Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater made skate vernacular common knowledge – ollie and kickflips broke from the culture and into mainstream use. But more so, Pro Skater emboldened an entire era of punk. Its eccentric art, anti-authority bent, and music encapsulated not only skating, but the shared community around it.
A remake saps that energy. Pro Skater remains infinitely playable and draws on perfectionist tendencies, yet it’s all so sharp and perfect now. Pure and real too. That feels wrong since the game prides itself on eccentric arcade stylings. Warping textures and shoddy resolution weren’t flaws – looking back, they were defiant against reality, slightly surreal and distinctive. Like a generation groomed on hard pixels, younger designers today seek out sharpened polygons because there’s a certain ideal there. Pro Skater stemmed from that time, not this one.
Rebellion is different now. Skate culture expanded in scope; it’s multi-cultural. The music changed. It’s fine to rekindle nostalgia, but this Pro Skater exists out of time.