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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was always a wonderful fit on handheld gaming devices. That was true even before portables were powerful enough to replicate the 3D gameplay of the original Tony Hawk with GBA ports and then full re-creations on Nintendo DS. So I was excited about the idea of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 HD on the Switch. And the HD remakes look and feel great on Nintendo’s handheld. This is a great way to get in some skateboarding action on the go — with one serious flaw.
While controlling your skater feels great and looks right, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 HD on Switch had a problem with load times. The initial load into a level isn’t anything egregious. But the game fails at quickly resetting a stage if you select restart. This is nearly a cardinal sin for the Tony Hawk franchise.
It’s easy to get into a flow with these games where you restart stages often. And in past games, this was fine, because a restart would take 1 or 2 seconds. On the Switch, those reloads are closer to 6 or 8 seconds. It’s a shame, because everything else works and feels exactly how I want it.
THPS looks good enough on Switch. The game is definitely a major downgrade from Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it’s hitting a solid 30 frames per second. And you likely won’t notice level detail popping in when the world is in motion.
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And I can’t stress enough just how great Pro Skater feels during gameplay. The Switch’s tiny four face buttons work well to pull off complicated strings of tricks, and — unlike on the GBA or DS — you also get the full soundtrack.
The load times are a bummer, but it’s not enough to scare me off of keeping a Tony Hawk in my pocket.
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