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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD

The 90’s are back in style, well at least while you play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD! I first got into the Tony Hawk Skating games with Sega Dreamcast and then later on for the PlayStation 2.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD features seven levels from Tony Hawk 1 and 2.  The game is more of a “Greatest Hits” of THPS 1 and 2. Most of the track selections are great but I wish they included some more of them. Things I also wish were included were level and character editors from the originals. They added so much replay value and overall value to the game.

The game retains most of the core gameplay elements that its predecessors had. There are some tweaks to the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD that make the game better. Included are things like the balance meter from THPS3 and the inclusion of the manual move (THPS 1 didn’t have this originally). Other than the above, nothing has changed to the core gameplay of what made Tony Hawk games so much fun! The standard array of tricks, grinds, flips, and manuals are all the same as before.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD starts you off with a few modes. There is the standard Career, Single Session, and, Free Skate modes. Career mode gives you two minutes to complete objectives/goals on a track. Any not completed can be tried again in another run. Single session give you two minutes to achieve a high score. The games practice mode, Free Skate, let’s you skate around with no timer.

You can also unlock three additional modes. They are Big Head Survival Mode, Hawkman, and Projectives mode. Big Head Survival Mode has you doing combos/tricks in order to prevent your head from swelling up. Hawkman makes you collect colored pellets as fast as you can. Last is the dreaded, Projectives mode, where you have one minute to do objectives. These objectives are much more difficult than the standard ones. At least unlocking these modes and finishing the game 100% is easier than before. This is due to a map that shows you where every single collectible and objective there is.

You can play online Co-op on modes such as Free Skate, Trick Attack, Big Head Elimination and Graffiti. The only drawback is that offline multiplayer is not available in THPS HD. It would have been nice to include local co-op. Not everyone has XBL Gold to play online so it would have been a great addition. At least while playing online there’s rarely any lag or connection issues.

The graphics of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD are a noticeable improvement form the original. All of the character models and animations look great. The levels also look much better than the original versions did. They make good use of lighting effects, textures, and draw distances. Some negatives points for the graphics are some clipping issues and texture pop-ins. The frame rate can dip below 30FPS occasionally as well.

The games soundtrack remains mostly unchanged from the original. A few songs have been added and some have been taken out. Just like the original THPS 1/2 features 90’s punk/alt/rock music. It sounds good at first but you might want turn the volume down after a while. This is because THPS HD soundtrack is shuffled and tends to play some songs more than others. You might want to play your own music after a while.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD still holds up well to this day. It maintains all of the fun gameplay of previous Tony Hawk games. There are some changes such as level selection, gameplay tweaks, and music addition/subtractions. But THPS HD still retains all of its core elements that will make veteran and new gamers happy. Not everyone will like some of the small changes to the formula. But, overall it’s still a great game and has a lot of replay value to it.

Thank you to Sandbox Strategies for providing a review code for the game.

Pros: Gameplay, Soundtrack, Graphics

Cons: More Levels, Frame Rate (Minor), Needs Revert (Later DLC)

Score: 8.5

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