Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Got Right
- + Classic THPS Gameplay
- + Enhanced, Shiny New Visuals
- + Fun New Modes
- + Decent Soundtrack
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Got Wrong
- - Controls Can Be A Little Stiff
- - Limited Moveset
It’s been a lot of fun returning to the classic Tony Hawk Pro Skater gameplay with this high definition remake. For a series that dominated the sports game genre in the early part of last decade, seeing it return so that a new generation of gamers can experience it is certainly heartening, if not for the series’ pure accessibility, then for its therapeutic execution of manual and grind-based combo chains. While it’s not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a seasoned return for an iconic series that is in dire need of a full retail reinvigoration.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD bundles in the so-called best of the first two games in the Pro Skater series, which is probably more discouraging than enticing for fans: Tony Hawk’s series reached its peak with Pro Skater 3, certainly an ageless classic in the genre.
While Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD isn’t perfect, its therapeutic gameplay remains, offering quick and accessible enjoyment with epic grinding combos and outrageous objectives.
That’s not to say that what’s on offer isn’t great, but you’re certainly not getting the best of the Pro Skater series: just the best of the first two modest but still highly enjoyable entries. There are seven levels, a bunch of new skaters (including some favourites from the games), and some fine new visuals that add pizzazz and glamour to the series’ memorable levels.
The core gameplay hasn’t changed in this HD remake: you’ll start off with access to just one level, in which you’ll need to complete a minimum number of objectives to earn cash and unlock new skate parks. The cash can be used to upgrade skills and equipment, and you’ll be able to return to a level to complete remaining objectives in the two-minute time limit.
Controlling your skateboarder hasn’t changed, but anyone that put a few hours into the original games will certainly notice a little stiffness in the manoeuvring and responsiveness of your character. It’s not a dealbreaker, and thankfully it’s no more challenging to pull off grind-based combos as it was a decade ago. The controls just don't quite feel as...well...loose as they did back then, which might frustrate fans of the series.
Unfortunately, the moveset feels a little limited as reverts don’t make an appearance: a mechanic that wasn’t added to the series until Pro Skater 3, reverts allowed you to mold verts into epic combos, but this time round you’ll have to make do with classic grind-based combo chains and manuals.
Online works decently, although it’s severely lacking a community feel: finish a match against an opponent and you’ll be kicked straight back to the lobby with no option for a rematch. Still, the familiar multiplayer modes are fun for what they are, and adding in your Xbox Live avatar to personalise your skater is a nice touch.
The Final Verdict
While Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD isn’t perfect, its therapeutic gameplay remains, offering quick and accessible enjoyment with epic grinding combos and outrageous objectives. It might feel a little limited in sticking to the features of the first two Pro Skater games, and a little more love for Pro Skater 3 wouldn’t have gone astray, but this is still a game for the fans, and a recommended one for those after some high definition THPS goodness.
Gaetano Prestia - Bio