As a child I learned the hard way that I would never become a professional skateboarder. That was alright with me considering the fact that I can escape all the bumps, bruises, and the occasional broken bone or two. While I wasn’t able to skate in the real world, I was able to do it in the virtual world with the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series on the Playstation, Playstation 2, and Dreamcast. These games allowed me to do anything along with breaking a few in game body parts which was a lot of fun. Now they’re back once again.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is back! Better yet it’s all in glorious HD! Activision and Robomodo revived the classic formula and gave fans like myself a collection of the best levels from the first two games in the series. DLC will soon be on the way in the next month and will feature the best of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (with reverts). Hopefully will see some more DLC beyond that with levels from THPS 4.

When I first fired up the game I went right to the infamous Warehouse level and the nostalgia in me hit an all time high. Immediately I rode down the ramp, jumped over the pipe, smashed through the glass, and then landed flat on my ass. That sucked! After that I picked up my broken body, jumped on the board and went at it again and scored a nice combo. Once I completed my first run, I started to get used to the controls and then started to plan out a strategy to complete the objectives. Scoring a set number of points, spelling out S-K-A-T-E, and locating the hidden DVD. This is just a small sampling of the many things I can accomplish, and now they give me a map of their locations. I like this!

I also liked the music selection. Jamming to songs like “Superman” from Goldfinger, “Bring The Noise” from Public Enemy and Anthrax, and “When Worlds Collide” from Powerman 5000 while skating through levels was a blast. Half the soundtrack is back along with the addition of some brand new tracks that all seem to fit right in with the action. I did enjoy “We The People” from Lateef The Truthspeaker and “USA” from Middle Class Rut.

Multiplayer is handled pretty well with some fun game modes. I really enjoyed the Big Head matches where my character’s head would grow to ultra enormous size and explode in confetti unless I performed tricks.I got a lot of laughs out of it watching giant headed characters performing tricks just to stay alive. I also enjoyed the score attack mode which brought in some good competition online. What pissed me off was the lack of local split screen action. C’mon guys the original game had it making it fun with friends on the couch with a few beers.

While it’s not a perfect game, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD brought back plenty of memories of the past even if it’s missing some of the original skaters and split screen multiplayer. Add on to fact that there’s hours and hours of addicting gameplay once you get used to the controls making the game a must buy for old school Tony Hawk fans along with anyone looking for a fun game to play.

Developer: Activision, Robomodo
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-4 (Online Multiplayer)
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

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