Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was my choice for Sports Game of the Year in 2020, and that comes from someone who spent hundreds of hours in MLB The Show 20. In other words, I’m more than happy to play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 again on next-gen consoles. So, is it worth it? Well, let’s talk about that by first going back to the initial release one more time.
When I reviewed THPS 1+2 for OS, I praised it for not only recapturing the timeless magic of the franchise, but also for getting the entire reboot right. How often do we theorize what it would be like if one our favorite titles just received a re-release as-is on modern consoles? Vicarious Visions did that, and then so much more.
Nostalgia has a way of sometimes creating a feeling that is stronger than even the memory. Sometimes we return to games we loved years later, and the magic of the here and now is no longer as powerful as the nostalgia. This is why the Tony Hawk remake was and is so amazing. It was just my childhood all over again — and just as a I remembered it, if not better.
Activision and Vicarious Visions went above and beyond to properly restore the depth of the series and modernize it. Skaters move and balance in a way that fits 2020 and 2021 without disrupting the core gameplay. Levels and environments are colorful and gorgeous. And the sounds of the board hitting rails are varied and realistic. THPS 1+2 brought back the THPS magic so well that it even found a way — as every entry in the mainline series did in my youth — to introduce me to a new favorite band via the soundtrack. In this case, that band was the Viagra Boys.
Next-Gen Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 And 2
THPS 1 and 2 has held up remarkably well since its release last August, and it’s now landed on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S as of March 26 (with a Switch release planned for later in the year). Unfortunately, some folks do have to pay for the next-gen upgrade, which I find to be an extremely frustrating practice that hopefully will die off as the next console generation evolves. The actual upgrade specifics and details can get a little messy, so I’ve broken them out for you below.
Standard Digital: upgrade for $10 (upgrades you to the new cross-gen deluxe bundle)
Standard Disc: upgrade for $10 on PS5 only, disc must be in at all times
Digital Deluxe: included in this purchase
Cross-Gen Deluxe: included in this purchase
If you do not already own the game, Digital Deluxe has been renamed Cross-Gen Deluxe Bundle. It includes the next-gen version, plus the outfits, boards, and characters from the original Deluxe.
There is cross-platform progression, which is great, but getting setup feels like it could have been easier. If you already owned it on PS4, you will need to install both the PS4 and PS5 versions to transfer your career saved data over. This requires an upload of the data from the PS4 version menu and then a download of the data from the PS5 version menu. Ultimately, outside of downloading the two versions, the whole download/upload process took me less than five minutes.
A significant and head-scratching note about the upgrade: create-a-park saves do not transfer. This is likely going to be a detriment to many considering how much time goes into these park saves, and it is the most disappointing part of the next-gen experience for me.
Otherwise, my time with THPS 1+2 on the PS5 remains excellent. All of my progress from PS4 carried over, and outside of the download/upload, all of my selections, special slots, and unlocked content translated seamlessly. The loading times have gone from great to excellent. From menu to game, I never had a loading screen go longer than five seconds. This keeps up the pacing of the game and really encourages the “one more run” urge that the series can effortlessly conjure.
Before I bought my PS5, I was very skeptical of the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, baffled as to how they could truly improve the experience. Then, after the whimsy of Astro’s Playroom, I became extremely excited for how developers would implement them in future titles. Both are included in the PS5 upgrade, and while they feel a little clunky at first, they start to feel great after a few sessions. The feedback on R2 needs a good push when hitting the reverts, especially for those of us with long-standing muscle memory from the THPS series. It might not bother you at all, you might turn it off completely, or you might get used to it after playing for a little while. I kept it on after getting adjusted and it doesn’t impact my skill level at all.
Is there an improvement in create-a-park’s functionality the same way that MLB The Show 21‘s stadium creator and Planet Coaster will see a boost over its previous generation? To be honest, it certainly feels like there is more space and room, but I cannot say for certain. I remixed a number of very large created parks, spamming a ton of gigantic features to test how much it could handle on the PS5. Fortunately, it took me adding a metric ton of new additional pieces before I even came close to the park capacity.
If you have somehow put off purchasing THPS 1 and 2 for this long and own a next-gen console, you are in luck. The Deluxe edition now carries more value than ever, and the Standard Digital edition has been on sale for a few days in each of November, December, January, and February (understandably skipping its big release in March). In theory, you could wait for a sale on the Standard Digital and then snag the upgrade, but the game is so good that even the $49.99 price tag is worth it. If you’re new, come see what made this series so great in the first place. If you’re a returning player still on the fence, the next-gen version of THPS 1+2 is every bit as good as the nostalgia embedded deep in your soul.