It’s been a long five years since the last mainline entry of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise. Back in 2015, we were left disappointed with clunky controls, over-the-top visuals that didn’t match the quality of the game, and frequent bugs and online issues that just ruined everything. Considering that the time gap between THPS 4 and 5 was three console generations, a lot of fans are still feeling the disappointment. Nevertheless, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a full-on return to form to the classics.
The bundled remaster just released their Warehouse Demo yesterday. After an hour of flipping, grinding, and wiping out, here are our first impressions of the game.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise is Back in Full Force
The Warehouse level is rather small; you can break it down to three main segments that each have their small number of props to trick on. Despite so, it’s plenty of playground to get a feel of the game.
The controls are very responsive. Nostalgic, even! If you have ever played a Tony Hawk game on PlayStation 1, this feels almost exactly like it with some major improvements.
The controls are basically the same as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4:
- Cross is to Ollie
- Square is to Flip
- Circle is to Grab
- Triangle is to Grind, Wallride and Plant
- R2 is to Revert
- L2 is to set up a Nollie/ Fakie
Combos are fun to string together and linking tricks with manuals in between is also very satisfying to pull off. Every action translates smoothly from input to output, though it can be a little difficult to time a manual after reverting off of a Plant. That, however, may be an issue with me as a player myself rather than the fault of the game. Every other action is silky smooth and leaves a satisfying after-effect after pulling off a string of tricks.
An over-achieving Son
Despite being the most similar to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, there’s a number of noticeable changes right off the bat. For one, it feels extremely “balanced”. While in THPS 4 you could string together grinds and plants effortlessly, THPS 1+2 disables the instantaneous transitions outright. This isn’t a negative feature, however. It makes obtaining high-scores much more strategic rather than button-mashy. Additionally, pivoting during manuals are also much slower, making it harder for players to cheese away score multiplier in combos. Overall, it’s a much more “fair” experience compared to its predecessors.
There’s a customization option that isn’t fully unlocked for the demo, but available for players to take a peek. Here, you can unlock cosmetics for Tony by completing objectives, and it will likely also be available for other skaters as well. We’ll spare you the details considering none of us have the proper chance to properly analyze it as of yet.
One thing the game does nail is maintaining its arcade vibes. While Skater XL is more akin to a grounded skating simulator, THPS 1+2 is a bombastic arcade skater that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. There are iconic made up “super tricks” that you can do by means of a special input. Think of it as comparing Need for Speed to Gran Turismo. Even the “respawn” animations are less realistic compared to its PSOne predecessors. That being said, it isn’t any less fun.
We Can’t Wait
It’s mechanically solid, with acceptable modern visuals to back it up. It plays great with responsive controls, and the Warehouse level layout allows you to fully explore all the possible combos you could hope to execute.