Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD (PC) Review

Kids these days with their Steam Big Picture, controller support, and adjustable settings; never will they understand the pain of a truly awful PC port of a console game used to be just 10 short years ago.  Well, that is unless they pick up Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD.  This one game has gone out of its way to make sure that everything from not displaying any controller inputs to giving no options to adjust performance are given at all reflect the annoyances of the past!  So if the developer was trying to make an experience as true to the classic PC ports of the old game as possible they have gone above and beyond the call for making me remember why no one ever played games on the PC.  If that wasn’t the attempt someone needs a strong talking to.

This game was released much later on PC than it was on console, that is something that most computer gamers have come to expect every now and then, considering some of the changes that need to be made this comes as no surprise.  What wasn’t expected was the game to be exactly the same in every way as the console release.  Given the extra time it might have been nice to have some added features, such as the ability to mess around with the song list, add songs of your own choosing, or maybe adjust the resolution or V-sync settings to something that the computer could handle.  After all this game was built on the Unreal Engine, yet it has none of the bells and whistles that seem to naturally go along with something like that.

Added into the already disappointing faults of the 360/PS3 release, such as not the best level selection and the controls just feeling a little off from the past, is an entire new set of issues mixed in just for this release.  While the game directly supports a 360 controller, mapping all of the buttons to mirror the console release of the game, it doesn’t go the extra step of acknowledging that it is plugged in through on screen prompts.  Instead the game constantly will tell the player to press the “ctrl” button to do something instead of whatever corresponding button they might have resting in their hands.  While, for me, this is an entertaining throwback to when I first played the Tony Hawk games, on my PC, it is kind of annoying to know that pretty much no effort was put into including assets that it is clear were already present in the version that was ported to the computer.

In my history of reviewing games I have encountered sloppy PC ports before, but none of them that seemingly disregarded the entire platform that they were on.  Granted, the PC is a community of people that will go out of their way to mod a game that they love and make it into something better.  The problem is that most of the time they are taking something that they already enjoy and doing something with it.  If it was the plan to have the community come to the rescue on this one, maybe the company putting it out should have put some effort into making it in the first place.

Not As Good As: The PC ports from 10 years ago
Also Try: Not buying this
Wait For It: A patch

By: Dan Gillman

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