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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Revert Pack

By Seán O'Sullivan - December 20th, 2012

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When Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD released during the summer, it was a serviceable HD revisit to seven of the most beloved levels from the first two THPS games. While the tarted-up graphics, added online capabilities, and additional objectives were welcome features, the team didn’t go the extra mile, failing to deliver local-coop, and most egregiously: not providing any form of manual camera control. Other than those caveats, it was easy to recommend for those looking to scratch that itch for arcade-style score attacks.

For $5, the new Revert Pack supplements the core game with three levels from the third installment, a few additional songs, characters, and most importantly, the eponymous “revert” ability. The revert debuted in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 as a way to string together tricks launched from vert ramps, and has been an essential part of the toolset since.

The new content slots in seamlessly: the new stages are available from the level select immediately; the new songs are added to rotation; and the new move is retroactively available on all levels. The selected environments (Canada, L.A., and Airport) are not the ones that I remember the most fondly from the 2001 title (and I would argue that Airport is perhaps too similar to the Mall stage in the original selection), but they function almost exactly as I recall – only with sharper details and more physics glitches.

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Not the best way to get a haircut.

In terms of visual fidelity, not all of the stages seem to have benefited from the same amount of care as the core seven levels. Striking as the newly-added god rays in the Canada stage are, the background elements animate jankily, with L.A. and Airport looking oddly pristine (especially compared with the grimy, almost-realistic feeling of Warehouse).

This would be easy to overlook if some attempt had been made to make the fundamentals better; but there is still a lack of manual camera control. Anyone who was able to reconcile it as being true to the source material will feel betrayed here, as THPS3 allowed players to swing the camera around, and many objectives arguably rely on this feature. Being under time constraints and not being able to instruct your skater to look up to see if the nth collectible tsotchke awaits beyond your current line of sight is maddening and unforgivable in a game that imposes tight time restrictions.

It feels as though developers Robomodo have handed their content creation tools to their B team to churn out another few levels, but opted against addressing any of the issues that aggrieved players of the original game. Ultimately, this is a cheap and cheerful addition to an unevenly enjoyable skating game; but if you found the core experience frustrating, know that this pack will only serve to exacerbate that feeling.

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  2. Posted on Dec 24, 2012

    Nice review. I’ll probably spend my $5 on a different game.

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