Arcade Review

Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 1 + 2 – Demo Impressions

Blast from the Past

Today is very much a nostalgia trip for me and I hope this write up might bring up a few good memories for you, the reader, if you too grew up with this game. Recently a demo of Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 1 + 2 was released exclusively for those who pre-ordered the game and I managed to get my hands on a copy. As such, I thought I’d write up my early impressions. 

I should make a note here, the impressions in this article are based on the demo. It consists only of the famous Warehouse level and you are limited to playing single two-minute sessions. The demo does not include any other modes. Skate Tours, Multiplayer and Create a Park are all listed but are locked to the full game. A full review may come at a later point.

Tony Hawk - Manual

Kickflipping On

For those less familiar, a brief introduction. Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 1 + 2 is a remake of the original games by the same name on the PlayStation One. They are arcade-style skateboarding games, where your goal is to rack up huge amounts of points. This can be done by chaining together tricks such as aerials, flips, and grinds. Usually, more difficult tricks would give more points, so a 360 would be better than a 180 or a ten-second grind better than a two-second grind. More tricks in a chain quickly added up too. Pulling off more tricks without mistakes fills the special gauge, allowing you to use some particularly high scoring tricks. The original also had objectives to collect and other tasks, which I imagine would be in the remake but are not in the demo content.

One thing I always loved about the original games was earning stat increases and increasing my stats. It does not seem possible to earn points in the demo, but the system is certainly there. I personally can’t wait to max out my ‘Air’ stat to make huge jumps, letting me throw in more tricks mid-air and performing even bigger combos for more points.

Tony Hawk - Stats

What’s New? 

I can’t give an exhaustive list of changes if for no other reason than this is only the demo. I can say though that the graphics are certainly a huge improvement. As they should be really – it has been about twenty years.

The gameplay to me feels like the modern Tony Hawk games. They haven’t gone faithful remake to the point of missing out all the later additions like spine transfers which didn’t make it until the PlayStation 2 era. The physics feel good and the way it controls feel fair – difficult to pull off some of the higher-earning combinations, but certainly possible with the right timing and skill. 

The level of customization seems quite good. Cosmetic changes to the skater and the skateboard can be unlocked via challenges in the full game, but even in the demo you can change which special skills a character can perform and even choose which buttons need to be pressed to activate them. It also shows the ability to unlock more skill slots, so you can assign more skills.

Many people may fondly remember the huge list of music tracks from the original games. Sadly it’s been reported that five tracks do not return due to licensing issues, but the iconic Superman which people often associate with the game has made an appearance. You can also listen to Guerilla Radio, Lose Control, and Afraid of Heights while skating around the warehouse and the vast majority of the original soundtrack will be available in the full game.


What did you think?

Of course, I can’t give a proper verdict on the game yet. What I can say is that I’m tentatively impressed and certainly looking forward to the full release. I certainly enjoyed playing this snapshot of the game.

It really feels like they’re aiming to make a faithful remake, but improving where they can. I was watching an interview with one of the development team behind the Destroy All Humans remake before and something they said stuck with me and I feel it’s the same here; it’s a remake that’s not designed to be how the game was, but to be how you remember the game, with rose-tinted glasses and all.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One

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Thank you to Activision for providing a PlayStation 4 demo code of the game.

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