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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Review

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Review

"So here I am, doing everything I can. Holding on to what I am, pretending I'm a Superman…" Any fan of the of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater will have undoubtedly had this song etched into their minds as they cleared the secret room gap of the Warehouse level. The thing about the Pro Skater series is that, aside from having fantastic and memorable levels, it also has a phenomenal soundtrack.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was the skateboarding game when it first arrived back in 1999. It took the already wild sport of skateboarding to its furthest extremes, with ridiculous combo chains, and physics-defying tricks. Aside from playing as the Birdman himself, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater had a great ensemble of skateboarders, and secret characters to unlock. Unfortunately, the series became rather stale in this current generation; forcing gimmicks like the motion control skateboards that were a commercial flop, and different game play designs that just weren't hitting the mark. That's not entirely fair, they completely missed the mark.

A lot of this had to do with EA's Skate; a game that revolutionized the way we skateboard on a controller with its intuitive Flip-it mechanics mapped onto the right stick. The Tony Hawk games were desperately trying to find something that could reclaim the throne. Ironically enough, what earned them that spot was not a new invention; it's not a different and edgy style of skateboarding. It's going back to its roots to find themselves again, in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD – a love letter to those who played those incredible games.

The game itself isn't an ordinary HD remastered version of an existing game, but rather a blending of two games, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2. Developed my Robomodo, the game was remade from the ground up using the Unreal Engine 3, and from playing every level, you can tell that a lot of care was given to recreating each map, ramp for ramp, rail for rail. Grinding the propeller of the Hanger level which unlocks secret room, waiting for the right bell to ring to unlock the Gymnasium in School 2, it's all there.

The gameplay is classic Tony Hawk, and I've waited a long time to finally say that again. This is the arcade styled game that it was pre-2000. You can ollie, grab, flip and grind on any one of the four face buttons, manual by pressing up-down on the d-pad or joystick, and wallride if you approach it at a correct angle. The objective is simple and straight-forward: get as many points as you can within the time limit. The best way to do that is to string groups of tricks together. Not only that, but there are other objectives you will need to accomplish should you care to play the rest of the game. These are the same objectives from the earlier games, such as finding all letters of S-K-A-T-E, performing a trick over a specific area, or finding the "secret" DVD.

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