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Jul 24, 2012

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Review

Lights Off
4 Awesome
Retails for: $14.99
We Recommend: $14.99
  • Developer: Robomodo
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Genre: Action, Sports
  • Released: Jul 18, 2012
  • Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Reviewed: Xbox 360

Robomodo has taken on the insurmountable task of recreating Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. It mostly succeeds at that, but don’t let the name fool you; because it includes skaters, select levels and gameplay mechanics from the first two Tony Hawk games rolled up into one. There is promise of future DLC to include levels and mechanics such as the revert from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 for a mere $5.

It is extremely quick to get your Career started, though you’ll notice some things that don’t line-up with the originals such as the omission of Create-A-Skater, removal of skaters you once knew, and addition of young skaters to the roster including Tony Hawk’s son, Riley. The entire package becomes anachronistic as a result. Playing as your Xbox 360 avatar is just weird, mostly due to it being disproportionate to the environment and equipment given. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD becomes more of an “HD Remix” rather than a straight-up remake.

Right away you’ll drop into Warehouse performing grinds, manuals, and ollie’s as it comes all rushing back to you. The game’s design also removes the frustration of collecting and discovering gaps by including an unzoomable map with icons detailing each location in a Brady Strategy Guide sort of way. Progression in Career Mode is standard fare as you complete objectives, and checking off a certain number on the list unlocks the next level and so on. The bonus being that if you complete all of the objectives and then you can begin on harder versions known as PROjectives.

The seven levels that make up the game are classic by definition and aren’t everyone’s favorites. This, among the skater choice must have been a difficult task for Robomodo. Though the easy difficulty allows for people looking to find out what all the hoopla is about, can do so without being overwhelmed. Accompanying the levels is the soundtrack, which include 7 songs from the first two games (1 from THPS, 6 from THPS2). The other 7 are new to the series and modern – continuing the overlap of old and new.

Multiplayer exists in a different fashion than you remember it. You are unable to play split-screen with a friend on your local couch. You can hop online for Free Skate, Big Head Survival, Graffiti, and Trick Attack for some virtual couch play. Unfortunately, after each match ends you’re dumped back to the Lobby for the Host to create another game. Which is especially frustrating because certain matches only last between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. So that cycle can get tiring. It makes the entire experience of playing with friends take an extra step than it should have to, ruining what makes the Tony Hawk games so fast and fluid.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD does feel like a complete package, even with extra purchasable content on the way. It has been nearly 13 years since the original game released and in a lot of ways the game looks how you remember it all those years ago, even though going back to play that game on the original system will not look this way. The fast, fluid, and responsive controls make for wonderful gameplay if you can push aside the bugs and multiplayer oddities.

A download code was provided by PR for review purposes