If you were to think about some of your favorite console games, I’m sure there are a few you wish could be played in their original form on the go. I’m not talking about some downgraded version for mobile or some of the sub-par versions that arrived on previous handhelds. Now with that list fresh in your mind, I’m sure Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (THPS) is near if not on the top.
When I reviewed Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 in 2020, I called it “The G.O.A.T”. Vicarious Visions, the developers behind THPS 1+2, teamed up with Turn Me Up games to not only port this awesome game to the Nintendo Switch but also to make sure it’s an exact one for one comparison in features and gameplay.
THPS 1+2 when docked runs at 1080p 30FPS and in handheld 720p 30FPS. In both modes, the game runs smooth as butter. I encountered no slowdowns or frame rate issues in either mode. For this review, I spend 80% of my time playing in handheld mode since, in my opinion, the portability factor is the absolute key feature. THPS 1+2 is visually stunning. If you only played the original PS1 versions, then you’re in for a treat.
All 19 levels from both games are present and beautifully enhanced. The reflective lighting on various map environments brings new life to each location. THPS 1 Warehouse is mind-blowing in regards to its visual overhaul. If you recall from the original, your session takes place at night with only the warehouse lights to illuminate the skate area. In THPS 1+2, the warehouse session takes place in what appears to be early morning with bright vivid beams of light shining through the windows and reflecting off-ramps and central rail.
THPS didn’t become a classic solely because of its name recognition. OH NO, it was for the simplistic and addictive gameplay. Each of the four controller face buttons performs a different trick type as listed below:
• (B) to ollie
• (A) to perform big air grab moves
• (X) Board flip tricks
• (Y) Grinds
• (Left Stick or Left joy-con to move)
• (Right Stick) move camera
• ((Left or Right bumpers) spin skater
• (Left or Right triggers) perform revert
The simple control scheme is what pulls you in and it’s the vast move library that keeps you playing for hours upon hours in an effort to complete all necessary challenges to unlock the next level. The game, in turn, forces you to “GET GOOD” so once that next level unlocks, it feels earned and you feel like the ultimate beast skater who’s ready to bust out insane combos.
As you noticed in the controls, the Left & Right triggers allow you to link moves by performing reverts. If you’re scratching your head saying HEY! that wasn’t in those titles, then you would be correct! Revert, spine transfer, and wall plant all appeared in later games in the franchise but have been added to THPS 1+2 to enhance the gameplay. I’m not going to lie. It would have also been cool if they had added the ability to get off your board, but that’s just my personal opinion.
THPS 1+2 allows us to use all original skaters in both games. So skaters that were added in THPS 2 can now be played in THPS 1 and the same applies to the fresh batch of new skaters listed below:
• Nyjah Huston
• Leo Baker
• Leticia Bufoni
• Aori Nishimura
• Lizzie Armento
• Shane O’Neill
This also applies to your created skaters. Another fun addition is seeing how all of the original pro skaters resemble their current real-world counterparts. It’s as if THPS was a forgotten Tamagotchi capsule and upon opening, all of the skaters had aged. The skaters don’t perform any different but this was definitely a cool addition. Each pro skater has multiple outfits which can be unlocked as you play them. It’s also worth noting there are a good amount of hidden playable skaters to unlock.
While on the topic, the skate shop is full of goodies to unlock. As you level up your skater profile across all modes, you earn XP and the ability to unlock new boards, wheels, clothing, logos to place on your gear, and much more. There are also key challenges in this shop, and completing them will also unlock new items. As you play, your selected skater will also level up and allow you to boost his or her stats and acquire new special moves.
THPS 1+2 has every mode one would want to play in a Tony Hawk game. Besides all original levels from both games, we have free skate mode which allows you to just skate around any level of your choosing with no time limit or challenges to complete. This is great for exploring the levels, trying out new tricks, or looking for great spots to create sick score combos. Multiplayer mode includes:
• Horse (for some reason this is the ONLY MP mode only available in local co-op/split-screen mode)
• Score Challenge
• Combo Challenge
• Combo Mambo
• Trick Attack
• and fan-favorite Free skate
You can have up to 8 players in these modes so, in theory, you can jump into a free skate session and like in real life, gather around a spot and play a game of HORSE this way. I know it’s not ideal but hopefully, this mode gets adjusted for online play. Besides this hiccup, everything else is present from the THPS 1+2 2020 release.
There is no doubt, THPS 1+2 is not only one of the best ports on the Nintendo Switch but is an absolute must-have for every switch owner. The game includes countless hours of offline play along with an expansive multiplayer component which also includes community-level creation. Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has had the highest attach rate per console sold. I dare to say that THPS 1+2 should undoubtedly be held in the same regard as a must-have game for all Nintendo Switch owners.