Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 303 - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was a huge part of my late teens and early twenties. It hit at just the perfect time where the X-Games was blowing up, I was super into skateboarding (watching, at least), and I was starting to venture out of the slimy Nintendo hole and experiment with other systems like the PlayStation. THPS 1 and 2 (and Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo 2) pretty much sold me a PS One, so it's strange that I'm going to say that THPS2x on the OG Xbox is actually the best way to play those games. Yeah. I said it. Read more and watch THPS2x gameplay here.

Purists will pooh pooh Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x because it does change a few things - mainly, you can manual in the THPS1 levels - but I think it makes the games significantly better. Some will also claim, incorrectly, that the PlayStation dual shock-style controller is superior for Tony Hawk, but the Dual Shock in any form is greatly inferior to any Xbox controller, so I don't really see the merit of their sad petty arguments. 

The fact is, THPS2x is amazing. It has all of the levels of THPS1 and 2, plus some exclusive levels, with THPS2-style gameplay and the best visuals these games ever got. You can actually see what you're doing now! Even better, the game is backward compatible on Xbox 360 (NOT Xbox One, though) which means you can use a 360 controller instead of the (less good) Xbox Controller S. 

One additional thing I want to say is that I desperately miss the old style of Tony Hawk games. I like the perfectly designed compact levels. I like the two-minute timer. When the levels just kept getting bigger and bigger and eventually went open world the whole thing fell apart. There is a place for an arcade-style skateboarding game just like there is a place for a sim-style game. I want THPS to be arcadey. 

Note that in this video I turned the music down to "1" in the in-game settings. You can still sort of, kind of hear it, but not very well. I know that the music is a huge part of the THPS experience, but I didn't want to get Content ID'd on YouTube.