Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Review
Extra Features: Online Multiplayer (1-2 players), Leaderboards
Normally when I think of an HD remake of a game, I think of an older game that has been redone with an HD graphics upgrade or a game that been completely redone with new graphics. Often the games that are released with a new HD graphics coating are basically the same and the games that are released with new graphics can be a hit or a miss based on whether the developer remained faithful to the original game or not. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is neither of the above. This remix uses the old Neversoft gameplay engine from the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 and it compiles stages, soundtracks and skaters from both games along with a new HD look.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD looks absolutely gorgeous compared to the original game. The soundtrack from both Tony Hawk 1 and 2 serves as the background music along with a few new tracks. The new tracks fit right in with the old school tracks. The game still has tight controls just like the original game. If you were good at the original Tony Hawk games then expect to pick this one up and play it just like the old days.
Just like the old games, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is an arcadey skater that challenges a player to perform several tricks in a row and land without fail to earn a high score and accomplish certain objectives within each stage. A player will choose from a range of new and old skaters, including Tony Hawk himself. By completing objectives and earning points in each stage, each characters' attributes can be upgraded.
All of the challenges still remain the same in each stage as they were in the previous Tony Hawk game they were taken from. Stages from Tony Hawk 1 and 2 are placed into HD along with the same objectives that they has in the original game. Stages such as Warehouse, School II, Marseille, Mall, Downhill Jam, Hangar and Venice Beach all return from previous Tony Hawk games. You can now pull up a map that highlights where all objectives can be performed if you don't know them already. Each character must go through each stage and perform objectives in it in order for that character to move on to other stages. The old VHS tapes that could be collected are now replaced with DVDs since no one uses VHS tapes anymore, except for Resident Evil characters. A player can choose from Career (complete objectives), Single Session (2 minute score attack) and Free Skate (practice mode) before choosing a stage.
HD has a new mode called "Big Head mode" where a skater's head will constantly inflate as the skater moves throughout the stage. The only way to stop the skater's head from swelling is to perform tricks and increase the score. Gaining points will cause the skater's head to shrink back down to normal size. Gaining several points in a row will decrease the size of the player's head faster. If the player fails to gain points, the skater's head will pop and the match will end. This mode is a great addition to the game and serves as a fresh new challenge for old school players. There is also a Hawkman mode where a player must collect yellow and red pellets and a Projective mode where a player has 1 minute in each stage to complete several new objectives.
Players can compete online with a Graffiti, Trick Attack and Big Head Elimination mode. In Graffiti, players tag objects by tricking on them - tag the most in a certain amount of time to win. In Trick Attack, players compete to see who can get the highest score in a certain amount of time. Big Head Elimination is much like single player Big Head mode, except two players compete to see who can survive the longest without their skater's head being blown up.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is a great remix of new and old for the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise, but new players will get the most out of it since many of the objectives still remain the same. It looks great to see the game in HD and the controls still remain just as tight as they were a few years back. Other than mixing stages and skaters from the first and second game, a few new modes and online multiplayer are the main changes that old school fans will enjoy. There is no split-screen play sadly. It's a great game overall, but if you played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 quite a bit back in the day, you won't find too much new stuff to enjoy with this HD remix version.
+ HD graphics
+ New and old soundtrack sounds great
+ A few new additions
- No local co-op play
- The majority of the game is still the same
Final Rating: 75%. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a remix of new and old and looks great with its new HD graphics, but much of the game still remains the same.