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Pop Shove-It To Indy Nosebone: Tony Hawk HD PC-Bound

As a smaller creature that vaguely resembled a Real Human, I definitely had an embarrassing wannabe skater phase. I dreamed of ramping small wheeled planks off larger, non-wheeled planks while wearing giant, ill-fitting clown shoes. But then my expectations – and, you know, my body – came crashing back down to earth, resulting in lots of blood. So I decided to keep my face far, far away from concrete, and – in the process – bought Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. And then I never went outside again. So I liked it a lot, is what I’m saying. And now Activision’s remaking it – or rather, THPS1 and 2, in a single package – and releasing it on the most skater-friendly platform of all: PC.

So it’s a bit of an odd fit, but I’m not complaining. Later Tony Hawk games got bogged down in pointless storylines and an overabundance of fluff features that clearly resulted from repeated utterances of “Oh god, how do we justify this year’s sequel,” but THPS 1 and 2 were simple fun.

Seeing as we were only getting used to the idea that the Internet might catch on during the PlayStation era, online multiplayer’s the biggest new feature here. Free Skate also sounds nice, given that youthful board-based rebellion shouldn’t be constrained by time limits. And Hawkman – “a game mode where players fly around levels collecting a series of colored pellets before time runs out (think Pac-Man on skateboards)” – at least sounds, er, interesting.

Also, most importantly, roughly half of the original so-bad-it’s-amazing soundtrack is returning – though a who’s who of “Wait, who’s that?” is rounding out the list. Regardless, it’s definitely catering to nostalgia, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit interested. As for when it’ll be causing us all to ponder if it’s possible to be born with a more perfect last name for your chosen profession, there’s no date just yet. The Xbox Live Arcade version is dropping on July 18, but PC’s only been pegged with a vague “few weeks after.” But then, what’s a few weeks when you’re basically purchasing a time machine back to the late ’90s?

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Nathan Grayson

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