brought to the table. The gameplay is smooth and super easy to learn. If you’re willing to put in extra time into learning said controllers you can get really good, really fast. Heck, I’ve already managed to earn the “Sick” level status on a map or two which is absolutely gnarly to get (Listen, I’m doing a review about a skateboarding game, of course I’m going to use the word “gnarly” at some point). Also with gameplay, unless you really want to get really adventurous with the game’s mechanics, I’d recommend sticking with Mr. Hawk as far as character selection goes. Until you feel you’re sure you can take on someone else, it’s best to just stay with the basics.

With regards to maps, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 spares no expense. All your favourite locations are back with all the secrets that you feel in love with the first time around. As well, maps feature multiple collectibles for the player to obtain, such as the classic S-K-A-T-E letters and the equally as classic secret tapes. These collectibles, assuming you can get them all within the short time limit the game provides, help lead to unlocking newer maps that you can test your sick skills on.

Lastly, the tricks that you can do in both Pro Skaters are most excellent (thank you Bill and Ted). Pro tip: if you want big points right off the bat, jump and grind the rail as many times as you can so that the multiplier goes up faster. That way, instead of trying to do a whole bunch of combos like a legitimate player, you can cruise through and unlock maps faster so you can enjoy them in the free player mode the game offers. Free play meaning that there’s no time limit to hinder you from just doing what your skater heart desires, getting mad air.

So there you have it, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remastered. If you’re in the mood to try out an old reliable classic from the rich history that is the PS catalogue, then you could do much worse than this. If you’re not in the mood to give it a shot, then I guess in the paraphrased lyrics of Avirl Lavange’s ‘Skater Boi’: “This was a skater game, they said “see you later game,” it wasn’t good enough for them”.

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