One of the best things that could ever happen to a gamer is seeing a favorite game get remade, and fortunately, that seems to be the trend of the moment. There’s much reason to rejoice for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater fans as Robomodo has just released a series reboot, aiming to give fans back the THPS they remember so fondly.
As a major THPS fan, I’ve been enjoying my time with THPS HD so far, and forsee many, many more hours of gametime in my future. However, there’s no denying that this isn’t a perfect release, and I do think on-purpose decisions should have been reconsidered – namely with the control.
While I appreciate the game “feeling like” the older games, the improved control that came with the later games was important to the fluidity of the gameplay and would have been appreciated here. I can understand the removal of skills that were found in later games as these levels weren’t built with them in mind, but the control is simply not as fluid as it is in later games, especially Tony Hawk’s Underground and beyond.
Some downsides are outside of Robomobo’s control, such as not being able to bring back the entirety of the original soundtracks, but that’s life. What I do wish was different is the level selection. Mall and Downhill Jam, while classic, are not the best choices for inclusion. The same could be said about Marseille. Outside of Warehouse, Venice Beach and Hangar, it feels like the remaining levels were chosen at random.
There’s always hope that Robomodo will release more of these classic levels as DLC, but not too much has been revealed at this point. One thing that has been revealed is that we’ll be seeing the revert introduced in the first DLC, along with three levels from THPS 3; Airport, Canada and Los Angeles (another odd pick, to me).
One of the biggest issues with THPS HD is that there’s no split-screen. Yes, I just said that. As has become obvious in any comment section discussing the game, a lot of people were expecting this to exist, as it did in the older titles. Why on earth Robomodo excluded it is beyond me.
Another issue is that there’s a delay in your jumping. In the original games, pushing A, X or what have you would cause you to jump immediately. In HD, there’s about a 0.75 second delay before your character actually jumps, which tends to complicate certain tricks or quick moves that need to be pulled off.
Because of these issues, along with other minor adjustments, I found HD a lot more difficult than the original games. There were certain goals that took me dozens of attempts, when in the original I had no such issue. A perfect example is in School II, where you can boneless up to the roof with the hidden tape. Even with maxed-out stats, I can’t do this in less than five attempts.
If you’ve never played THPS before, I don’t think you’ll find much enjoyment in THPS HD. In today’s gaming landscape, the control is going to feel poor, and the levels bland. In later games, the levels felt more alive, with people walking the streets and NPCs to interact with. By comparison, the levels in THPS HD are lifeless.
Because of the nostalgic value, any fan of the series is going to enjoy this iteration. There’ll be no denying the game’s shortcomings, but being able to relive these classic levels with current-gen graphics can completely overshadow the game’s downsides.
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