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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remaster Brings New Energy to Classic Games

With the remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 set to release on PC, PlayStation and Xbox on Sept. 4, skateboarding fans young and old are preparing to pick up the sticks once again to return to the iconic series. What was once considered a bit of a holy grail when it came to desired remasters — and an unlikely one due to how many songs would need to be licensed to replace the legendary soundtrack — is mere days away from reality after being in the works for years, and it’s no mere high definition re-skin of the 20-year-old classics.

Filled with new skateboarders and features, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is more of a brand new game built around the core of the originals than a cheap glossy makeover (the latter of which already happened once with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD back in 2012). Developed by Vicarious Visions under the expansive reach of Activision, the massive publisher brought on veteran game creator and owner of Game Mechanic Studios, Jason Alejandre, to make sure everything went smoothly.

SPIN caught up with Alejandre to get his take on the remaster, the soundtrack, and one of the biggest debates in video game history.

SPIN: After all these years since the originals, what are you most excited for people to see in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 remaster?
Jason Alejandre: I’m excited to see the G.O.A.T., Tony Hawk, back to being center stage after all these years with all the other skaters new and old. I know Activision and Vicarious Visions made sure the remaster would get done right from start to finish, so to me, it’s like revisiting a nostalgic childhood memory — but one that’s been updated to the present. The classic feel of the skate mechanics are even better than before because of hindsight. The visuals are ridiculous. Multiplayer is a blast. The create-a-park is far more robust — and did I mention the classic soundtrack update? It’s the game we all love, but much, much better.

Considering the legacy of the original games’ soundtracks, what was it like to revamp those soundtracks for the new release? Also, how do you think the soundtracks have influenced how music and video games interact over the years?
The way I see it, the marketing team at Activision had two goals [for the soundtrack]. One was to get as many of the original songs as possible. Two was to update the soundtrack with songs that fit in with the past, but also represent the skating culture in 2020. Needless to say, they killed it. You can find me skating as Nyjah Huston in Venice listening to [Machine Gun Kelly’s] “Bloody Valentine.”

In my opinion, the two-game series originally drove this relationship between music and video games, Tony Hawk and Grand Theft Auto. Game devs want to be rock stars, musicians want to get immortalized in a game, and players want to be heroes. This convergence has allowed games to be considered “cool” and put this industry front and center in entertainment.

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