Tony Hawk Professional Skater 1 + 2 Review (Switch)

If there’s ever been a pair of video games that need little to no introduction, whose glowing reputations lead them to the extent that everyone from tired old pros to fresh-faced newcomers have them. surely heard of at this point, this is the genre that defines Tony Hawk. Pro Skater and its sublime suite. The first two entries in a franchise that managed to grab the attention of the masses to the gnarled world of skateboarding before slipping into mediocrity with a bunch of superfluous sequels, these are, without exaggeration, some of the greatest games ever. arcade sports never created, here remastered and remixed into something very close to absolute perfection by developer Vicarious Visions.

We all know they’re awesome then – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 isn’t sitting on a 98 metacritical note for no reason, after all – and this revamped collection has been universally praised on every platform it’s been for. released so far, so really the big question here is how does this pair of remakes work on the Nintendo Switch? Is this port a weak attempt or a triumphant air march?

Well luckily Vicarious Visions managed to pretty much pull off the tricky transition from more powerful hardware with a pair of games that look crisp, clean, and wonderfully detailed while still managing to run at a speed of 30 frames. per second as you kickflip, nosegrind, and tailslide your way around their meticulously redesigned levels.

From your humble beginnings learning the ropes in the tutorial arena of the first game to completing 360 Varial McTwists on the sunny streets of San Francisco, this Switch Edition of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+ 2 plays an almost perfect game, with a stuttering or bug framerate seen in all of our time grinding its tracks and crashing walls into its buildings.

Technically and aesthetically, this is a masterful remake of two games that you would have already struggled to find fault with in their original forms developed by Neversoft. Vicarious Visions was so smart in what he chose to add, remove, retouch and edit and the end result is an experience that has been brought up to date for modern audiences while remaining absolutely true to its roots. The reworked levels here are a sight to behold, once barren arenas that let your imagination do the heavy lifting when it comes to the finer aspects of their urban environments, they are now dripping with wonderful little details that help bring them to life. like never before.

The controls have been tightened and refined, new musical tracks have been carefully selected and added to the already excellent soundtrack, and a handful of transformative moves from the later entries in the series – returns, spine transfers and wall plants – have been added. added to the mix, intelligently modifying the gameplay for the better, allowing you to achieve much longer combos and with higher scores, as well as the ability to seamlessly go through multiple types of grinds and tricks in order to put up ever more complex skating sequences on any given race. If you’re a veteran who isn’t interested in any of the new tweaks or upgrades noted above, you have the option to revert to the classic controls and more restrictive original movement sets, and the newcomers also have a plethora of aids. (and tips) available if they are struggling to master certain aspects of the game.

There has been a commendable shift towards more diversity in representation when it comes to the roster of skaters here as well. All of the Old Guard are still present and correct – and appear to be middle-aged at this point in the proceedings – but they are now joined by a new generation of characters, including Nyjah Huston, Riley Hawk and Leo Baker, the first. from the Serie. trans and non-binary skateboarder. Any attempt to broaden the scope of in-game representation is something that should be vigorously applauded and it’s great to see such a beloved and long-standing franchise firmly plant its flag here. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, just like the real-world sport it is based on is, as it should be, for everyone.

Of course, in the midst of all the additions and increases, the brand new challenges that earn you XP for unlocking items in the store, the central hub that unifies the two games and gives the whole a wonderfully sense of progression. consistent, the newly added skill dots scattered around the cards and so on, it’s really the underlying mechanics of skating here that makes these games so special. Aside from the refinements and additions, the base playing experience in these revamped classics is pretty much the same as it was back then and putting together tracks on each of the excellent maps here (there’s really not a complete dud among them), focusing on nothing else for two-minute bursts, or choosing routes and examining your surroundings for possibilities is more addicting than ever. The skating here is so wonderfully responsive, so flexible in the way it lets you combine endless combinations of tricks, and so smart in the way it draws you in and slowly transforms you from puzzled beginner to swaggering skate champion.

Jump into Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 for the very first time can be overwhelming for newcomers. The arenas are full of shiny collectibles littered with obstacles, dangerous ledges, and huge green ramps, but everything here has been carefully laid out to guide you, help you master those gauntlets, and begin to see your surroundings as one. opportunity to score big rather than places to break every bone in your body. Slowly ticking off each zone’s to-do lists, collecting golden SKATE letters, smashing open fire hydrants, smashing school bells, grabbing buckets of popcorn and finding all of those hidden VHS tapes, you will get to know these spaces and it is then that the real possibilities, and the wonderfully free scope of these classics, become clear.

Mode-wise, everything is present and correct on Switch, with the full suite of single-player options including skate tricks, Ranked and Free Skateboards, and the wonderfully in-depth Create-A-Park, potentially adding more. hundreds of hours to your estimated playing time. . Multiplayer also makes the difference in its entirety with online leaderboards, jams, competitive mode and a local split screen offering relaxing free skating with friends as well as turn attacks, scoring challenges, mambo combo, a horse, a tag and more. There’s also a sturdy character creation suite with an absolute ton of customizable clothes, boards, wheels, and pieces and bobs you can get your hands on as you climb the ranks.

If we had any complaints here – if we really had to complain – this Switch version, as expected, can’t quite match the visuals of other versions on more powerful hardware. Textures can be a bit muddy here and there in and around the levels. You’ll also often see them slowly fade away and focus on items and items while browsing the in-game store. Load times between levels can also be a bit long (something which, to be fair, is also an annoying problem on other platforms). The in-game camera can also get a bit unruly at times, becoming a bit of a pain in tight corners and small hallways.

On top of that, we can’t yet say how well online actually works on Switch at the moment as the servers weren’t available for us to try out the various multiplayer modes, so fingers crossed, everything went downhill. goes well once it starts to fill up with avid skaters. Those little details aside, though, this is truly a great port, a rock-solid Switch edition of a stellar remake that brings together two of the best games we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. This is a collection that we strongly recommend you grab at the earliest opportunity; an arcade sport experience as fun for both avid skateboarders and casual gamers looking for a well-designed and addicting timeink to disappear into.

Conclusion

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 on Nintendo Switch is a rock solid port of a pair of truly fantastic remakes. These are truly two of the best arcade sports titles of all time, revamped, reworked and reimagined for the modern audience with all of the graphic bells and whistles, collectibles and game modes that we come to expect these days. With flawless performance in docked and portable modes and visuals that still look like the play after a few necessary concessions here and there, this is a collection we highly recommend you jump into as soon as possible.


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