Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a skateboarding video game in the Tony Hawk's series. Developed by Robomodo and published by Activision, Pro Skater HD is a high-definition remake of classic levels from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Pro Skater 2, and, via download, Pro Skater 3. It was released in 2012 for Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade on July 18, for PlayStation 3 through PlayStation Network on August 28 and Steam on September 18. The game was delisted from Steam and all other digital marketplaces on July 17, 2017.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a skateboarding video game, with an arcade-style emphasis with regard to realism. The objective is to score points by successfully completing various skateboarding tricks such as grinds, flip tricks, and aerials. Performing several moves in succession without any pause results in a combo. The player's score is multiplied by the number of tricks in the combo. If the player successfully lands the final trick the score is then banked, otherwise all points in that combo are lost.
Pro Skater HD is an amalgam of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and as such the game does not feature any additional tricks or moves added to later games in the series. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 downloadable content (DLC) was added. Included in the content is the ability to perform a revert, a trick which involves changing the direction of the board while keeping forward momentum. Originally this ability was only going to be limited for use in the levels that came with the DLC but due to the protracted release schedule, Robomodo released an update for the game that added the revert in all levels.
Players are also tasked with completing objectives in each level. In exchange for completion of these objectives players are rewarded with points that can be spent to upgrade a character's attributes. These include achieving a set high score, collecting the letters S-K-A-T-E, and finding a hidden DVD (in the same vein of the "Secret Tapes" from the first three games) within each level. In addition to the main gameplay mode other single and multiplayer modes are included. Big Head Survival is a new game mode in which the player character skates with their head becoming gradually inflated. In the case of Xbox 360 avatars the head is represented by a balloon in tow. If the player's head or balloon becomes too large it pops, ending the game. To keep the size down players must complete combos. Higher scores have a greater impact on decreasing the player character's head or balloon size.
Returning from Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is Hawkman, where the player must skate around the level collecting colored pellets with specific moves: yellow pellets must be collected during grinds, red during jumps, green during manuals, and blue while wallriding. When the player collects all pellets, or fails to collect them within the time limit for a high score, the game ends. Graffiti mode returns, and involves performing tricks on a series of objects. If a player successfully lands their trick(s), all objects the player touched will change to the player's designated color. If a second player achieves a higher score any objects that the second player touched, including any claimed by the first player, will change to the second player's color. The object is to claim the most objects by the end of the game. Online leaderboards are included for all modes, but online play is limited to the console versions.
Seven levels were selected from the original Pro Skater and Pro Skater 2, and include series staples such as Warehouse and School II. Mall, Hangar, Marseille, Downhill Jam, and Venice Beach are also included. The selection of skaters consist of classic skaters such as Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, as well as other professional skaters Eric Koston, Nyjah Huston, Andrew Reynolds, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana, Chris Cole and Riley Hawk, son of Tony Hawk. The first update of the game also adds Jake Harrison and Emily Westlund to the initial roster. Two fictional bonus characters return, Officer Dick and Ollie the Magic Bum, who have appeared several times in the series. A new bonus character, a robot named Roberta, is also included. The Xbox 360 version also allows players to play with their avatars. Downloadable content has been released featuring three levels from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (Airport, Canada, and Los Angeles) with extra playable characters including pros Geoff Rowley and Steve Caballero along with James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo from Metallica. The pack also includes one new song from the band, "All Nightmare Long".
The game was first announced at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards show (VGAs) with a trailer demonstrating Tony Hawk skating around the Woodland Hills Warehouse (the first stage of the original game). It is the first Tony Hawk's game on consoles that was offered exclusively as a downloadable game. It is a return to the gameplay of the original games in the series, predating Tony Hawk: Ride, and as such could only be played using a standard controller. The game is not a high-definition port of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but rather an amalgamation of levels collected from the first two installments, remade using Unreal Engine 3 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Downloadable content from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was announced on July 3, prior to the game's release. The levels Airport, Los Angeles, and Canada have been confirmed, and players are able to perform reverts on those levels. Professional skaters Steve Caballero and Geoff Rowley were added in the pack.
The soundtrack contains the songs from the first two Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games with the other half containing new songs. Seven are new ones, while other seven are taken from the first two Pro Skater games; one from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and six from Pro Skater 2. Developer Robomodo was given charge of the soundtrack. In regards to the choice of new songs, lead designer Patrick Dwyer explained that choice: "We wanted to pick new songs that had that potential where, five years from now, people hear the songs and they think of this game".
If there's ever been a pair of videogames that need little to no introduction, whose glowing reputations proceed them to the extent that everyone from tired old pros to fresh-faced newcomers has surely heard of them by this point, it's the genre-defining Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and its sublime sequel. The first two entries in a franchise that successfully brought the gnarly world of skateboarding to the attention of the masses before hardflipping itself into mediocrity with a bunch of superfluous sequels, these are, without exaggeration, a couple of the greatest arcade sports games ever made, here remastered and remixed into something very close to absolute perfection by developer Vicarious Visions.
Well, thankfully, Vicarious Visions has managed to pretty much nail the tricky transition from more powerful hardware with a pair of games that look crisp, clean and wonderfully detailed whilst managing to perform at a rock solid 30fps as you kickflip, nosegrind and tailslide your way around their meticulously reimagined levels.
From your humble beginnings learning the ropes in the first game's tutorial arena to pulling off 360 Varial McTwists on the sunny streets of San Francisco, this Switch edition of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 plays a nigh-on flawless game, with nary a framerate stutter or bug encountered in all of our time spent grinding its rails and wall-planting its buildings.
On both a technical and aesthetic level this is a masterful remake of two games that you'd already have been hard pressed to find fault with in their original Neversoft-developed forms. Vicarious Visions has been oh-so clever in what it's chosen to add, remove, touch up and tweak and the end result is an experience that's been brought bang up to date for modern audiences whilst remaining absolutely faithful to its roots. The reworked levels here are a sight to behold, once barren arenas that let your imagination do most of the heavy lifting with regards to the finer aspects of their urban settings, they're now dripping in wonderful little details that help bring them to life like never before.
Of course amidst all of the additions and augmentations, the all-new challenges that net you XP to unlock items in the store, the central hub that unifies the two games and gives the whole thing a wonderfully cohesive sense of progression, the newly added skill points dotted around maps and so on, it's really the underlying mechanics of the skating here that makes these games so very special. Refinements and additions aside, the core gameplay experience in these revamped classics is much the same as it was back in the day and putting together runs across each and every one of the excellent maps here (there really isn't a full-on dud amongst them), focusing on nothing else for two minute bursts, or picking out routes and examining your surroundings for possibilities is as fiendishly addictive now as it's ever been. The skating here is just so wonderfully responsive, so flexible in how it allows you to put together endless combinations of tricks and so clever in how it draws you in and slowly transforms you from bewildered beginner to swaggering skate champ.
Further to this, we can't yet speak to how well online actually performs on Switch at this present time as servers weren't available for us to try out the various multiplayer modes, so fingers crossed it all runs smoothly once it starts populating with eager skaters. These small niggles aside, however, this really is an excellent port, a rock solid Switch edition of a stellar remake that brings together two of the very best games we've ever had the pleasure of playing. This is a collection we highly recommend you grab a hold of at the earliest opportunity; an arcade sports experience that's as much fun for avid skate fans as it is for casual gamers just looking for a well crafted and addictive timesink to disappear into. 2b1af7f3a8