Almost five years ago appeared with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is a real fun debacle. The title looked shabby, was buggy, had silly, boring mission design and the gameplay was about as fun as a school bus accident. In short, THPS 5 defiled the memory of one of the most iconic sports game series of all time and even in the comment areas of YouTube hardly anyone dared to try to stupidly decide to pre-order with a "You are lying !!!" or a flickering "So everything works for me and it is exactly like before!" To defend.
Old fans of the series wondered aloud why Activision had trusted Robomodo again to develop a THPS because their offshoots were always bad, but also why they didn't just remake the old parts when it was obvious that the developers from Part 5 had no creative ideas to further develop the series. Now Activision seems to be finally listening to the fans, because instead of burying the series, the publisher announced a remaster of the first two parts together as one game.
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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 in the test video – hard flip into the crown jewels
Fortunately, the new edition of the cult games, which are now 21 and 20 years old, respectively, is luckily not from Robomodo, but from Vicarious Visions, who most recently proved that they understand popular classics into the modern age with the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Crash Team Racing bring.
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But past successes with the crash remakes make Vicarious Visions a good choice for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, because the studio now employs a number of developers who worked on old Tony parts for Neversoft at the time. Studio boss Jennifer Onneal already emphasized in interviews that the original feel of the originals should be captured as authentically as possible in order to give the players exactly the THPS they have been longing for.
Technically, everything has been completely renewed, of course, but Activision and VV still speak of a remaster and not a remake. This is because the developers actually use the two-decade-old code of the original games as the foundation for their new edition. Although we weren't allowed to play the title ourselves, the gameplay published so far shows that this effort seems to be worth it.
The skaters roll, jump and grind just as smoothly as they did back then through the levels. The animations look so much better and more natural than last in THPS 5. Anyone who played the old games will recognize them immediately. Just in a modern look. In order to make the nostalgic feeling as authentic as possible, you can play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 with the Digi-Cross just like back then and do not have to use the analog stick. This small feature alone shows that the developers know exactly what the fans want.
Pretending I'm a Superman
But not only the feeling of the game should be exactly as it was many, many moons ago. All game modes of the originals are back on board and also all playable skaters from 20 years ago roll again through the familiar, but shining in new graphic splendor levels. Since Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero and Co. have of course also gotten older, their models have been re-scanned. Skateboarders never retire.
As much as you want to stay true to the originals, Vicarious Visions still do not ignore today's standards. The multiplayer split screen is included, but you can of course also compete online with other skaters. This also applies to the Create-a-Park mode, in which you can create your own skate parks again. Now you no longer have to let your buddies come over to present your own works. Instead, you can put your park online so that players from all over the world can break their virtual neck there.
The biggest change, however, is that the features of the games are not separate. Manuals were only introduced in the second part, but can now also be carried out in the parks of part 1 to chain tricks. In addition, the revert maneuver, with which vert tricks can be expanded into larger combos, is also on board. Even though the feature was only introduced in THPS 3. However, the developers and Tony Hawk himself believe that reverts are now so essential for the series and so much fun that they also upgrade parts 1 and 2.
"This new edition could help the genre to make a comeback."
Apart from the graphics, the first Tony parts are absolutely timeless. The gameplay is still extremely good these days and is constantly motivating us to achieve new top performances. The soundtrack, which mainly consists of punk and hip-hop, is rightly cult, drives you through the levels and should still lead to younger gamers discovering good music for themselves. Should the remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 capture the feel of the game from the past and present it smoothly and appropriately in modern technology, the new edition will certainly be a hit. By the way, as a fan of the series, I'm glad that Reverts are on board, because this little ingenious feature from part 3 greatly enhances even these classics. But even if the title doesn't turn out as good as I hope, it can't get any worse than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5.
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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2: First gameplay video for the new edition – with a popular warehouse level
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