Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 on everything… That’s our war cry, and we’re happy to see it coming to pass. After Vicarious Vision’s stellar rebuilding of the first two games and all the amazing features and memories therein, it’s been exciting to see THPS 1+2 come to every system under the sun. The last one out of the bunch was the Nintendo Switch and, sure enough, it’s finally arrived there too. I gave it a run and although it’s not as crisp, smooth, and shiny as its Xbox, PlayStation, and PC counterparts, it does the job well enough, docked and handheld, to more than warrant its existence.
Still looks good, still feels good
Now look, I was ready for the worst after doing my impressions of this game for the PlayStation 5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is freaking gorgeous on that platform, and plays and loads as smooth as butter. The Nintendo Switch… can not do what the PlayStation 5 can do for this game and nobody should expect that of it. With that air cleared, THPS 1+2 is still looking serviceable on the Nintendo Switch. The levels, skaters, and cosmetics are still fully featured and detailed, the game still plays without a hitch, and seemingly nothing but the stunning good looks and higher consistent frame rate were given up to be here.
The feel is just the way it ought to be. And what I mean is I ran my usual PS4/PS5 gameplan with Leo Baker and within minutes, I had cleared every goal in the first Warehouse level and racked over 200,000 points in about three runs. My low score can really only be attributed to the fact that I’m a d-pad player and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is not as comfy or responsive as a PlayStation controller for that purpose. But outside that gripe which has nothing to do with the game itself, everything felt as it should and muscle memory was mostly adaptable in the same way I’d be playing to string up tricks if I were on any other platform. The Nintendo Switch responded to my inputs without issue or lag.
It’s not quite the looker it is on next-gen, but I wouldn’t say this game is looking butt ugly on the Switch either. It’s just that you won’t be in awe of the fibrous texture on your skater’s jorts or the light particles coming through the window as you’re landing sweet trick strings at a consistent 30 frames-per-second.
But what about skating on the go?
Let’s talk about the reason we’re here and the real power of the Switch over all of the other platforms - the one ace up its sleeve that if it's done right makes up for that missing beauty pageant shine. I’m, of course, talking about the Portable Mode. I feel that’s the big reason you would get this game for Nintendo Switch over any other platform, and I’m happy to say your investment would not be in vain. Once I had my fun seeing how the game played in Docked Mode, I pulled it out of the cradle and took it for a spin to see how it holds up in the wild world of handheld Nintendo Switch gameplay.
It does well, y’all. I ran my routes on the Warehouse, Mall, Hangar, and School 2 levels, and in every case, they played pretty much identically like if the game were docked. There was no stutter, there was no lag, the 30fps stayed stable, and the load times (while obviously longer than an SSD can provide) weren’t unacceptable. Simply put, every test I had a chance to throw at the game in portable mode, it passed with satisfactory results. This should come as especially welcome knowledge to anyone packing a Nintendo Switch Lite. You aren’t going to be giving up performance to play this game in solely handheld fashion, and I’d argue Tony Hawk’s bite-sized pick-up-and-play sessions make for a perfect time in Portable Mode anyways.
Busting 900s at home or on the go
It’s not just Vicarious Visions we have to thank for this one. We also have studio Turn Me On Games, who handled porting the game over to the Switch. And what a fine job they did. I knew I was going to lose some visuals and frames in the crossover, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 on the Nintendo Switch does everything else it ought to do, and it succeeds where it counts. If you want to take the impeccable remake that won our hearts back and restored our faith in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise on the go, I’m happy to say you probably won’t be disappointed with how it plays out.
These impressions are based on a Nintendo Switch digital copy supplied by the publisher. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is already available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, and it comes to the Nintendo Switch on June 25, 2021.