Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD Review (Xbox 360)
Posted by Todd Vote on 08.04.2012
Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD kicks off the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade. Does this HD remake of some of your favorite classic courses live up to it's predecessors? Come in for the full review
Title: Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD
Players: 1-4 online
Rated: T for Teen
So it's here. Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD (from here on out referred to as THPSHD) has ollied it's way onto the Xbox Live Arcade, kickstarting the Summer of Arcade in the process. THPSHD is not so much a remake of any one game from the original series, but more of a greatest hits collection from Tony Hawk 1 & 2. Classic levels such as The Warehouse, Downhill Jam, and School II are all back, and looking better than ever. Also making its way back in the game is the manual. The manual as you remember enables you to jack up your score multiplier, and wrack up the big points.
The game looks really good in HD, the attention to detail really shows the love the developers had for the original series, and skating around these old courses offered so much to look at, some I remembered, some I was just noticing for the very first time. The attention to detail is really great here. From the papers and things floating around the warehouse to the strings on hoodies bouncing with each ollie, THPSHD makes the jump to HD very smoothly.
The gameplay is almost exactly as you remember it. Whether or not that varied from frustration to non stop fun like it did for me, I suppose is dependent on your overall skill with the game. Don't get me wrong, when I say frustrating, I only mean in the sense that if you don't land that first big combo, instinct for me is nine times out of ten to restart the level. At least when I was going for score based objectives. Personal ticks aside, the gameplay has been faithfully recreated here, and even the Xbox's d-pad doesn't really deter from things.
THPSHD offers all of your favorite tracks, and all of the goals you remember are in tact. The secret tapes, however, have been cleverly replaced with secret DVD's. But the rest of the classic goals remain virtually untouched. Being a while since I have played the games, there may even be some new goals here. For example, in Venice, there is a goal of transferring over 3 VB half-pipes. On the school there is a challenge for grinding a certain way down a railing.
Beating all of the campaign goals with a single skater offers up a chance to get some projectives. Projectives are additional tasks that range from frustrating to seemingly impossible at times. But keep at it, and they can all be done.
THPSHD features online play, and offers several game types. While it is a shame that split screen wasn't added, they make up for it with different game types to play online. Graffiti tagging is back, and joined by big head elimination, free skate, and a new mode called Hawk-man. Hawk-man is a homage to Pac-Man, and features players skating around an area trying to eat up different colored pellets. Each pellet has different requirements in order for you to get them, so it does offer some replay for you. The online play is smooth, I didn't find any hiccups or lag issues when playing with 3 others.
THPSHD has even brought back some of your favorite tracks from the first two games. I must admit that all felt right in the gaming world the first time I fired up Warehouse and started skating around while Goldfinger's Superman blasted in the background. It was a great feeling listening to all of these classic tracks, and Activision was wise to include them.
+ Great feeling of nostalgia
+ Addictive, fun, online and single player modes
- Some of your favorite skaters like Bucky Lasek and Chad Muska have been left off initially, but could always be added in as DLC
- Only seven courses
Overall, the team at Robomodo has nailed the HD update of THPS. The game offers plenty for both old and new fans to sink their teeth into. If you were ever a fan of the original series, you will not be disappointed by picking this first title from the Summer of Arcade up.
The HD graphical upgrade was done very well.
Addictive most of the time, frustrating at others. Just like I remember!
Bringing back music from the old games was most definitely the way to go here.
The new online function, and the addition of leader boards could keep you coming back time and again, but at the same time, there are only seven courses.
Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia. It was so much fun revisiting some of these courses.