Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (THPS) for the Playstation wasn’t just a game, it was a revolution. First released in 1999, THPS became one of the biggest selling computer games of the early 2000s. Prior to this, skating games had mostly been in 2D environments and limited to a half pipe and 8bit soundtracks (think California Games for the Sega). But the stars aligned for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. The 3D environments of warehouses and school playgrounds, the all-star cast of pro skaters, the super receptive controls and gameplay and that ska-fuelled soundtrack were the perfect combination of elements which became the blueprint for all extreme sports-based gaming.

If you’re a fan of the original game and you haven’t heard already, this year, XBox One are re-releasing the original game but with updated graphics, and a brand new soundtrack with music from the likes of Papa Roach, Chuck D of Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine. With classic locations, new skaters and combos, but the same old gameplay, this is a hugely anticipated release for those looking for an injection of noughties nostalgia.

In anticipation of the release, we dropped all of the music from the original soundtrack as well as the new soundtrack through our tagging demo to understand a little bit more about the music and to see if we could see any interesting developments from the first soundtrack to the new one. 

First, let’s take a look at genre…

It looks like punk and metal will still be the foundation of the soundtrack, but the ska and funk has been switched out for Hip-Hop. While this might not be great news for the “Superman” lovers out there, the gravitation towards Hip-Hop certainly makes sense and I’m sure this adaptation will give the new game a unique flavour.

Looking at the general mood of the new sound track, it looks as though they have kept the same elements but have switched out a lot of the exciting elements for powerful replacements - so you can probably expect the game to feel a little more serious than the 90s edition.

Which brings us nicely into the emotion comparison which detects whether the music is positive, negative or neutral on the emotional spectrum. For THPS 1, there was an emphasis on sounds which where more negative in nature, but it appears with the latest addition, they are pumping up the positivity… probably what the world needs right now!

And if we’re looking at energy, the original soundtrack was all hype! Every track was either registering as high or very high on the energy spectrum and that most certainly helped with the button bashing! How will injecting music with less energy affect the gameplay and those top scores? It will be interesting to see.

There were a few other takeaways to note. For both soundtracks, every song has vocals; perhaps they are looking for music that will stick in players’ heads. And every single track features a male vocal which probably tells you a little bit about the audience they are expecting to be popular with.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 will be out later this year, you can check out the trailer here:

For all tagging related enquiries, or to just nerd out about the next Tony Hawk release, contact

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