So, THPS 1+2 dropped this past Friday – that’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 to the uninitiated – and it’s an absolute treat.
At time of writing, it was cheaper to pick up the standard edition of the game through the PlayStation store as opposed to trekking the 20k to the nearest Argos or Gamestop.
With the download complete, all I needed was a few minutes alone on the opening tutorial level for all the memories to come crashing back, like the warmest of hugs from the oldest of friends.
I was there for the first game, and the second. I had tried the remastered edition back in 2012 (Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD), and somewhere along the way, the game seemed to lose the run and feel of what made it oh so special.
Straight in, no kissing
From the tutorial, through to the warehouse, on to the school, the competition levels, Area 51 – they’re all there. Every park from the first two games, rebuilt, remastered, smoother, faster, better, stronger.
I was a little alarmed to see that everything for the sweet Create-A-Skater mode has a cost. New tshirt? 50 bucks. New logo for your hat? 50 bucks. New deck? Double down at 100 bucks. However, the in-game cash is built up by trying to unlock over 700 different challenges ranging from completing tasks in-menu to nailing high scores, clean runs and all manner of trick combos.
I gave myself an hour on it Sunday morning and over the course of several two minute runs through the THPS1 warehouse, I cleared all the challenges – collected S-K-A-T-E, the secret tape, mashed the boxes, worked up the three high scores and the rest.
Heading on to the School and it’s all coming flooding back (plus cursing getting to the roof, not leaving enough time to grind across picnic tables) but by mid morning, the muscle memory is coming back and all of a shot three and four trick combos are turning towards 13, 15 and beyond.
The gameplay, while modernised, feels more like a throwback to the early PS1 days with countless days and nights spent racking up ridiculous scores in two minute twists.
My guess is, if you’re like me and you’ve stepped away from Tony Hawk land for some time, you’ll love being able to step right in as it feels like you’ve never been away.
The controls are comfortable, the game physics relatable to the early editions. It’s less floaty, a little punchier and you’ll still want to be finishing your tricks in style as (like you’ll see in the video above), it’s very easy to make a dog’s dinner of things.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC. RRP is €44.99 for the standard edition and €54.99 for the next step up. PC version available via Epic Games.