By now you would already know that the remastered versions of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 has already dropped, and by most accounts, it’s a faithful recreation of the classic games, but better-looking than ever.
That’s great and all, but sometimes that’s just not enough, is it? If you’re going to remaster something, you should take the chance to improve it and make it better with new features that weren’t possible back when they were first released in 1999 and 2000.
In fact, we could think of 5 exciting ways they could’ve made the game more suitable for modern audiences.
#1. Virtual Reality Mode
VR wasn’t a thing back in 1999, but it is now. So it’s quite disappointing that a new VR mode wasn’t included for the game.
Just imagine, rolling through the school levels and being able to look around to see tables, chairs and trees. Wouldn’t it be thrilling to hit those massive ramps and then get motion sickness from spinning a 900?
Sure the flip tricks would be rather boring unless you’re looking at your feet like a grunge guitarist, but it’s a small price to pay to enjoy VR skating!
#2. Time Control Powers
The original THPS 1+2 came out a year or two before Max Payne made bullet-time a beloved gameplay mechanic, so it’s understandable that time control powers weren’t implemented then.
But it’s 2020 now, so it’s expected that every game gives you the power to at the very least stop time. Imagine being in mid-run, you can then freeze time, and then look around to see which stair set or rail to manual over to next.
It’s like a pause screen, except without the menu buttons getting in the way. Or maybe like a Photo Mode, except you’re not allowed to adjust the camera view.
Ever since Doom was released in 1993, the shotgun is a staple weapon in every FPS. From Halo to Grand Theft Auto, shotguns make games better.
Which is why it’s surprising that Vicarious Visions opted not to include shotguns in the remake. It would’ve been a great addition to the game if Rodney Mullen can pull out a 12-gauge in the middle of a casper slide and then shoot an explosive barrel to ride the blast wave over a 20-stair gap.
#4. Skate Royale
If you’ve played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 as much as we have in the past, then you’re probably tired of playing S-K-A-T-E or Score Attack for the gazillionth time.
Imagine instead, a mode where 20 skaters are dropped into a level, and they try to out-score each other with big combos. Here’s the catch: the level gets smaller and smaller over time. Thus, the skaters have to fight to use the ramps and rails.
At the end of the round, it would be impossible to do a simple kickfip without crashing into another skater. How cool is that?!?
#5. An Emotional Story Mode
The series started doing story modes with Tony Hawk’s Underground, but player expectations have changed since then. A corny story about a young skater trying to make it big isn’t quite compelling enough anymore, so you need something bigger now.
People want something emotional, with gravitas. Something written by an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter, or that guy who doubled as the face of Max Payne. Something that will make us cry, think about society, and question our own existence for hours after switching off the game.
You need a story that has heart-wrenching decisions, like:
- Deciding to save the lives of everyone in a small fishing town or your best friend.
- Choosing which colors to best represent the end of humanity at the hands of machine aliens.
- Killing little zombie girls to extract magic juice, or not having enough magic juice.
You need to step away from the surface setting of skateboarding culture, and look deeper into what it means to be human.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 should be a young skater’s quest to avenge their adopted-sibling who was killed after discovering a conspiracy to smuggle weapons into a developing Southeast Asian country. That would be cool.
In case you weren’t sure, this article is 100% sarcasm. The remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 works because they didn’t mess around with the magic that made the originals so beloved. Adding too many new and modern features destroys the nostalgia trip.
Think about it: gamers want remasters of old games because they want something different from current games, right? So give them what they were looking for.
Drew used to be a professional videogame reviewer, then he took an adulthood arrow to the knee. Now he is a content strategist, helping brands tell their stories without resorting to overused videogame memes.