I’ve played games since I was three, it wasn’t until the Xbox/Gamecube/PS2 era that I really became involved with them in the way that I am now though. When I first got my Xbox back in 4th grade, I had a choice of one game. While my dad chose Halo: Combat Evolved, I immediately chose Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3.
Now, this game is a collaboration of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, but that goes to show how dependent on nostalgia this game is. Can the classic series still hold up?
Gameplay: Attention, this game is not an HD remake. As much as the title will say it is. As much as the game has led you to believe that it is your old game, it is not. One, it is a collection. Two, it’s remade from the ground up, and you can feel it. Personally, I’m not too much of a stickler on this. I like the new controls, even if they are different. Still, note, if you’re looking for a classic experience, this is not that.
If you’re new to the franchise, here’s what you need to know: you skate through levels trying to complete objectives. These usually consist of getting a high score, collecting the letters S-K-A-T-E, or doing a specific trick at a certain area. This doesn’t necessarily get tedious as you’ll steadily unlock new levels.
My biggest complaint is how floaty everything is. You can see this firsthand when your skater crashes and is sent into Max Payne. The actual mechanics work, and they work fine. I won’t be one of those people who compares Skate to Tony Hawk due to the arcade-nature of Tony Hawk, but I will say that the gameplay should’ve probably been nailed down a little bit more.
Presentation: The new HD coat is fine. It’s cool to see some of the maps in a new light, but it’s nothing spectacular. What is probably more important than visuals, is the soundtrack. Pro Skater has always had a memorable soundtrack, rightfully so, we’d hope that this one does too. Half of the songs come from the first and second Pro Skater, the other half is all new. Weirdly enough, I’m not digging it as much as I would like to. It’s not bad, but not up to par.
Value: Tony Hawk is priced at $15. What you get is a handful of tracks and a multiplayer mode. Here’s the trick with the game, it can either have a ton of replay value or barely any. If you’re a completionist, this is going to be a hell of a game. After completing every objective on every map, you’ll get more objectives on each map. To top that off, you can complete the game eight each and every character individually. Multiplayer is fun to play every now and then, but not very active, which is a bummer.
Do I wish it had even more? Yeah! They had two games of content. There’s a lot to pull from. Tony Hawk needs a comeback, and going all out with this game could’ve been it. It’s not jam-packed and it will definitely leave a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
Final thought: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is a fun celebration of what Tony Hawk used to be. It isn’t a memory. It isn’t a nostalgia run. It was advertised as a port, but it’s not. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Pro Skater formula again, and if you can embed the idea that this is in fact a new game, you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did. I give Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD a C.