Whereas the idea of Remakes/ Remasters might make some people think ‘Oh, are there no new ideas?’, Remakes/ Remasters – when done well – are some of the most rewarding moments of Nostalgia you can get. And when it comes to remaking nostalgia-inducing games, Vicarious Visions is one such studio to trust! This is the studio that lovingly brought back Crash Bandicoot with the N. Sane Trilogy. And now they’re bringing back another fan-favorite franchise of the 90s/00s, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
The game is set to be released on September 4thfor the PS4, Xbox One and PC. So what can you expect from this Remaster? Well, here are few reasons we’re excited:
Full disclosure: I’ve never played many sports games, so I don’t know if this is a usual thing or something specific to the franchise; but I’ve always enjoyed how Tony Hawk was actually involved with the series. It wasn’t animators thinking ‘oh, this is what that trick would look like’; but rather was based on motion captures of the actual tricks being performed.
The Remaster sought to keep that spirit by not only bringing in the real life skaters to do completely new motion captures; but also by individualizing the skaters a bit more in terms of challenges. The same old challenges from the original games of course make a return; but now some skaters actually have their own specific challenges. Again, this could just be my personal impression of the game series from limited experience; but I’m really excited that they actually did individual motion captures to capture the flare and style of each skater.
Rebuilding Nostalgic Levels:
When Vicarious Visions remade the Crash series, they were thankfully able to get the actual framework of the original games. So everything after that was just a matter of coming up with beautiful assets to insert. With Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, things are a little different.
Whereas they were able to get the handling code of the original game – so the skateboard mechanics would feel the same – they are rebuilding the levels completely from scratch. Though that hasn’t stopped them from recreating levels as close to a 1 to 1 transfer as possible. And from what we’ve seen of the levels thus far, they are succeeding brilliantly!
The Soundtrack Return (Mostly):
Though it’s not just the returning levels themselves that has us excited, but rather the soundtrack as well. Unlike other Remakes/ Remasters like Crash, Spyro and even FF7R, Tony Hawk Pro Skater had music from a host of different artists and existing albums. So the fact that they were able to get the licensing to use all these songs again is stellar! And whereas it’s true that they weren’t able to secure every track, almost all the big ones that you associate with this series are coming back!
Build Your Own Level & Skater:
Though remastering old stuff can only get you so far? So what new stuff does this game offer? Well one of the biggest things that I’m excited for is the ability to actually create your own skate park and skater. And whereas the ability to customize and create isn’t new to the Tony Hawk franchise, it’s certainly much more built up this time around. In fact, the Head of Vicarious Visions spoke to IGN and said that they are very excited to see players recreate their favorite real life skate parks in the game.
Though whether you’ve built your favorite local park or the skate park of your dreams, you can then share these levels online with friends. And as long as your sharing, you might as well be competing too as this game will have a much more stable Multiplayer experience than past games – allowing not only for local co-op but also improved multiplayer modes.
Could There Be More? – Secret/ Bonus Skaters
It wouldn’t be one of my articles if I didn’t try to theorize a little; but given the fact that past Tony Hawk games have included some special guest skaters, I can’t help but think there’ll eventually be some bonus skaters in the Remaster as well. Past games have given gamers Darth Maul, Shrek, Spider-Man and even Doom Guy. Though if there was so much trouble with music licensing, I doubt it’ll be much easier with character licensing.
That being said, remember that Vicarious Visions did work on the N. Sane Trilogy. So I’d genuinely be surprised if they didn’t include the remake that started it all. Crash would certainly fit the style of the game. Plus, considering Activision is the one publishing the game, it’s also possible that their catalogue of past games can also be used as inspiration for other guest skaters.