video games

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is Great on the Steam Deck

Earlier this year I got back into the remake of the first two Tony Hawk Pro Skater games, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 that Vicarious Visions made. It took a lot of fiddling but the game ran alright on the Steam Deck. As an Epic Game Store exclusive you could run THPS 1+2 through the Heroic Games Launcher with two big caveats: save game syncing is in beta for HGL, so that isn’t on by default so you’d also have to manually adjust a save game path with a keyboard and mouse in the HGL preferences. The second caveat was that THPS 1+2 would try and go online every few minutes and then momentarily freeze the game. Not fun, but it was tolerable because the game is so good.

Until, surprisingly, THPS 1+2’s exclusivity came to an end earlier this month and it came out on Steam, you could finally play on the Steam Deck without fiddling. It’s still a non-native port, but THPS 1+2 was almost fantastic on the Steam Deck. It had to be always online, but that was a minor inconvenience unless you were traveling. 

Today, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 got an update for the Steam Deck to play offline and so the keyboard overlay works better on the Deck.

It looks like Iron Galaxy did the work to update Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 for Steam, since Vicarious Visions has been handed over to the Blizzard half of Activision Blizzard and unfortunately cancelled Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3+4 along with any other games Vicarious was working on that weren’t Blizzard titles.

video games

Blizzard Confirms Long-Rumored Diablo 2 Remaster, Diablo 2: Resurrected

Blizzard doesn’t have a great track record on remasters right now, their Warcraft III remaster was very poorly received, but this is their announcement trailer for a re-make of Diablo 2 and the Lord of Destruction expansion pack for $40 coming to Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, and the Xbox Series X & S consoles later this year. Sadly, I don’t see any mention of a macOS release, giving up on decades of support by Blizzard.

Blizzard says that Diablo 2’s 2D graphics are revamped with “…full 3D physically-based rendering, dynamic lighting, revamped animations and spell effects…”, they’ve re-shot the cutscenes, and added surround sound for the game’s audio and soundtrack. Like many recent remasters, Blizzard says you can swap between the new and old Diablo 2 graphics quickly.

Vicarious Visions and Blizzard are co-developing the re-master and say that progress is supposed to be portable across platforms for characters and their inventories.

Diablo 3’s console port was awesome, I loved playing it with direct control on a gamepad instead of the sort of indirect control you had on computers with a mouse and keyboard. Hopefully this is an easy slam-dunk for Diablo 2. There’s an “technical test” of Diablo 2 coming soon for Windows players who opt-in and are chosen by Blizzard at their Diablo 2 site. Who loves to get exploited by one of the richest companies in video gaming to test their products without compensation? I guess I do, because I signed up for the test and if it comes without any NDA I’ll write about the experience.