Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD Was My Favorite VGA Surprise

You can keep your Command & Conquer Generals 2 and The Last of Us, for me the biggest news out of the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards wasn't a new game but the return of something old: Tony Hawk.

Well, not Tony Hawk himself, of course. He's only 43, and five years older than me can hardly be considered old. I'm talking about the return of Tony Hawk Pro Skater, a title I haven't seen the likes of since the third game in the four game series.

No, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 does not count. In fact any of the games in the Tony Hawk series that exchanged the convenience and polish of individually designed levels for unrealistic open world skating bullshit just didn't cut it for me. In attempting to big bigger and badder than ever before they lost the magic that I first discovered playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 on my Dreamcast more than a decade ago. The joyous urgency of having a set of goals, a time limit, and a soundtrack that didn't completely suck.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD isn't a new game, and I don't mind at all. The downloadable title, coming to Xbox Live and the Playstation Network next summer, combines elements of the first two Tony Hawk Pro Skater games and updates them to fit both current gen platforms and the current skateboarding scene.

"We're going back to the core of what made the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games so popular, while leveraging today's console power and online capabilities," said Tony Hawk. "We've updated many elements to reflect today's skateboarding scene as well. Long-time fans of the series will appreciate the huge amount of polished content at a very low price."

This is what I've wanted in a skateboarding game since they started making them. It's something that was lost, not just to the skateboarding genre, but to the extreme sports genre as a whole. The move to open worlds killed series like Dave Mirra's BMX (well, there was more to that than open worlds), replacing easy-to-consume gaming experiences with large, unwieldy time sinks. While I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that prefer the freedom of an entire virtual playground, I don't have the time or the interest in carving my own way across a huge open environment. I want a skateboarding game that points me to a rail and tells me to grind it. Let me spend two minutes trying my damnedest to get everything I need to get done completed, and if I do a good enough job, give me a new level to do it all over again.

My only concern lies in the fact that this HD redux is being handled by Robomodo, the developer behind Activision's most recent plastic skateboard-powered entries in the Tony Hawk series, Ride and Shred. Hopefully freedom from the ridiculous skateboarding peripheral will help the developer get this game off the ground.

Welcome back, Tony Hawk. Give us a hug.


Comments

    Looking forward to this myself.

    The Tony Hawk series started to lose me with THPS3.
    4 was average, THUG was a small improvement, THUG2 I loved.
    American Wasteland was a bit boring.

    Project 8 and everything after it I never played, 'cause the Skate series snagged my attention. Tony Hawk games felt so wooden after playing Skate, so I never bothered (demos aside).

    I think I'll grab this 'HD' remake when it drops.
    Hopefully it's a faithful return to what made THPS so good in the first place.

    Just make more skate games like skate 2, nothing comes close to having a big realistic city where you could go anywhere and skate anything, i really disliked the way skate 3 had it chopped up into 'zones' and they whole company/team deal, it was really unnecessary.

    Bigger city, more secret places only reachable by foot, dynamic day/night cycle and weather (places only accesible at night or objectives only possible in certain weather), more customization in the real world (ala burnside) and LESS BULLSHIT like mega parks and super contest stadiums.

    Are you listening EA?

    I want a HD remake of THUG 2. I loved that game more than any in the series.

    Hope they manage to get a hold of the rights to the same music.

    Took me ages to find the first game on ebay, just so I could play it on PS3.

    If they have local multiplayer and you're able to choose your own soundtrack - sold.

    Bring this on! The first 3 were my favourites. This is a dream come true!

    So here I am, doing everything I can, holding on to what I am, pretending I'm a SUPERMAN.

      I am currently skanking around my desk.

        +540

        I really hope the soundtrack remains intact.

        If I have to play this with some kind of Paramore or My Chemical Romance bull playing in the background I'm going to rip the speakers from my TV with a quickness...

    Wow just one look at that screenshot and the memories came flooding back - got to say though, I really enjoyed all the games until 4, I can't remember which THUG I had but that was pretty sweet too. It even came with a little camera.

    Maybe i'm the odd one out here but i did enjoy THPS4.

    THUG was okay then it just went downhill from there.

    Anyways i'm pretty keen about this.

    Jerry was a race car driver, he drove so goddamned fast. Never did win no checkered flag, but he never did come in last.

    Tony hawk 4 wasnt bullshit! It was one of the best in the series, like the first three.

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