Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 on Switch — A solid port for a solid skater

Posted on July 2, 2021

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 was released on PC, PS4, and Xbox in late 2020. Now, the game is making another comeback on Nintendo Switch. Ported by Vicarious Visions, the game bundles the first and second Tony Hawk Pro Skater games into one Switch release.

We already fell in love with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 when we reviewed it back in September 2020. Like the September release, the Switch port of the skating classic runs remarkably smoothly, and drips with nostalgia. The premise is simple: you’re a professional skater who’s aiming to master as many complex tricks as possible. The more complex the tricks you master, the more skate parks you’ll unlock, with over 15 in total.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 comes with a single-player mode, a multiplayer mode, and a mode to create your very own skate park. New skating levels are unlocked by achieving certain goals like hitting a particular high or combo score, collecting the S-K-A-T-E letters, and finding levels’ secret tapes. In addition to the classic Tony Hawk features that players will know and love, you’re now also able to take the game online to go head-to-head against players around the world.

The game’s mechanics and physics system have been modernised and the environments have been updated to accommodate today’s gaming standards. There’s also a tonne of new content, including new tricks, new skaters, and brand-new Create-a-Skater and ­Create-a-Park features, which allow you to customise a skater to your liking.

The game remains faithful to the original Tony Hawk franchise, and I found that the Switch controls only made things feel more authentic. Thanks to the Switch controllers, the controls to land skate combos feel just as complex and engaging as they did on consoles back in the day. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 offers up a gaming experience that’s as challenging as it is entertaining. I was instantly teleported back to the 90s, when I used to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater with friends on the living room couch.

Initially, I was a bit worried to see if such a classic skating title would even hold up on Switch, particularly in handheld mode. What if the screen was too small to see the details of each skating trick? Or, what if the controls were clunky? It quickly became clear to me that the remaster knocks it out of the park both visually and controls-wise; both parks and skaters are detailed yet streamlined. True, the Switch version might not give you highly detailed 4K visuals, but that’s hardly a problem for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. The focus is on the game’s speed, pacing, and action, and the game runs solidly at 30fps, which makes chaining together skating combos at breakneck speed effortless.

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For me, playing Tony Hawk 1 + 2 on the go made it clear that the game’s arcade formula of replaying levels over and over to hit a high score is still as addictive as ever. Even though the Tony Hawk franchise is an absolute classic in the skating genre, playing the remastered version felt just as fresh as it did when I was young. The success of the game’s format, in combination with updated graphics, only attests to the timelessness of its core gameplay loop.

This, in combination with seeing the recent success of mobile skating games like Skate City, only highlights the natural fit of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games with handheld consoles; with the timed levels only being two minutes long, the game is ideal for those who might not have hours and hours to sink into the latest releases. Instead, its short levels are the perfect way to fill the time on the morning commute. No matter if you’re a diehard Tony Hawk fan of old or have just picked up this latest release, you’ll be sure to find something to love in the new iteration of the franchise.