Community Review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

Community Review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
Get gnarly, dudes.
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It’s been out for a few weeks now, but while stuck in Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown I’ve found so much comfort in playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. It’s that ideal combination of reassuringly familiar and engaging, that it’s enough to take me out of worrying about the current situation and just engross me in the freedom of skating.

What’s so magical about the game is that it looks and feels exactly as I remember it from when I was a kid, playing the Marseilles level over and over again long after my parents thought I’d gone to sleep. Of course, that means it really looks and feels about 10 times better than it actually did on the Gateway PC I got for my 12th birthday. Nostalgia is like that – everything you loved as a kid is always remastered in your memories. It’s so rare that revisiting it will ever live up to that, which is why this is such an impressive feat.

Of course, I’m nowhere near as good as I used to be. 12-year-olds have significantly better reflexes and dexterity than us wizened 30-somethings. Hopefully I’m just out of practice and the ease of combos will come back soon. Or, maybe, like the graphics and the gameplay, I’m an unreliable witness for my own skills. (But let’s just blame age anyway.)

More impressive is there are plenty of updates and tweaks to keep it feeling fresh and nostalgic (which is a particular brand of wizardry unto itself). Seeing the mall level go from lush and stocked in the early 2000s to abandoned and decaying in 2020 feels appropriate. It also just looks cooler.

Other welcome changes include more diversity in the included playable skaters. Elise Steamer was always cool in the original games, but broadening the roster to include Lizzie Armanto, Leticia Bufoni, and Aori Nishimura gives kids more skating heroes to look up to. And the inclusion of Leo Baker, a non-binary skater with incredible skills, is huge given the lack of non-binary rep in all games, let alone sporting titles.

The big problem, of course, is that the longer I play, the more I think I can actually skateboard. The same thing happened back in 2001; I saved all my pocket money to buy a skateboard, and then realised I lived on a particularly steep mountain with no easy access to flat pavement. That child-size skateboard is probably hidden somewhere in my parents’ house, still in like-new condition.

Now that I actually have access to somewhere to learn, I have the curse of actually feeling pain that kicks in around 25. As a teen I could calmly put my dislocated shoulder back in the socket and go about my day, whereas now I need to sit down for a minute after stubbing my toe. Perhaps it’s for the best that none of the stores that could sell me a skateboard are open in Melbourne.

For those of you who have been playing Tony Hawk‘s Pro Skater 1+2, how is it living up to your memories? Or if you didn’t play it as a kid, what do you think of it with a clean slate?

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Tony Hawk‘s Pro Skater 1+2 yet, you can grab a cheap copy here.


  • I missed out on 1 and 2 when first released, but when 3 came out on the Xbox I got in on the fun. I absolutely loved the custom soundtracks capability they came with and had my own mix tape for all the Tony Hawk and snowboarding games. I dropped the series after THUG since I wasn’t enjoying that it had become ‘Jackass the Game’.

    Playing 1 and 2 is just fantastic. I’m playing it on PC with a controller and its a fabulous experience. My custom gal, Sam, is a bit more street smart than Ake was back in the 3 & 4 games and I find I prefer to dress her sensibly for skateboarding.

    One thing that really strikes me is how they got licensing for the boards, the clothes, the gear, so rather than generics its all actual brand clothing. That said, until I unlock it all I’m pretty picky when it comes to actually spending the incredibly slowly doled out cash.

    Its every bit as arcadey as the ones I loved, and the progression as you increase your stats feels good. The mechanics from 3 and 4 are familiar to me, and I’m a little leery to try turning them off since I don’t think I’d get anywhere remotely the same combo scores otherwise!

    All in all, fantastic experience.

  • Absolutely loving it. The nostalgia is real with this one.

    Only complaint I have is that you can’t do the level goals with all skaters. Once they are done they are done.

    • Going for the legend collection i am glad i don’t need to redo the goals for the additional skaters but it would be nice to reset them so you can do them again. I guess the gathered after doing them the speed runs would cover the base of redoing the goals.

  • “… everything you loved as a kid is always remastered in your memories.”

    Yowsers. That’s a beautiful sentiment, Alice.

  • I bought the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 for PS4 and unfortunately… I returned it to EB Games for a refund a few days later.

    It is not a bad game, there is nothing wrong with it, and as for remasters and remakes, it is excellent. This will sound cliche’, but personally, it’s a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. When I was a kid, I used to love the arcade-style gameplay of the Tony Hawk games, but nowadays… it’s just not for me.

    For everyone else who bought this game, I sincerely hope you’re enjoying it.

    • That’s more than fair. I loved buying it, I thought it’d be amazing playing it again, and it has been. It brought back some nostalgia, but it also brought back memories to me of playing it for 10 minutes, then wandering away from it for days, weeks and not touching it. It’s a brilliant remake, but to the point it’s bringing back the faults with it for me too! But that’s a personal thing, not the games fault I guess :O

  • As long as the soundtrack is as good as the old ones – I’m in.

    I’m still guilty of having THPS2 soundtrack on my Spotify 20 years on

  • I love it, but if I have one complaint it’s that reverts are a little harder to pull off in this one than they used to be, you need to be more precise with their timing when landing in quarter/halfpipes and coming out of lip tricks especially. But it’s minor niggle.

    • Actually, that was poorly worded, I should have said revert-to-manuals. Reverts are easy to hit but getting the manual straight after and not stopping the combo used to be more forgiving, you could just start mashing up/down/up/down after pressing R2 and always get it. Now, not so much.

      • It took me a while to get used to the timing of Reverts off lip tricks (needing to press it before your wheels touch down), but I’m still having issues with revert to manual to series of tricks.

        I’ll put part of it down to being a lot older than I was when I used to play it.

  • I’m having a great time with it, I forgot how much fun it is exploring, but I’ve definitely moved on from THPS combo chaining. It’s fun but it’s hard to enjoy just going fast or chaining together something legitimately tricky when I’m always focusing on doing something to keep the score ticking.

    That said, excellent game, top notch remake. There are a few bits that feel genuinely dated but overall it’s very fresh for a series that got so stale towards the end.

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