Summer of Arcade kicks off this week with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, a high-definition remake of two classic skateboarding favorites dating back to the late nineties. Get ready to wallride and bluntslide your way through your favorite levels from the first two Tony Hawk games, with several new modes and tons of unlockables to discover!
The original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was a big hit in 1999, released shortly after Tony Hawk's debut at the '98 X-Games. It was praised for its innovative gameplay, open level design, cutting-edge soundtrack and for making high-level stunt skateboarding accessible to anyone.
If you're a fan of the original games, you'll be able to jump right in. The control scheme is exactly the same, and you'll be flipping and grinding through the warehouse or the mall in no time. If you're a little rusty and need some help getting your mojo back, you can review the basic moves in the How to Play section.
Seven levels are included in this HD remake – Warehouse, School II, The Hangar, Mall, Venice Beach, Downhill Jam, and Marseille. String together multiple grabs and grinds and flips for big combo multipliers, and then stick your landing to rack up some sick scores.
In each level, you've got several goals to complete (like collect the S-K-A-T-E letters or achieve a certain score) within a two-minute time limit, which deliver experience and cash that you can use to purchase new tricks or boards. The Arcade version also includes a map of each level, so you can scout it out in free ride and plan your line of attack for those high-scoring combos.
Many of the skaters you can play as in Career mode are familiar, but there are some new faces thrown in as well, such as Tony's son Riley Hawk. As a fun little addition, you can even choose to play as your Xbox LIVE avatar.
There was some concern about the music in the game, as the original soundtrack was such a big part of the experience. The developers have managed to secure the rights to seven of the original classic songs, plus seven more new tracks. A couple of my favorites are "Superman" from Goldfinger and "Bring the Noise" from Anthrax.
Grinding with Friends
Multiplayer is online only, and it includes familiar modes such as Graffiti and Trick Attack, as well as some new multiplayer challenges. One of the new additions is Hawkman, where you compete to collect coins scattered throughout each level by performing certain tricks. Big Head Survival is a hilarious new multiplayer mode where you have to complete tricks and combos quickly to keep your head from swelling – until it actually explodes.
The developer has also promised an upcoming add-on download with tracks from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (as well as the "Revert" move, which allows for greatly expanded combos).
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a retro gem on Xbox LIVE Arcade, which harkens back to the good old days of the Y2K scare, Napster and The Matrix. Grab it now from Marketplace for only 1200 Microsoft Points!