Making the jump from more powerful systems like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to the less powerful Nintendo Switch usually takes a lot of work, and it's clear that Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 had to be altered for its Switch port. There is a considerable graphical difference between the different versions of the game, and the Switch port feels a little tougher to control than its counterparts. Regardless, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 has found itself a suitable home with Nintendo's console thanks to its pick-up-and-play stylings making it a natural fit on the portable device.
Upon release, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 received glowing reviews for its ability to revisit the acclaimed early iterations of the series from the early 2000s with updated, more modern performance. All of the parks from the original two games are present in the remake as well as the majority of skaters that were famous in that era, but there are a wealth of new features present as well. Players get to check out several additional skaters, relearn the updated and improved trick system, and even complete brand new progression challenges. All of these features are present in the Nintendo Switch version as well.
By far the biggest difference that will be noticed immediately upon starting Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 for the Switch is that it doesn't look as good on the less powerful hardware. This version of the game looks like it was made a couple of years before the PlayStation and Xbox editions, especially when the system is docked. The overall world is much flatter and less detailed on the Switch, and the character models themselves feel as though they could have been lifted straight out of game from the early 2010s. Playing the game in handheld mode does make the overall image sharper, but it still seems dated and less detailed.
The graphical quality may not be great, but Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 performs surprisingly well on the Nintendo hardware. This version of the game is locked at 30 fps, which on paper sounds very low for a modern video game. In actuality this was a smart move, as the frame rate remains consistent throughout and even at its most chaotic the game never dropped in performance. It seems like an active decision was made to choose game performance over visual quality, which has also ensured helped that there are no game breaking bugs lurking in the code.
One thing to keep in mind if playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 on the Switch is that the Joy Con controllers aren't well suited to the precision that this game requires. Landing a trick from in the air requires that the skater is facing the right direction or they will wipe out and lose all the points that were racked up for that trick. The Joy Con's controls tend to stick and don't always respond very well to precise actions. This can be fixed by either learning to use the controller's D-pad or docking the system and investing in the Switch Pro controller to have more control over characters in the game. While this is more of a fault of the hardware rather than the game, it is going to make scoring that 10 milllion point combo pretty difficult with this version.
Overall Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is an excellent experience no matter what system it is played on. The Nintendo Switch version of the game is a little different, with a few limitations on what the game is able to achieve thanks to the hardware, but it remains enjoyable throughout. The Switch port of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is ideal for the who wants to play in handheld mode on the Switch, but those who will be mostly playing from their couch on a television will want to pick up a different version if possible.
Next: Every Map In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1, Ranked
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 can be played on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. A Nintendo Switch code was provided for the purposes of this review.