Review :: (XBLA) Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD

The Birdman Returns...But Is It for the Best?

Written by Super User

Published Tuesday, 24 July 2012 20:00

Write your own review !

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is the amalgamation of the first two Pro Skater games recreated in high definition for today’s graphical standards. Made with the original Neversoft code, one would think that it would be as great and as fun to play as the originals. That one was me and I thought wrong.

THPS HD is developed by Robomodo, the company behind the not-so-great Tony Hawk: Ride and Tony Hawk: Shred. Though I had some doubts before release, I was still quite sure I would love it. The game appeared on the Xbox Live Marketplace around 2:30 am PST but an error rendered me and my fellow fans unable to purchase it until around 5:30 am. This only built the suspense and my eagerness to play.

"All in all Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is still fun, but not worth its $15 price tag."

When I finally was able to launch the game, I was greeted with the nostalgic sounds of Goldfinger’s "Superman". I had not heard that song for at least 10 years, and yet it seemed so very familiar. Something was missing though. It was the Neversoft logo. More specifically the Neversoft eye and its amusing hijinks. This disappointment was coupled with the lack of a video introducing the skaters and showing us why they’re pros. I knew I had to get past these minor disappointments and continue on.

The menu looks bright, crisp, and fits well with the game’s vibe. When I go to check out the skaters, I find that of the ten skaters available, only five appeared in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. No Chad Muska, no Jamie Thomas, and no Bob Burnquist. They have been replaced by more popular and current skaters like Nyjah Huston and Chris Cole. On the plus side, the ever amusing Officer Dick is back, but unfortunately Spider-Man is nowhere to be seen.

The levels feel fresh and personified while still maintaining their nostalgia. The secret tape on each level has been modernized to become the secret DVD (likely to be a secret Blu-Ray on the PS3 release). My biggest gripe is that only seven levels were chosen to be remade in HD, a few less than THPS1. This is unacceptable considering the iOS version of THPS2 has eleven levels. Those eleven include all the levels the HD version has - save for Mall - and it only costs $1.99. This lack of maps is made up for with the new game modes: Big Head Survival and Projective. They’re fun, but inexperienced players are sure to have a tough time with them.

There are some unwelcome additions included in this game that are totally unnecessary. When you bail (fall off your board) the screen turns white and resets your skater back on their board. This stops the fluidity of the gameplay and becomes annoying quickly. Secondly, the player can pause and see where each goal is on the map which makes that secret DVD not-so-secret. I expect this to be used in a "Games Are Getting Too Easy" article by somebody in the near future. And finally, the music is scarcely quiet and drowned out by the sound effects. Although, that may not be a completely bad thing...

The music has always been a big part of the Tony Hawk series. Robomodo said they spent a lot of time deciding which songs would get into the game, but that can’t be true. The fourteen song soundtrack is half classic, half new. Only two, three at the most, of the new songs sound like they belong in the game, and there is only one song returning from THPS1. Where is "Police Truck", "Cyco Vision", or "Guerrilla Radio"? There are twenty-five songs between the first two Pro Skater games and only seven are present when all of them should be. Shred had over sixty songs in its soundtrack, so it is tough to accept having so few in this game.

There are many things missing from this title, such as create-a-park and split-screen, that keep it from being a truly great recreation. According to Robomodo, they "didn’t have the time and resources" to produce split-screen, though I have yet to hear the reason for the exclusion of create-a-park. Playing as your avatar is the closest you’re going to get to create-a-skater, and the option to skip the current music track has disappeared altogether. The latter is the most annoying because the sparse soundtrack gets repetitive really quickly.

Final Focus

If you played the classic versions like I did, chances are you will be disappointed with all the things that Robomodo left out. There was so much potential but not enough was delivered to live up to it. All in all, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is still fun, but not worth its $15 price tag. I don’t find it as addictive as the original, but I’m on my third playthrough already so they must have gotten something right.


+ Classic maps remastered in HD + Fun, challenging game modes
- Repetitive soundtrack - Too much content not included from the originals - Too little product for too high of a price

Final rating
7.8 / 10
More Xbox 360 reviews
2014-11-11 :: Assassin's Creed: Rogue
2014-04-06 :: Dark Souls II
2013-11-12 :: Alien Rage
2013-09-17 :: Grand Theft Auto V
2013-09-15 :: Lost Planet 3
2013-09-13 :: Splinter Cell: Blacklist
2013-08-07 :: Grid 2
2013-07-26 :: Remember Me
2013-07-23 :: (XBLA) Sanctum 2
Game details
(XBLA) Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD
Release date : 2012-07-18
Platform :
Publisher : Activision
Developer : Robomodo
Gameplay : Sports

GameFocus High Fives, June 2015 - Jesse
There is arguably no other aspect of gaming that is more underappreciated than the Non Player Character (NPC). Serving as companions, quest ...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives Canada Day Bonus Edition
Happy Canada Day! Bonne fête du Canada! We here at GameFocus hope you’re celebrating the enactment of the British North American Act (Consti...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives, June - D.J.
There is arguably no other aspect of gaming that is more underappreciated than the Non Player Character (NPC). Serving as companions, quest ...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives, June 2015 - Jesse
GameFocus High Fives Canada Day Bonus Edition
GameFocus High Fives, June - D.J.
DLC Talk

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?

Read more
First Impressions

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the upcoming DC fighting game by NetherRealm Studios, is set to be released on April 16th. Even though the release date is just around the corner, they continue to announce additional characters that will be playable upon release, as well as alternate costumes for numerous ... Lire la suite...

More previews
GF Blogs

Why I Haven't Committed to Buying Digital Games

Why I Haven't Committed to Buying Digital Games

Let’s face it: buying digital games is significantly more convenient than buying from a retail store. You don’t have to put pants on to go outside, nor do you even have to go outside. You don’t have to drive to the store, nor do you have to wait in line at said store. On top of that, the price is generally the exact same, if not more for the physical version.

Let’s face it: staying in just your underwear, FTW.

Despite the overwhelming advantages of buying digital, I still can’t fully commit to it. While I understand I am more in the minority with each day that goes by, I truly believe I have a legitimate case about buying physical copies of games.

Read more

PlayStation VR is Everything I Hoped For (and More!)

PlayStation VR is Everything I Hoped For (and More!)

In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.

The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus - uh, I mean PlayStation VR - Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is currently far from completion, it’s also far from shotty.

Read more

Summer Gaming Guide: What to Play

Summer Gaming Guide: What to Play

Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?  

Read more
GameFocus 2015 Top 10
Apotheon (PC)
Splatoon (Wii U)
Rocket League (PlayStation 4)
Splice (PlayStation 4)
Hand of Fate (Xbox One)
Toren (PlayStation 4)
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PlayStation 4)




GameFocus Podcast: September 2015
This month the gents bask in the last day of summer with tales of Saskatoon roads, video game tattoo litigation and Deus Ex backlash.  We also ...

Read more

GameFocus Podcast: September 2015

Recent comments

Powered by Disqus