Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD Review
Tony Hawk is one of the most beloved franchise that has fallen from it’s graces. Millions of people remember Goldfinger’s Superman only as that one song that played when you first started the Warehouse level in the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD acts like the best of, taking levels from the first two Tony Hawk Games. The real question though is Does the HD remake by Robomodosoar sky high among the other games out for Xbox live, or does it beef the landing?
Lets get one thing strait, this is definitely a Tony Hawk game. Everything about the game from soundtrack to the characters feel like the original two games. The updated graphics do not sidetrack from the original feel of the game. The nostalgia will bring you right back 1999. There may be some new editions in both of these categories but they fit perfectly and just feel right.
Now that we have established that it feels like the 1999 game in it’s background I can correctly portray the problems in this game. It feels exsactly like the 1999 game. There are no reverts to keep a combo going, camera issues, and many other problems that existed when the game first came out. The game was built on a whole new Unreal Tournament engine and yet the physics feel exactly the same and somewhat broken. Remember how it was kind of difficult to wall grind in the old games even when it is an objective? Yep that is still there and still frustrating. It just seems like the physics of the game could have been updated. There is nothing more frustrating then knowing how to finish an objective in a game but can’t because the wall grind is a pixel to the right or left.
Another problem with the game is the amount of content. There is only really 7 levels taken from the first two games and unlocking them won’t be much of a chore. After about 4 or 5 hours you will probably have them all unlocked with little to no frustration. There is a ton to do in each level, objective wise, but staring at the same 7 levels hitting restart over and over again to complete them can get a little damn irritating after a long enough time. If you do happen to stick around and finish all of the objectives with a character you can unlock even more “projectives” that limit the time per run to 1 minute and are much harder. Again though, you only unlock these after spending a LOT of time playing these same levels and it just seems like filler. The ammount of content is there, but the limitation of 7 levels can make it seem boring.
Similarly the music content is a little bit lacking. When the game was releasing one of the centers of focus was the music. Tony Hawk had direct influence of the music that was in the game, and like I said in the intro, all of the music feels right. There just isn’t very much of it. After hitting retry thousands of times to get a secret tape on a map it feels just a little bit more frustrating when you are only listening to 14 songs on random. If you do get sick of the soundtrack, you can always load up your own, I know I did a couple of times.
The one area of the game that is not lacking is the Multiplayer. Multiplayer Tony Hawk has a special place in a lot of people’s hearts and now they can play it on Xbox Live in a ton of different modes. Big head mode has players fighting to be the last person that losses their head by tricking to keep their head small. Graffiti, like in past games, is about tricking off the most surfaces possible to have your color coating as many surfaces as possible. Finally, there is good old trick mode where the highest score at the end of two minutes is the winner.
All of these options are good and dandy in the multiplayer mode, but there is one big omission. There is no local split screen multiplayer. The first thing I wanted to do when I downloaded the game was relive split screen memories with a friend and it just can not be done. I just don’t see why they would leave local multiplayer out. They already have the multiplayer in place for Xbox Live and that has to be more complicated than local play. In a game that is fully wrapped in nostalgia it just seems weird that they left out a major chunk of the original game.
This is definatly a competent Tony Hawk game at the price tag of 1200 MP. The nostalgia around these first two titles was enough for me to buy it already. For people that don’t have strong feelings about the Tony Hawk games though, they may want to pass. 7 Levels with an easily repeatable soundtrack will not keep a new gamer’s attention very long. A couple new modes and the addition of Xbox Live multiplayer is just not enough for me to recommend THPSHD to someone that doesn’t already have strong feelings for the two games.