Why Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 1 + 2 is my sport of the yr
I’m unsure if anybody was actually asking for Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 1 + 2. I do know I wasn’t. The collection’s status had by no means been decrease after Activision ran it into the bottom, first by means of over-exposure and at last with the disastrous comeback try that was THPS 5. In truth, nearly the very same concept had been tried not so way back with Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater HD, which blended ranges from 1 and 2 right into a clunky, unsatisfying entire.
Seems, it isn’t a foul concept for those who nail it. Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 1 + 2 is an unimaginable remake that does just about every thing proper and extra. It’d sound odd to name it the most effective sport of 2020, however nothing else this yr made me happier. It was actually the most effective shock.
THPS 1 + 2 consists of the entire phases from the unique video games, with a unified construction that allows you to bounce between development by means of every. Developer Vicarious Visions re-created every surroundings with meticulous consideration to element, generally in ways in which spark much more nostalgia; the mall degree is all boarded up and deserted, as an illustration, as if it closed after THPS was launched and also you’re revisiting it at this time.
The sense of an alternate-timeline THPS is amplified by the solid of skaters, which incorporates visibly aged execs who had been featured within the unique alongside youthful present stars. I discovered this unexpectedly poignant. It serves as a tribute to the unique execs’ legacies whereas lending the collection’s cultural relevance with a recent, extra numerous roster. You get a way of how skating’s reputation has grown by means of the many years because the unique video games had been launched and the way the skaters have grown up themselves.
The identical may very well be mentioned of the soundtrack, which provides dozens of latest artists whereas protecting nearly each observe from the originals. THPS has all the time had nice music, however the earlier HD remake solely preserved a handful of tracks; Activision deserves credit score for doing the licensing legwork right here. I beloved listening to new additions like Skepta and Pkew Pkew Pkew, nevertheless it wouldn’t be THPS 1 + 2 with out Rage Towards the Machine and Millencolin.
Most necessary, after all, is how the sport truly performs. Virtually miraculously, it performs nice. I don’t know precisely what Vicarious Visions did to the skating mannequin, however THPS 1 + 2 in some way feels each completely genuine to the originals and as trendy as you’d need it to be. One large mechanical change comes from my private favourite within the collection, THPS 3: the revert mechanic that allows you to guide out of methods and chain collectively enormous combos throughout the stage. This was a transformative shift in how THPS was performed, and revisiting beloved previous ranges with the flexibility in your again pocket nearly appears like dishonest. Nevertheless it’s not dishonest: it’s THPS.
Towards all odds, THPS 1 + 2 is a factor of magnificence. From the artistic course to the nuts and bolts of the engine, it’s probably the most lovingly produced remakes I’ve ever seen — the uncommon repackaging that not solely captures the spirit of the unique launch however manages to really feel emotionally resonant in its personal proper many years down the road.
I typically really feel like a child once more when my favourite video games are rereleased, however THPS 1 + 2 hits completely different. It locations the originals firmly in context whereas updating them for at this time, reminding me that I’m not the identical individual I used to be after they first got here out. Tony Hawk has modified, and so has skating, and so have video video games, and so have I.
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