From the moment I dropped into the opening Warehouse level in this remaster of early-noughties-defining Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, the muscle memory came flooding back. Recalled visions of million-point combos, stringing together a calvacade of grinds, lip tricks and impossible air, fingers dancing across the buttons. Here I go, I think, before launching off the back-wall half-pipe and immediately spiralling into a 540 Indy grab... then fluffing the landing and splatting poor old Tony across the tarmac.
So, yes, for veterans there might be some rust to shake off the trucks before returning to your former skateboarding glory. But it is a feat that Vicarious Visions have achieved with this fabulous remaster, locating Neversoft's original code for its first two games, tweaking the necessary mod-cons and giving it a current-gen lick of paint.
The result is a package that looks and play as your brain recalls it -the golden ticket for a remaster- videos of the originals now reveal a blocky and less slick version than is in your mind's eye. This brings it into more into line with how you think you remember it -roping in tricks (like the combo-linking manual) from later games- while retaining the heart that made it so good in the first place.
And it is still extraordinarily good. The original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is second to only Ocarina of Time in Metacritic's highest ranked video games of all time and, regardless of whether you put much stock into such things, it is a well-earned position. The trick here is to unpack just what makes it such a treat, not so much for experienced players (they know what they are getting) but for younger folk for which the late-90s/early noughties skateboarding craze came too early. There are plenty of mod cons to satisfy a new audience: online play, countless game-spanning challenges and a solid Create-A-Park mode that allows you to share and play other players bonkers creations. But its excellence comes in how it provides its undeniable thrills.