When I think of skateboarding legends, I think of Tony Hawk. When I think of legendary skateboarding video games, Tony’s first game comes to mind (Coincidence? I think not). Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater originally released on the Playstation in 1999, and was released shortly thereafter on the Nintendo 64, Gameboy Color, and a few other platforms. I never owned a Playstation, but I definitely had an N64, and I played this game to death. It was the first game in my own lifetime that brought my gaming love to a whole new level. Mario, as well as other signature Nintendo games, never grabbed my attention the way THPS did. The difference? This game felt real. After all, I was skating just like Tony did! What more could a child ask for.
Last week, THPS was re-released on the Xbox Live Arcade for $15. My initial thought was to say no. Did I really want to spend 15 bucks on an N64 game? Eventually I said yes. The child inside of me just couldn’t resist, and I gave in. Now to present to you my review of THPS HD: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The immediate feeling I had when loading the game was a wave of nostalgia. Simply remembering the history that I had with the game was already worth the price of admission. I also noticed the fact that they included not only the “greatest hit” areas from the first game, but from the 2nd game as well. Areas like Hangar and School II were just like I remembered, but with new generation graphics. On top of that, they’ve added online multiplayer, along with some new game modes (I haven’t played online much yet, but modes like “Big Head survival mode” sound incredibly fun). The soundtrack is also back, along with some brand new songs. Lastly, they included a full map that gives the locations of all items in each level. I for one was extremely excited to learn this, because finding some of the gaps and such in the original was quite a pain.
Although it’s fun seeing the game with all new graphics, there’s a few things that could’ve been upgraded. First, they could’ve added some more newer skaters. This would allow the newer generation of skateboarders to get into the game, because they could play as their idols, instead of the skating idols of the 90’s. They also could’ve added some more songs to the game, because after only an hour of gameplay, I felt like I was listening to the same 5 songs over and over again.
One thing that I can’t understand is the fact that in THPS HD, each character in the game has a completely separate career. What does this mean? Well, it means that if you want to play as Tony for a couple levels, and then play as Rodney Mullen to change things up, you have to start ALL OVER. It makes absolutely no sense to me. So make sure to pick a character you’d like to stick with, unless you want to beat every goal multiple times. Besides that, I would say the price could be lowered to $10, but it wasn’t a huge problem once I saw what there was to offer.
Overall, I would award the game an 8 out of 10.