I was a teenager when Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 came out for the PlayStation. My brother and I played it more than any other game that didn't bear the Final Fantasy logo. The arcade-style skateboard mechanics were cool – the way the physics defied gravity and the wipe outs were epic. But the game is also so memorable to me because of the music. Just hearing Rage Against the Machine's “Guerrilla Radio” is enough to get me pumped and take me skateboarding down Memory Lane.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 is out on September 4th, but I was eager to try the game as soon as possible. Thankfully, you can play the “Warehouse Demo” if you preorder the game on PSN or if you get a demo code from a weird Chipotle burrito cross-promotion. I preordered the game, and it became the first-ever digital preorder purchase of my entire life. What can I say – I like me some Tony Hawk games.
Waxing Nostalgic In A Warehouse
As soon as the demo finished downloading, the Activision logo started doing its spinning, and I was already taken back to a simpler time. It was a time free of global pandemics, financial responsibilities, and a 30-year-old's digestive issues. (Seriously, I ate a sausage biscuit and drank some orange juice the other day and got heartburn. WTF. Adulthood sucks.)
Once again, “Guerrilla Radio” started playing in the game's opening movie, and I was already sold. It was like falling through a wormhole and being transported to 2000. It was a good year, you know? 9/11 hadn't happened yet, Friends was still on the air, and Y2K hadn't destroyed the world in a nuclear holocaust. Times were good. And Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 is a great reminder of that.
The Warehouse Demo is also an excellent reminder of those early parts of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Although the music in the demo is limited from the full version (bummer, dude), it's still great. I can relive my childhood and listen to music I enjoy at two-minute increments, all while racking up points on a skateboard. I could grind and ollie my way through that dingy warehouse for hours, and I have.
Ollie Me Back Into A Kid Again
It's not all fun rainbows of nostalgia, though. I'm a little disappointed that there's no S-K-A-T-E letters to collect (in the demo, at least), and the level seems void of any collectibles or hidden goodies. I hope to God they add that into the full game. It seems a given, since there's only so much you can do in a 2-minute skateboarding level, but it's still odd that it's missing completely from the demo.
The gameplay is still great – don't get me wrong. But the real reason Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 succeeds is because it's a kick-flip to the face of feel-good nostalgia. Until the game releases next week, I'm sure I'll sink a few hours into the demo alone. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go crank up the Rage tunes and pretend I'm a kid again.