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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 – Making the Switch

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Fast Facts

Title: Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Website: https://www.tonyhawkthegame.com/uk/en/
Genre(s): Sport, Simulator
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 26/06/21
Price: £39.99
A code was provided for review purposes

The Time it Takes

To this day I still love venturing back and playing the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 games. Almost a year ago now I was fortunate enough to get to review the amazing remaster of the first two games on the PS4 which can be found here. I’ve also since upgraded this version to the PS5 ultimate eye-candy edition. Hubba hubba. 

an image showing vicarious visions as an art design on the bottom of a skateboard
9 more months of refinement

So yes, I’m a fan, a big fan. With that comes an enormous burden. I know what great looks and feels like already.

I couldn’t help but jump at the opportunity to take a shot at reviewing the Nintendo Switch edition, arriving 9 months later with all of that extra refinement and polish. Right? Right?

A Buttered Lens

image showing tony hawk doing an indy on blurred backgrounds
Fidelity is a little blurred and soft

Well, not exactly. Tony Hawk’s is here in all its glory, nothing missing and nothing cut. It has a steady 30 frames per second throughout with just the occasional judder or tear. There are, however, real compromises in textures and draw distances. At times it feels closer to the PlayStation original with its 3D polygons than the PS4 revelation I’d championed previously. 

Tony Hawk’s Compromises

I really didn’t want to be that guy, I had a very open mind, but I just think I’m getting tired of lowering my expectations for handheld console gaming. The compromises are plain to see. I think if the developer has to sink an extra 9 months into putting this version out, it was either incredibly difficult to do, or was just a lower priority on the list.

Either way, it’s disappointing as such a fan of the franchise.

tony hawk skating in a parking lot with a muddy basketball net in the background, nearly impossible to see details
I think there’s a hoop on that basketball net?

There are some great additions to these versions that I perhaps didn’t explore in my previous review. With an enhanced roster of skaters, there are some superb additions that celebrate a more inclusive and diverse line-up. Some of these skaters are younger than the original games themselves, and even Riley Hawk the Birdman’s son makes an appearance.

Tony hawk doing a FS Wallride off a brick wall
Back to school

As well, there are some select additional music tracks added to the line-up too from artists such as Fidlar and Machine Gun Kelly. It gives the game a more modern skate scene vibe blending punk-rock with rap and grime.

It’s a Long Road Back

Much like the screen animations when jumping off the school roof in Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, I’m torn. I love these games, but now having played the ultimate version on PS5, it’s so hard to accept the compromises that had to be made to make this a Switch game. Priced at £39.99, it’s not like it’s seen the natural decline in price the PS4 edition has either. 

tony hawk skating on a wooden floor
Compromises have to be made.

Yet there is still a huge appeal to be able to pocket this game and take it with you, to visit an actual skatepark, an ice cream van, or even school and skate virtually. It just isn’t something you can do on a traditional console. 

It’s a difficult one to summarise however, I resolutely feel that Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2 on the Switch is like a fat guy wearing a slim fit polo shirt. It’s impressive they’ve managed to squeeze it on, a real feat and sense of achievement in making it this far, but it just doesn’t look comfortable or flattering to the eye.

Rapid Reviews Rating

3 out of 5

3

You can purchase Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 at the Nintendo eShop.

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