When the remasters for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 were announced, I’m sure we all instantly thought, “Hell yeah, this is gonna be a wild nostalgia trip,” hoping developer Vicarious Visions could nail the look and feel of the original games again. I even wrote about how the announcement itself made me recollect on the real-world cultural impact of THPS. Now that I’ve been able to spend time with the full game, it turns out it’s so much more than a nostalgia trip.
It does indeed recapture the spirit of those 20+ year old games. Between the faithful gameplay with proper physics and controls and the recreation of skateparks with our favorite tunes from yesteryear, you get exactly what you’d hoped. But THPS 1 + 2 Remastered also used this as an opportunity to represent a new era of skating, reintroducing us to the sport and culture as a reflection of what it is now.
You see this in the roster of playable skaters. It’s dope that I can play as middle-aged versions of Tony Hawk, Kareem Campbell, and my personal favorite, Eric Koston, again. However, in my several hours with THPS 1 + 2 Remastered, I’ve gravitated towards the new skaters who have reinvigorated my appreciation and understanding for skate culture. I’m looking up skate tapes, competition footage, and interviews from Tyshawn Jones, Lizzie Armanto, Aori Nishimura, and Leo Baker–all of whom are now my favorites to play as and watch.