Game Reviews

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen Review

The next-gen upgrade is the icing on the cake for this already masterful remake.

by Victor Vellas
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen Review

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake was released not too long ago on September 4, 2020, earning the title of the fastest selling entry in the franchise, with one million copies sold just in its first two weeks after release. It was a glorious success on every aspect, as it was one of those remakes that did a job well done. Taking everything we loved about the original products, mixing it up together with a touch of modern, it was a recipe for success.

The first two games of the franchise are the highlight here, with the rest of its continuity staying where they are. For now at least, since Activision and Vicarious Visions seem to finally understand what made the first titles a grand success, leading to possible future remakes for the rest of the series. This is simply a speculation though, but taking in consideration the commercial success of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, it is without a doubt that the beloved extreme sport is back from he grave. Hence why we are now looking at an upgraded version of the 2020 release, aiming for next-gen consoles.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen Upgrade

It all started with the legend himself, Tony Hawk, posting various tweets about his envy for the Crash Bandicoot 4 game treatment, as it was announced it will be receiving an upgrade for next-gen consoles. Of course, this was an obvious marketing campaign, a well-done one if we could add, with big names replying to his comments. Activision was one of these brands, leaving a hint that an upgrade is also coming for his own game, confirming what was already speculated. A next-gen upgrade was coming for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and a brand new release for the Nintendo Switch. Exciting news for every fan of this IP, especially those that own a Switch, as they will be now able to enjoy Tony Hawk and the rest of the pro-skaters’ roster, to their fullest and on the go.

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What’s new for next-gen consoles?

Going right into it, what next-gen brought the table for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, is kind of obvious. The game was already running very well in every system, both graphically and performance-wise, but this upgrade is simply the touch it needed to reach its final form. Expect a lot of graphical changes like sharper dynamic shadows, enhanced reflections and lens flares, and improved skater textures. With monitors or TV systems that do support such fidelity, the difference is noticeable right away, especially when inside a stage. User-created parks can show these enhancements even better, as players can tweak a stage’s props in such a way that will take advantage of the game’s new lighting and graphical features.

Another no-brainer, is the improved frame rates the game runs at. Expect 120 frames per second in 1080p resolution (if your device does support such features) or 60 fps in native 4K. Xbox Series S is the only console that runs at 60 fps in 1440p resolution and upscales it to 4K. This is still a considerable upgrade, and all three consoles make the game looking better than ever.

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After more than 15 hours of game time, there wasn’t a single frame drop while I was in any of the game’s stages, nor in its other modes that are featured. If you want though, there is the option of changing the game’s graphic preference to  either ‘Fidelity’, which focus on making the game looking absolutely gorgeous, and ‘Performance’ where it is all about that max frame rate. The difference in the graphical department is barely noticeable, outside some minor tweaks, so it is suggested to keep it on performance to watch Tony and the rest of the skaters moving smoothly as butter.

In any case, the game looks stunning, with stages that were made 20 years ago, looking fantastic and more detailed than they ever were. Fan favorites like the Hangar and School still have that early 2000’s vibe but modernized, even if they are reworked from the ground-up, and skaters’ controls are as tight as you would expect. With the fps increase they are even better, since now you can feel the slightest of moves being triggered the moment you touch the controller’s buttons, without any hiccups. If Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 was already a hugely responsive game, it now has touched perfection.

How to get the Next-Gen upgrade

There are a couple of ways of installing the upgraded version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. If you don’t have the game at all, it’s easy as you simply need to go to the corresponding store, if you want to get it online, and buy the full package from there. For the rest though, here is everything you need to know:

  • If you do have the Digital Deluxe version of the older-gen game, you have the option to download the next-gen upgrade entirely for free. Japan players though, will need to pay 100 yen for the the PS5 upgrade in any case.
  • If you have the game digitally in any of the consoles, not its Deluxe version though, you will need to pay $10 to get the “Cross-Gen Deluxe Bundle” which has both the content of the Deluxe Edition, and the next-gen upgrade.
  • Owning the physical PS4 version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, you can upgrade to the PS5 version, but the actual disc is needed to be within the console, to both upgrade it and play it.
  • Lastly, the oddest and most unfortunate news for Xbox users who own a physical copy of the game, is that there isn’t any option to upgrade to the next-gen update. While the reason for such a decision is unknown, we can only still hope that in the future it will be a possibility. For now, Xbox users that have a physical copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, need to buy the game digitally at full price in order to get the upgrade as well.

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Your save data is of course going to transfer to the new version, including your career and skater progress. The process for Xbox players is very simple, as it is automatic, however PS4 players need to first upload their save to the cloud, from within the game, and then download it to the next-gen version when installed on PS5. Additionally, Create-A-Park data is only possible to be transferred through Xbox, but not PlayStation.

What is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and how it plays?

With everything said and done in regards to the next-gen upgrade itself, there is one last thing we need to touch upon. That would be, what is exactly Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2? Almost everyone who found themselves here looking for news about the new consoles, are of course aware, but for those that still haven’t got the game but are thinking of getting it now, we got you covered. We already have a very detailed review for the original release, which you can find and read here, so let’s only briefly mention some key points.

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In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, you take control of any of the game’s pro skaters, Tony Hawk of course included, in order to complete tasks in the various stages and Skate Tours the title offers. There are quite a few locations to see, taken from both Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, all with their own challenges and areas to explore. Doing so, will unlock more items to buy from the in-game shop, unlock new stages and you can even find certain items that provide stat points, to enhance your skaters’ stats.

Outside of the already big official roster, there are a couple of hidden characters you can unlock, and the new Custom Skater system. You can create a completely new character and customize them as you see fit, with the game’s big catalog of cosmetic goodies. From shoes and clothes, to new boards, wheels and so on. These created skaters also have stats, which you can increase as well, and can be equipped with any skate trick you like.

While the main focus of this title is to achieve 100% completion rate in both Tours, there are also quite a few additional modes to explore. Ranked and Free Skate for example, where you can select any of the stages, and either spend your time with Free Skate, Single Session, or Speed Run options. Free skate is simply a mode where you can enjoy the location you are in without a time limit, with the sole purpose of having fun. Single Session sets a time limit, in which you need to gather as many points as possible, by doing tricks. Your final score will then upload to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2’s leader-boards, and Speed Run puts you in a stage where you need to achieve all of its tasks, as soon as possible. The high score is again uploaded to the online leader-boards.

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The game includes a Multiplayer option as well, where you can either play locally with a friend, create private rooms to play online, or join others around the world for some competitive sessions or casual. After you’ve spent a good amount of time with the single-player content of the game, this is where you should be aiming to proceed after, showing everyone the skills you’ve acquired.

Last, but not least, the Create-A-Park is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2’s sandbox feature, where you can create your own maps from a plethora of options when actually creating a stage, to either enjoy it yourself or upload it so other skaters can find it and play. There is a ton of parks created by the community, even the developers themselves shared a good amount of them, that feature any kind of props you could think of. Simply jump in and search for anything you want, it is certain you will find something or your liking.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 does have a lot of content for player to experience, but certainly feels like even more could be added to expand the game’s lifespan. The Create-A-Park and online modes are for sure a good step towards such an instance, but there is a lot of comments from players around that world, that requested more maps from Tony Hawk’s Pros Skater 3 and further beyond to be included. While it was for sure something they could do, if you’d ask me, it’s good that they didn’t.

The remake is all about Tony Hawk 1 and 2, and what it does, it does very well. Expanding it with content from additional entries, would simply make it an all-star Tony Hawk game, which could have ended up way differently than this excellent title. It’s better to have less quantity but great quality, than more content but rushed. Besides, there is always the possibility for a new remake of the rest of the sequels, so who knows what they have in store for us.

The Verdict

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 was already a fantastic remake, literally bringing the franchise back from the dead. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen is just the definitive edition of an outstanding project, making it worthy of those extra bucks. Besides some very minor nitpicks, like what more could be added to increase its content, the game runs, looks, and plays flawlessly, just like its predecessors.

- This article was updated on:March 25th, 2021

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen

  • Available On: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Published By: Activision
  • Developed By: Vicarious Visions
  • Genre: Extreme Sports
  • US Release Date: March 26, 2021
  • Reviewed On: Xbox Series X
  • Quote: "Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 was already a fantastic remake, literally bringing the franchise back from the dead. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Next-Gen is just the definitive edition of an outstanding project, making it worthy of those extra bucks."
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