Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Review
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Box Art
System: Xbox 360*, PS3, PC
Dev: Robomodo
Pub: Activision
Release: July 18, 2012
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood, Violence

So what else has returned? Well, there are seven levels hand-picked from THPS and THPS2. While this means that we're all going to have favorites that didn't make the cut (I'm personally bummed about not seeing New York, Minneapolis, or Portland), the selection is pretty well-rounded. But, damn, I'd forgotten how absurdly difficult Downhill Jam was.

Now, seven tracks may not seem like a whole lot, but I'm going to defend it by pointing out that the game is only fifteen dollars, and has DLC on the way that adds at least three more maps and only costs five bucks. Now, all things considered, that's twenty dollars for ten maps that will make any old school Tony Hawk fan weep tears of nostalgic joy. Two bucks a map is a low price to pay for such bliss. Besides, the old games, which we gladly paid $50 each for back when they were new, only had about ten levels each anyway.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Screenshot

On top of this, there are some new game modes. For example, Big Head Mode penalizes your missteps by having your head swell until it explodes and your headless skater drops to the ground like a ragdoll.

Now, I'm admittedly not super excited about the selection of skaters here. I mean, essentials like Eric Koston, Rodney Mullen, and Tony Hawk himself are present, but I feel like there could have been a lot more of the original team represented here. Where's Chad Muska? Geoff Rowley? Jaime Thomas? And the option to skate as your Xbox LIVE avatar is completely ridiculous. To top it all off, there's a baffling lack of create-a-skater. (The skate park editor is AWOL as well.)

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The soundtrack? Trust me, as soon as you hear Goldfinger's "Superman," you'll swear you'd hopped into a DeLorean and travelled back to 1999. I do admit that I miss hearing the Swingin' Utters and the Suicide Machines, but there's still a pretty great selection here. However, I seem to remember the original THPS games having an option in the menu that let you skip tracks in case there were some you didn't like. This option is missing here, and there were a few times when I felt like I really needed it.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD reminds us why the original THPS games reigned supreme, with its near-perfect control scheme and (for the most part) well designed stages. It does feel admittedly light on content, and there are a few missing pieces that seem like they should have been obvious inclusions. Still, if you want to relive the glory days of the THPS series, fifteen bucks isn't too much to ask.

Josh Wirtanen
Contributing Writer
Date: July 20, 2012

Not the best-looking game out there, but these maps are prettier than they've ever been.
After so many years, Tony Hawk's controls still feel excellent.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Any complaint you have about the audio will instantly melt away as soon as Goldfinger's "Superman" hits your eardrums.
Play Value
The THPS formula is as addictive as it was back in 1999.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a downloadable title for Xbox LIVE Arcade that takes the best elements of the classic THPS games and gives them a fresh update to create an all new skateboarding experience.
  • Tapping into fans' muscle memories, the gameplay returns to controllers and focuses on the satisfaction of linking sick tricks for maximum points.
  • The game was rebuilt and polished by Robomodo using Neversoft's original code and includes the best seven levels from THPS and THPS2 (Warehouse, School 2, Mall, Phoenix, Hangar, Marseilles, and Venice).
  • There is a combination of new school and old school pros (Nyjah Huston, Chris Cole, Eric Koston, Andrew Reynolds, Rodney Mullen, Lyn-z Adams Hawkins Pastrana, Riley Hawk, and Tony Hawk himself) and the soundtrack is half classic THPS tracks and fresh ones.

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