I ride down the gigantic ramp, kick flip off the half-pipe, and crash through the “secret room.” That ten seconds kicked off multiple hours of two-minute skate sessions. Welcome back to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater!
Maybe one of the most played game series of my childhood, THPS holds a special place in my heart. I remember being in 5th or 6th grade, and a buddy bringing over the original game and some tech decks (remember those!?). I am hooked playing the remaster demo today, just as I was way back when.
A video intro before the start screen seems familiar. But it quickly transitions from the letterbox 4:3 of the late 90’s, to the full HD widescreen of today. Most of the old skaters are back, and some new ones are introduced from today’s generation!
The demo itself is just the Warehouse level (the first level from THPS 1) but in all the Xbox One’s HD glory! I have tried playing a few of the older ones recently on older consoles. But it didn’t last long as they gave me a headache from the old graphics. The team at Vicarious Visions added a nice level of polish here.
Tony Hawk is the only playable skater in the demo. And you cannot unlock customization. But it honestly doesn’t matter. I had an absolute blast playing the same level over and over again. My muscle memory is still somewhat intact, and it didn’t take long to get the hang of things.
What’s The D-Pad?
I started playing with the left thumbstick controlling Tony. But the more time I spent, I found myself gravitating towards the d-pad. Used mostly for menus, weapons, and radio station changes in today’s games, I found it vital in THPS. And maybe it’s just because I always used the d-pad in the older games. But it certainly makes the tricks a bit easier to consistently land.
One new feature I noticed is the ability to get up quicker after bailing off your board. Perhaps it’s present in the more recent entries (the last game I played was Tony Hawk’s Underground 2). But hitting ”A” after bailing re-animates Tony onto the board and you don’t have to wait for him to get up. This adds valuable seconds on a high score run.
Lastly, I can’t forget to mention the soundtrack from the original game is back in it’s old glory. Doing some research it sounds like they got the licensing for most of the original songs. The demo has about five songs, all of which are perfect! I love good music in a game and have written about it before.
All-in, I am absolutely pumped for this to be released. A nice mix of nostalgia, polished HD gameplay, and a killer old school soundtrack will have me hooked for months.
For all the latest on the upcoming fall releases, check out the previews page on Generation Xbox!