Review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1&2 (Nintendo Switch)
I played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 on the Dreamcast when they were released 20+ years ago (time goes by so fast!) and enjoyed them so much that I bought the new remastered version on PS4 earlier this year.
So it was with great excitement when a review code for the Nintendo Switch version arrived here at 60MW Towers, which was then immediately installed for some skateboarding action wherever I go.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is a skateboarding game played in a third-person view, with an emphasis on trying to do as many tricks as possible within a set amount of time to attain a high score, all while learning the different environments and finding collectable items, which then unlock more levels to progress in the game as well as giving you custom items to enhance your skater and skateboard.
Although featuring tricks introduced later in the series, there is also an option to keep the controls as they originally were, giving an authentic old school feel to the game despite its updated graphics.
While I’m on the subject of the graphics in the game, of course the Switch is not going to be able to compare to the Playstation and Xbox versions. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the details still visible in this version, and more than satisfied with a solid framerate that is essential when trying to pull of multiple combos.
On a side note, something which added to the enjoyment, and certainly made a huge difference to being able to pull of some spectacular combos with aplomb, was taking of the joycons (yes, mine also has the dreaded drift issues) and using my Hori Split Pad Pro controllers.
I’ve mentioned in the past how this controller has revolutionised my Switch handheld gaming, and none more so than while playing Tony Hawk’s, which puts an emphasis on tight controls and being able to access buttons and triggers easily.
There is a LOT to keep you playing across the 2 games, including ‘Create-A-Skater’ and “Create-A-Park’, online multiplayer, in-depth tutorials, various difficulty settings, career mode, 20+ skaters, challenges and objectives (with each skater also having their own challenges) and a soundtrack (that although it is not to my taste…it’d have to be full of 80’s rock to be that) that keeps the uptempo gameplay flowing as you progress through the levels.
No matter how you decide to play the game you’re always earning money, which can then be spent on customisation options. So even if you crash and burn on a level, it wasn’t’ all for nothing and you’ve at least gained some money and experience from it.
The Switch version of course means that you can skate to your hearts content wherever you are, and the gameplay in this is perfect for it, meaning that even a quick 2 minute slot of free time can be dipped into and be productive, or you can settle back into a multi-hour gaming session and try to nail a perfect combo.
The load times are a little slow, but not excessively so, and certainly don’t become tiresome while playing, especially if you’re just restarting a run to try and beat your previous score…something which you can easily find yourself doing for far longer than you originally intended.
Whether you’re new to the franchise or a seasoned veteran, the Switch version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1&2 is a hell of a lot of fun that can accompany you wherever you go.
Review by Dave.