Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by drew10 on Jul 20, 2012
Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD – Activision – XBLA

Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD – Activision – XBLA

Way back in 1991 (yes it really was that long ago) Activision released a game that would not only re-write the gaming rule book and spawn an entire genre but also rob me of many days of my life. Fast forward to 2012 and the original classic has been dusted off, given a new coat of polish and unleashed via XBLA and PSN.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater HD allows us old enough to remember, a trip down memory lane and those of you lucky enough to be too young, a chance to see where it all began.

Developed by Robomodo, the team brought us the ill-conceived Tony Hawks Ride (the one with the skateboard add-on) THPSHD is more of a remix than a full repeat of the first title. This game takes the best levels from the first two titles and puts them in this homage. You can also get levels from Pro Skater 3 via a paid download (I am hoping for more levels from the first two as well).

The gameplay remains exactly the same. I have seen a few complaints saying it isn’t as tight as before but I think these are coloured by the sands of time. Yes the physics in the game sometimes does some odd things, but really this is a title from 21 years ago.

You can pick and choose from a roster of skaters, many of which are now retired including Mr Hawk himself who must be over 50. All of which can be upgraded by exchanging money that you earn and collect for new boards and skills.

The career mode will have you skating around various classic locales from warehouses to aircraft hangers and shopping malls. Scattered around these levels are various items that you will need to collect. On each level you will need to grab all of the letters of the word S-K-A-T-E, as well as level specific collectibles. On each level is a secret DVD that will earn you extra points when you are able to collect it. Note to you oldies, yes it did use to be a Video Tape. Collecting the items and getting high scores will earn you the money to improve your skater.

Graphically THPSHD is a step below its current gen counterparts but then it remains true to its grandfather whilst having a nice bit of polish to bring it into the modern era. It is easy to forget that the core game is two decades old. In truth I think the game looks pretty decent and certainly hasn’t had me thinking that it looks way out of date. Although I do have to admit that my judgement on that could well be obscured by my tears of joy at once again have this game in my life! Still I have added a comparison pic to show the difference between the original and the HD version.

The classic gameplay with its brilliant control method and annoying quirks has made it into this remake in its entirety. Using the stick will move your skater around and combinations of buttons and stick moves will perform grabs, kick flips, grinds, plants, ollies and manuals. When you consider the age of this game there is a whole heap of moves to learn and perform. You can also buy new moves in the shop. However, as I mentioned some of the more annoying traits of the original are here as well. Things like flying up a half-pipe, not getting square on and then watching your skater fall sideways into the ground next to the pipe without any attempt to bail. Or just trying to turn around in a small space whilst you constantly bounce off walls. It’s annoying and could have been tweaked, but then I would have probably complained that it wasn’t a faithful recreation. Tough crowd us critics. I have also heard complaints that the game has no tutorial mode… Tough! The original didn’t either. This was a time when gamers didn’t need their hands held. We used to invest time to learn our games and then more time to get shit-hot at them.

Much of the original games music has made it into the remake. I must admit to a little grin coming across my face when I was skating through the school to Anthrax and Chuck D’s ‘Bring The Noise’. I had that on vinyl I did, (that’s those big black CD’s your parents own).

What more can I say, the original game was a classic that spawned an entire genre and this is a faithful recreation. It’s not perfect and I suspect that most of the purchasers will be us thirty-something’s, but I really don’t care. This a what gaming is about a fast, fun and an extremely addictive experience and I make no apologies for loving it.

 

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