Genre: Video GamesSports
Release Date: 07/18/2012
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Online Enabled: No
ESRB Rating: T
ESRB Explanation: For Blood, Violence
Common Sense Says: Fun remake, but unrealistically portrays injuries.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a high-definition remake of one of the most popular skateboarding games ever made. A downloadable game found in the XBLA or PSN, it celebrates the sport of skateboarding. Kids assume the identities of characters who are based on respected, real-world athletes -- including Tony Hawk. These pros demonstrate what skilled skaters can do. Be aware, though, that the game's depiction of wipe-outs is unrealistic. Crashes that would seriously injure an athlete in the real world are merely shaken off by the game's characters, who never suffer more than minor scrapes and shed a few drops of blood. Parents should also know that this game's online mode supports open voice communication.
- Families can talk about skateboarding. What about the sport appeals to you? What sort of safety precautions do you take when you jump on your board?
- Families can also discuss online safety. What would you do if you encountered a bully or worse while playing a game online? Who, if anyone, would you tell about it?
What's the story?
TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER HD is a deluxe remake of the first two games in the now legendary series made available as an affordable downloadable title. It recreates, in high definition, levels from both games, including the famous warehouse, schoolyard, and airplane hangar environments, as well as their classic controls and objectives. Players have two minutes to freely explore open environments, choosing either to pull off crazy combos and rack up points or go in search of collectibles scattered around the environment, such as letters that spell the word "skate" and hidden DVDs. A small collection of multiplayer modes allow players to duke it out online, competing for the highest trick score totals or trying to "tag" as many objects as they can by tricking on them.
Is it any good?
This is a throwback to what some might call a purer kind of skateboarding game, the kind in which players simply skated about looking for ever more unlikely objects on which to pull off ever crazier tricks. Some may find it old-fashioned compared to modern and often much wilder, objective-driven skating games, but others will find its simplicity to be a charming and refreshing change of pace.As in the original Tony Hawk games, the controls are wonderfully tight and responsive, rewarding players who take the time to learn and master all available moves. Slowly unlocking one environment at a time gives players time to appreciate the hidden nuances in each level. And the game's soundtrack -- heavy on old and new punk and hip-hop -- provides a perfect background to the experience. Its simpler, old-school vibe may not be to all gamers' tastes, but skaters looking for a faithful-in-spirit representation of their sport won't be disappointed.
How to play
Playbility: The game drops players into the action without any sort of tutorial, and it could take rookies a while to find their way. However, much like real skateboarding, this game is about exploration and experimentation, and learning is part of the experience. There are rewards for performing well, but no punishment for wiping out, which encourages players who fall to get back up and keep trying.
The Good Stuff
Messages: This game celebrates the sport of skateboarding, depicting it as a fun and exciting pastime. Parents should note, though, that it may inadvertently encourage young skaters to try dangerous tricks best left to the pros. The lack of any real consequences in the game's wipe-outs might create the impression that kids wouldn't get seriously injured if they tried doing what they see in the game.
Role Models: The game's characters -- real-life skateboarding professionals -- serve as models of how practice and perseverance can pay off, especially in the world of sport. However, they do perform some tricks -- jumping between buildings and over moving vehicles -- that kids shouldn't aspire to emulate.
Ease of play: The game drops players into the action without any sort of tutorial, and it could take rookies a while to find their way. However, much like real skateboarding, this game is about exploration and experimentation, and learning is part of the experience. There are rewards for performing well, but no punishment for wiping out, which encourages players who fall to get back up and keep trying.
What to watch out for
Violence The player's skater can wipe out on hard concrete and metal surfaces and get hit by cars. When he or she falls, a small amount of red blood is sometimes seen flying through the air. None of the characters are every seriously hurt, though. They always get back up on their boards and continue skating.
Sex: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Various brands, mostly to do with skateboarding, appear within the game, including Birdhouse, Quicksilver, Hawk, and Nixon.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue