Most of my early childhood was spent playing Tony Hawk games. The series inevitably encouraged me to get into skating myself and also introduced me to some of the best skaters in the sport. It was around Tony Hawk Underground 2 when I just stopped playing. The series drifted too far away from what I liked about it, and I moved on. Now, we get the chance to go back to where it all began with the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, a remastered version of the two-games for current-generation consoles with the promise of a return to form.
After playing a few hours of the demo, I can say that, for the most part, this is true, but I can’t help but feel like there’s something more to this game that we won’t see until launch.
The demo of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 allows you to play on stage within the game, Warehouse from Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Now, I’ve never actually liked this stage too much, but its condensed layout makes it a nice playground for getting to know the controls. As I worked on getting my groove back, I noticed that vert tricks had some sort of assist turn to them that would cause me to overshoot my landing. I’m not really sure if this was from my inexperience with the game, but I went back and playing the first game, and sure enough, I was landing vert tricks fine.
Still, I’ll learn to compensate for the physics because this is the game that I’ve been waiting for. The long combos and over-the-top trick list, it’s all here. As for updated systems, I really enjoyed the bail animation that messes up the music, and you can pound some buttons to speed up and get back on your board. Additionally, it’s possible to switch between updated features or revert back to the other two games. This means that if you’re playing with Tony Hawk Pro Skater rules on, you can’t manual. Oh, those were the days.
One feature that I really need to know more about is the money earned through gameplay. Now, after each run, you earn some cash and EXP. However, will cash be something that can be acquired by paying actual money? I’d like to know since the idea here is that you can purchase items with the money, but I wouldn’t put it past Activision to find a way for people to speed up this process.
Another thing about this is that it doesn’t seem to account for the run that you retry. So I had to finish a run to earn the EXP and money. However, I don’t really finish to many runs and will constantly restart without thinking as if it were muscle memory. I wonder if this will end up hurting my progression in the main game.
One interesting system is how you can unlock boards and other items by completing challenges. Now, they only gave us a hint as to what these challenges can be, but it’s definitely cool to have another thing to do while playing through the campaign—just something to keep in the back of your mind while completing level goals.
As of right now, I’m really excited about Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, and I’m looking forward to playing some of my favorite levels in the series’ history, including School II, Venice Beach, and the Mall. Still, I’m a little worried about how this experience system is going to play into it all, but I’ll have to wait and see.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 4.
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