By Taylor T. Robertson,Gamerlive.tv (MCT)
In the late ‘90s, gamers normally far too uncoordinated or scared to try skating themselves were enraptured by “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” Players could take control of Tony Hawk and several other popular skaters, then take them through a handful of maps.
If you’re over the age of 20 and reading this, you’re probably in a punk rock nostalgia dream, imagining pulling off death-defying stunts in the half-pipe. I completely understand because it was an amazing game, 14 years ago. However, there is a reason skating games have changed since then.
In “Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD,” (for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) the graphics and controls have been modernized, but that seems to be it. The gameplay, while solid, is still just collecting five things in two minutes, beating a set score, and hitting five things. For example in the warehouse level you collect shipping manifests, in the school, it’s hall passes, in the airplane hangar, it’s pilot’s badges. Each level is just the same set of challenges with a new thing to get in a new level, a couple of which are very similar but with different color palettes. Also, for some reason there are floating iTunes gift cards in the game that you can collect, they do nothing and are never explained.
When you complete an objective you get cash which is only usable for two things — buying a new board, which you can’t even see most of the time, or changing the stats on the various skaters, which completely negates the point of them having different stats to begin with.
Even the soundtrack is repetitive. After about an hour of gameplay, I started to notice there are just three or four songs that loop over and over. The reason people still remember the lyrics to some of those songs is because there were only a few to begin with, not that they were good.
Ultimately, it comes down to how dedicated you were to the original game. If you still like to play those old Pro Skater game, this is a must buy because it so close to the original. However, for other players that’s also where it fails. The game fails to explain anything and is so repetitive. Still, it is hard for me to give THPS HD a bad score because technically it is a very solid game, the controls are responsive and the game looks good, it’s just a shame that was wasted on such poor mechanics and design.
If the THPS HD had more levels, a wider variety of objectives, an actual online component and a character customization system I would easily recommend it, but as is, it feels like baby’s first skating game.
I give it a 90/100 for fans of the original, but a 75/100 for everyone else.