Version tested: PC
This game brings back a lot of memories, a big part of the experience with Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD is definitely its nostalgia but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Available on PSN, XBLA and Steam for the PC, Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD (THHD) is a HD re-release of the first two games of the series. It goes back to the formula that made a lot of people (including myself) fall in love with the series where you have a time limit to clear objectives of a given level. None of that open-world crap and fluff that made it to the later games in the series can be found here.
One of the best things about THHD is the soundtrack from the 2nd game that made it into this one, but I didn’t quite like most of the newer songs though. Probably nostalgia but I just couldn’t get myself into it whenever one of the new songs came on.
Visually the game looks pretty solid. The animation however is a little shoddy especially on the bailouts.
But I’m sure you’re wondering how the game plays, since the meat of it is definitely the tricks and stringing together huge combos. It still gives you a kind of satisfaction whenever you get to pull off a big combo using manuals and grinds to keep it going, but the controls just felt very clunky to me. I didn’t feel like I had a good control of my character and I was pretty good at the older games (at least I would like to think so). Not sure if it had anything to do with it being on the PC but I did play with a controller. Pulling off tricks still feel satisfying but you might have a tougher time trying to do some of the more precision moves.
One other bummer here is, there are only 7 levels altogether. Remember that this is a compilation of the first and second game so having only 7 levels is definitely a huge turn off. The levels also feel different, can’t put my money on it but it’s not really different in a good or bad way just, different. But I remembered enjoying the levels more in the older games compared to this time around. Maybe the nostalgia factor waned after a while.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD comes with a $15 price tag, if you’re looking for a pure Tony Hawk experience then go ahead and get this game. However, I do feel the content in the game isn’t enough to justify the price. A lot of gamers will buy this on nostalgia alone and that’s fine, but the game won’t last you very long. It would have been a bargain if they included the create-a-park and create-a-skater features as well as just adding more levels and skaters.