Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 review for PS4, Xbox One, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Medium: Blu-ray / Digital
Players: Multi
Online: Yes

While the Tony Hawk series may have lost some of its appeal with a string of poor releases towards the tail end of the franchise, it?s incredible how easily the series can bounce back with a developer at the helm that apparently fully understands what made the series so fun and addictive originally. Vicarious Visions has done an absolutely bang-up job on this remastered release of Tony Hawk?s Pro Skater 1 + 2, and if you were ever a fan of the series, you owe it to yourself to check this packaged release out. And if you?ve yet to play a single entry in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, well, you?re in for a real treat. 

This remastered edition includes the first two Pro Skater games, selectable from the main menu, complete with all levels, secrets, and goals intact. The new coat of HD paint applied has been done so exceptionally well, so while everything certainly looks better and sharper, it still feels remarkably familiar. Running through the Warehouse and School levels of Pro Skater 1 was a severe shot of nostalgia for me, and instantly took me back 20 years. It also helps that the controls, and just general feel of the game, is so spot on here. For those of us that played these games to death back in the day, you?ll likely start to feel muscle memory kick back in after just a few hours.

Likewise, having access to a large number of the original skaters from the first game, and a soundtrack that utilizes familiar tracks that are now synonymous with the series, is a huge boon. The one-two combination of Rage Against the Machine and Goldfinger as soon as you start up the game is a pretty big indicator from the get-go that Vicarious Visions 100% understood what players were looking for in this release from everything to look, feel, and sound of the original Pro Skater games. 

However, the choices made to expand upon certain aspects of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 also works out nicely here. Stages have expanded goals to achieve, new collectibles to gather, a few additional secrets and more bells and whistles to make this package complete. The soundtrack is expanded upon with modern artists that still manage to fit the sound of the original soundtrack nicely. Additional skaters culled from the new school of skateboarding expand the roster quite a bit. And more customization options, particularly with clothing and deck options, give you even more reasons to continue playing beyond just completing level objectives. 

Online multiplayer is also featured, with a more casual playlist option where you can partake it various challenges, or a more focused score-based competition that will really challenge your skills. There?s also a level editor with a whole host of options, and you can submit your creations online for other people to play. And finally, there?s a number of optional challenges that are tracked between both games, which include skater specific challenges, giving you even more goals to chase after. 

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 is easily one of the best remasters available on the market today and does an excellent job of retaining the spirit and feel of the PlayStation era classics while adding on new features, music, and other options to propel these two entries into the modern era. The gameplay is still timeless and is sure to capture the attention of a whole new era of skateboarding fans that might not have grown up on the Tony Hawk series to begin with. Here?s hoping Activision and Vicarious Visions have plans for additional releases, as there are still more excellent entries in the franchise that are worth revisiting, especially if done so with the level of care and attention to detail that is present here. 

Note: Activision provided us with a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: A+