'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD'
Microsoft XBLA (PSN)
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 2.5 stars
As a former skateboarding enthusiast, I was thrilled when the "Tony Hawk Pro Skater" series dropped into the video game realm. The first title revolutionized the skateboarding genre, and the second one features excellent level design. Now the two have been combined and upgraded into one kickflip-filled package called "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD," but this remake falls short.
Instead of simply combining the two games and upgrading the visuals, the developers have added bits and pieces of both games to create a lackluster title. For starters, only seven levels are included, three from the first game and four from the second. This means many people will be disappointed because their favorite levels are missing. Also, there's no skate park editor, and the couch-side multiplayer modes are out in favor of online multiplayer only.
I remember struggling to get used to the controls for the original "THPS," but at least it was easier than landing tricks in real life. Ironically, I have now grown accustomed to the superior "Skate" control scheme, so I'm forced to learn the "THPS" controls a second time. This is difficult enough by itself, but the new developer hasn't accurately recreated the physics of the original game, and the movement seems a bit slow.
On the other hand, some of the new features are very welcome! For example, the new skating modes (Hawkman and Big Head Survival), new objectives and the addition of modern skaters like Nyjah Huston and Tony Hawk's son. Of course, the HD visuals make this game much more enjoyable because no one could stand the blocky visuals of the original.
"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD" may not be a great remake, but at least they left the awesome soundtrack intact!