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What Critics Are Saying About Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series offered players the opportunity to experience the joy of skateboarding, as well as an authentic peek into the skater subculture. Now, Activision and Vicarious Visions have remade the first two iconic titles in HD, releasing them as Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 on Sept. 4, 2020. This new collection comes complete with remastered versions of all the pro skaters, levels, and tricks from the originals while incorporating the fresh mechanics that emerged in later entries. 

Tony Hawk's Pro Skaters had multiple developers over the years after being created by Neversoft and then moving to Robomodo. The first game launched in 1999, and following a prolific run in the early 2000s, Activision tried to revive the franchise with a few remixes that didn't quite capture the excitement of the originals. However, it looks the updated take from Vicarious Visions may be different. Here's what critics think of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.

A modern look that maintains the appeal of the originals

The Verge's Andrew Webster called Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 "the perfect remaster." It reportedly nails the balance between updating the game for modern tastes and keeping the interesting parts from the originals. Characters look realistic, and the animations are detailed. While everything has received a fresh coat of paint, the levels are so close to the original layouts Webster was able to use muscle memory to navigate. Now that's attention to detail.

Ben Kuchera of Polygon echoed this sentiment, saying, "Pro Skater was never just about learning how to land signature tricks; it was about how to make your path through each level flow like water, creating something that looked and felt both effortless and beautiful." According to Kuchera, the remakes keep that aspect in tact.

Pro Skater 1 + 2 includes new music, hot names in skating, new skater and park creation tools, and an online mode, plus new achievement-like challenges, as detailed by Will Freeman of The Guardian. Freeman called the remake "brilliant," and stated that the gameplay remains fundamentally the same with its combo-heavy dynamics. Similarly, Luke Reilly's review for IGN pointed out that it's easy to be cynical about the industry's penchant for selling old games for new money, but Pro Skater 1 + 2 are so much fun he's not sour about it.

Pro Skater 1 + 2's main issues are age related

The main Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 issues stem from the collection's source material. When the originals released, the skateboarding subculture was very different, and translating that for modern audiences comes with built-in challenges.

TechRadar's Adam Vjestica notes that character customization is  limited, as is the online component — which is not unexpected, as the original Pro Skater games were not exactly designed for multiplayer. Some of the levels, too, are dated. Still, Vejstica praised the new mechanics, saying the method for chaining tricks together has transformed the gameplay.

Metro UK said leveling up seems pointless and Kotaku pointed out that the camera is tricky, while a new skate shop seems to indicate the possibility of future microtransactions. Much of the criticism seems to be directed at minor elements, however. Overall, critics appear to adore the remasters. The verdict is clear: you're probably going to love Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.