Tony Hawk's Pro
(Version B review)
Genre: Skateboarding Simulation
Capabilities: Compatible with: Memory Card, and Analog Dual Shock Controller
Note: This is version B of my THPS2 reivew, The original, "interview" format of my THPS2 wasn't accepted by webmaster of GameFAQs, "CJayC" Jeff Veasey, because he said he didn't like the interview format reviews, and said I had to redo the format of the review to fit my original format.
Note: Due to an early problem with the review, I had to completely redo it, so here is my re-edited version of my Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 review.
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 is the sequel to last years best selling, Tony Hawks Pro Skater, a game which established a brand new genre of games, and was a benchmark for video game design all together. Will this sequel give us a brand new gaming experience, and be twice as good as the last one(well, I only played a demo, not a full version of the first game, so I really dont know)? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Well, everything looks great, like the levels are really packed with detail, like the school park level which is loaded with benches, school bells, bike racks, and lots of other stuff youd fine at schools, heck if you try even harder for some Easter eggs, youd get some interactive environments like a flying helicopter, or a running wild golf cart. Like all the other CD games, you got a great opening FMV video to get you all hyped up for the game. All the skaters look great in the game, and in the create-a-skater you got loads of different designs for your skater, all of them look great. The game has some really easy to navigate menus, which have a really convenient layout. The two player mode also runs at a surprisingly fast rate.
But nothing is perfect with this game in the graphics as everyone says, the ground textures and environments really jaggy and grainy, the skaters are the only thing that stick out really good. Running the thing on the PS2 with enhanced mode on really doesnt help either, with just the textures looking just a tad less grainy then before, but I definitely running it on the PS2 if you have one, because it looks a lot better on that instead. Oh, I also want to add, that while playing 2 player mode, the fast frame rates had to come at a cost; which was the addition of loads of noticeable pop up and fog, and yes, Im talking about it pretty bad as in the N64 Cruis n USA level of fog and pop up. But also like in Cruis n USA, the pop up and fog doesnt take away from the experience of the game.
The first thing that youll notice about the game, is the really killer soundtrack of the game, which comes packed with 16 tracks by popular bands and artists like Papa Roach, Naughty by Nature, Consume, and many others, but my favorite band, Everclear, who just happens to have a new album coming out on Nov 21, 2000 (cheap plug of course), even though they have some good music to skate around to, I do wish they released a separate soundtrack though, because most of these tunes are great to listen too. Other sound stuff in the game, like most of the sound effects all sound appropriate and just like the real thing like the grinds, crashes, jumps, etc.
Like usual, Ill start off describing the game play by making the opening paragraph dedicated to talking about the controls of the game. The analog sticks on the Playstation Dual Shock controller allow you to freely skate around for free, 3-D movement. The developers at Neversoft got a really great button configuration too, they use the X button to jump, and the longer you hold it down, the higher you jump, while in the midst of your jump, you can press the square, circle, or triangle buttons to do tricks in mid air, which are awarded on a point scale, depending on how good the stunt is.
The game has a nice variety of modes. In the career mode you got a list of ten level goals to do, which can be anything from gaining a certain amount of points, are finding some hidden items within the two minute time limit, and by achieving these goals, you get awarded with cash for your skater to spend on buying stats to increase your skaters performance, or other hidden stuff like hidden levels or boards. For other one player modes, you got the Career mode we already discussed, plus the Single session mode, where you practice for two minutes in the levels you unlocked and try to break the computers high score, next up, we got Free Skate mode, which is just basically a practice mode where you practice stunts and so forth, before playing for scores in the other modes.
If you think thats it for modes, youre all wrong, we also got a plethora of two player modes. where we got all type of versus modes like, Graffiti, where you and a buddy skate simultaneously trying to tag objects on the course by nailing better stunts off of them, next theres Trick Attack where the two of you do as many tricks as you can and get the better score within the time limit, moving on, theres H.O.R.S.E (or any other word you want), where you do a trick, and your partner tries to match or beat the score on it, dont match the score and you gain a letter, whoever spells the selected word first is the loser, and finally we got the Tag mode, where you and a friend try to do as many ticks in a time limit when you are it.
This version of the game added a brand new create-a-skater(actually it might be in last years version, but Im not sure, but this part of the game is worth mentioning in the replay value section any ways), where you can build your own skater from scratch, customize his own stats, and buy more from him in the career mode. To up the replay value even more they added a brand new track editor, where you get to create your own skate park. Heck, its like a free lesson in game design. The track editor is easy to use and navigate, but you can only save one track per memory card save. Also add together the hours on end youll try to be beating career mode in solo, or all the hours clocked in with two players playing, and this game will probably have the most replay ability of any game ever!
+: Create-a-Skater and Create-a-Park modes; Career mode will keep you playing for a long time, as will 2-player mode, plus a killer soundtrack with 16 tunes
-: Lots of fog and pop up in 2-player modes, and I really wouldve kissed the developers if they had a 4 player mode
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.8
Replay Value: 8.3
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
I swear, I wouldve got this game for Dreamcast, because this versions graphics are pure Crap compared to the Dreamcast version of THPS2 (Think about it any ways, 32-bit compared to 128-bit). But the two game stores I was at when deciding to purchase this game (Sears & Software Etc.) only S.Etc. had the Dreamcast version, but for $55, Sears had the Playstation version for only $40, plus I had a $10 discount card to only get the game for just $30, but when running the game on the PS2, I get a small taste of what the Dreamcast version is like. But weather what system it be on, make sure to grab it, because this game is a hell of a lot better than the original.