The original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater holds a special place in my gaming heart, as it does in Conrad's. I was fresh out of high school without a lot of money, and the addictive nature of trying to complete the perfect run eliminated the need for any other game. It was the perfect fix for when I was happy, sad, or just plain bored, and it only got better with the second installment -- especially the Dreamcast version.
Unfortunately, the freshness that made the series so iconic began to wear thin with yearly updates that saw little innovation. There hasn't been much to like for fans of the early games, but I received a sneak peek at a very early build of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, and it may be safe to say that the Birdman is finally back.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD (Xbox Live Arcade [previewed], PlayStation Network)
THPS: The Next Generation: It doesn't take more than a second to notice how sexy Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD looks in, well, HD. But beyond that, developer Robomodo has acquired the original source code from Neversoft for their recreation. Thanks to that, every level should be 100 percent faithful, complete with the classic hidden S-K-A-T-E letters and those old VHS tapes -- I mean, DVDs (they got an update, too!).
Return to glory: Forget all the crap in Tony Hawk: Ride and its godforsaken contraption. Controlling the Hawk is back to the way it's supposed to be -- with a controller. Helping further keep this classic ride smooth, THPS HD uses the scoring system from THPS2, which allows players to bust out manuals on the best stages from the first game. The revert, which forever altered the THPS landscape in the series' third iteration, won't be coming back, but Robomodo plans to update the remainder of the trick set to keep it current with the evolution of the sport.
Only the best: Seven of the best levels from THPS and THPS2 are getting the HD overhaul. While the Warehouse and School II are the only stages to be shown in screens so far, the Mall, Phoenix, Hangar, Marseilles, and Venice levels are all on the list for digital skaters to shred later this summer.
Something old and new: While it may be sad to see fan favorites like Bob Burnquist missing from the roster, there is still a fine mix of old and new to get excited about. Nyjah Houston, Chris Cole, Eric Koston, Andrew Reynolds, Rodney Mullen, Lyn-z Adams Hawkins, Riley Hawk, and both classic and current Tony Hawk have made the cut. Oh, and the cop and robot are hiding on the roster, too. Now let's hope that Spider-Man makes his way back in and that evil red-haired ginger stays far, far away.
Music and multiplayer mysteries: Unfortunately, we still don't know the fate of the game's soundtrack. Will it be the seven best tracks picked from both games to accompany the best levels, or will THPS HD suffer the same fate as the Crazy Taxi remake? Nothing has been decided yet, so there is still hope. Activison also hasn't discussed the multiplayer component of THPS HD. One will exist, but will it be online? Let's hope the answer to that question isn't too far off.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD should be downloading to your favorite home console some time this summer, and I personally I can't be any more hyped. What I saw was still really, really early -- the scoring system had yet to be implemented -- but Robomodo appears to have the right foot forward when it comes to perfectly balancing nostalgia with today's visual standards.
|6:00 PM on 12.07.2012|
Impressions: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD DLC
The Tony Hawk series has had a bumpy ride lately. Although I noted my small affinity towards Shred in my Quest to beat every Tony Hawk game ever this year, it was too little too late: Activision had lost most of its market an...more
|2:30 PM on 11.27.2012|
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD title update allows reverts
Well, folks, I'm continuing on my journey to be one of the only people in the gaming industry to cover Tony Hawk HD -- I hope you're enjoying the ride! In recent news, it seems as if Robomodo has patched the 360 version of th...more
|4:30 PM on 11.02.2012|
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD DLC delayed until December
I feel like I'm the only person in the entire game blogosphere that cares about the upcoming Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD DLC. There hasn't really been any coverage so far on it, and after literally months of pestering Robomodo ...more
|12:30 PM on 09.04.2012|
Tony Hawk HD now available on PlayStation Network
The Xbox 360 version of Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD released roughly two months ago as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion and everybody else who wanted a crack at it on another platform has been waiting since. Today, tha...more
|9:00 AM on 08.27.2012|
Have some extra Tony Hawk HD DLC videos
You'd think that after my Tony Hawk Quest that I'd be sick of The Birdman and his games by now. Nope! I'm still waiting on the release of Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD's DLC, which is reportedly a few weeks away from rel...more
|11:00 AM on 07.31.2012|
Robomodo says that Tony Hawk HD 2 is a possibility
If you've ever seen Indie Game: The Movie, you'll have some idea of how it feels to fully develop a game, release it, then pray that it sells. It looks like Robomodo's prayers were answered to the tune of 120,...more
|8:00 AM on 07.18.2012|
Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD
Some classic games aren’t made around a great idea, but rather, great execution. The idea of a points-based arcade skateboard game wasn’t exactly radical in 1999, with games like 720° and Skate or Die! preda...more
|3:00 AM on 07.12.2012|
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is making its way to PC
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD may be making its debut next week during Microsoft's Summer of Arcade, but there's good news for those of you looking to nostalgically grind on your PCs. Activision has confirmed that the HD collec...more
|7:00 PM on 07.10.2012|
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD feels like classic Tony Hawk
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 were the bomb. Hard to believe the former only came out in 1999. Unfortunately, the series quickly spiraled away from being the bomb and, in more recent years, toward being ...more
|2:45 PM on 06.10.2012|
E3: Watch me embarrass myself at Tony Hawk HD
You want to see something really depressing and sad? Here's a video we shot on the E3 show floor where I played Tony Hawk HD at the Summer of Arcade portion of Microsoft's booth. Okay, that word, "played," is beyond gen...more
|1:30 PM on 05.20.2013|
New FIFA to be shown tomorrow during Xbox event
At what point can we start calling this a trend? After McLaren of all companies hinted at an announcement during Microsoft's pre-E3 reveal event for the next Xbox, now we have EA Sports hyping up "the next generation of FIFA"...more
|9:13 AM on 05.17.2013|
Nintendo Direct: Wii U Mario & Sonic at the Olympics
Uggggh... a new Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympics is coming to the Wii U. Why am I not surprised? The game will take place in Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and will use a combination of Wii ...more
|3:00 PM on 05.14.2013|
Tune in to Konami's pre-E3 show for Metal Gear Solid 5
Konami has plans for another pre-E3 show in June. This year, the stream will happen on June 6 at 10:00am Pacific through GameSpot.com as well as the GameSpot Xbox Live app. What hijinks will ensue? Who knows. The company was,...more