Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

On Friday, anyone who pre-ordered the upcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 remaster (or ate a Tony Hawk burrito from Chipotle) was awarded a demo of the Warehouse stage from the first THPS game. This demo is just a taste of what to expect once this double-stuffed game remake (developed by Vicarious Visions) releases on September 4.

And even in its barebones state (the demo doesn’t feature the challenges that the full-game version of this stage will have), this Tony Hawk demo is as Tony Hawk as it gets.

For better or worse (and it’s really only for worse in some very minor ways), this demo captures the feel of that original THPS glory. The fact that I’m sitting here — 20-plus years after the THPS2 demo that I played on the original PlayStation until the cows came home — and I am once again getting hyped while playing a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater demo is a testament to the hard work that went into this game. It also probably doesn’t hurt that I’m old enough to remember playing these landmark games when they first dropped. Activision has my number, it seems.

Even though this is a stripped-down version of the Tony Hawk experience, it perfectly encapsulates the feeling of that Marseille demo from so many years ago. Add in the graphical overhaul and some general improvements, and Vicarious Visions has really got a stew going.

If I have one gripe, it’s that there’s a glitchy cassette-tape effect whenever a skater crashes, causing the player to reset to an upright position (you can see an example of this at about 0:41 in the video above). It’s a little odd and more than a little distracting. The fact that it also slightly mutes the background music is even more distracting. I was hoping this could be disabled in the settings menu, but unfortunately it can’t be.

Overall, 2020 has been a surprisingly good year for the skateboard video game genre, and I am loving every second of it (the skateboard genre, that is, not 2020 in general). And come September 4th, I plan to pick up some Pizza Hut hat and gleam me some cube, baby!

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