Tony Hawk's Pro
Capabilities: Memory Card & System Link Compatible
Review Written: July 8, 2002
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 was originally released in 2000 for PSX and Dreamcast. A year later the third game in the series came out for PS2. The X-Box and Gamecube launches had one week apart from each other. The Gamecube was set to launch with Tony Hawk 3, but the X-Box was getting a souped up version of the second game. It was called Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2x. Lets see if Activision managed to include enough extras to make this game worth the purchase.
Remember THPS2 on Playstation? Remember all the jagged graphics, and unbalanced base textures? Granted, it was the PSone at top performance, but looking back, those were ugly compared to the present standard. Now give those visuals a 128-bit make over, and that is what you got right here. There are no more unbalanced textures, and no more jagged graphics. The skaters in here look slightly better when compared to THPS3 for PS2 and GCN. You can make out all the designs on their shirts, skateboards, and so on. All their moves are animated to perfection. The ollies, grinds, and all the other tricks are easy to make out, and look exactly like the real thing. Youll see the pain when you wipe out, via the streaks of blood you leave behind. The developers at Treyarch and Neversoft did a great job giving the level designs a more polished look. Classic levels such as The Hanger and Bullring look exactly the way we remember them, but 100 times as better. The menu design got a new overhaul, and its easier to configure your settings and hop right into a game. Loading times are much faster than we remembered them too.
The sound effects from before are still intact. All the grinds, jumps, and other effects sound the same as we remember them. The game has the same soundtrack as the second one did. It consists of killer tracks such as Blood Brothers by Papa Roach, and When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000. More punk and alternative bands like Rage Against the Machine, Bad Religion, and Consumed also make appearances in the soundtrack. One major gripe I have with the audio department is the lack of one certain feature, and Im sure you know which one Im talking about. Its the ability to take advantage of the X-Box hard drive and used your own ripped tracks as background music in the game. Its very disappointing, considering how this game was boasting how many extra features it had than the other versions of Tony Hawk 2. My dream of playing the game to Everclear music in the background is still a dream. I am not a happy camper, Neversoft.
The developers made a great control scheme to use with the game. The ollies, manuals, nose grinds, and the rest of the tricks are easier to do than in the PSone version. You can combine just about any trick imaginable to make an even bigger trick. The more tricks you get consecutively, the higher your special meter builds up. Once it is maxed out, you can do a certain skaters specialty move. If you have difficulties with the controls at first, you can spend time in the Free Skate mode perfecting your skills.
The main way to play the game is the career mode. You must beat each level in the game which consist of several objectives such as finding hidden items, and performing a specific trick over a certain object. Besides clearing level objectives, you also have to compete in a few competitions. In these, you compete against other skaters to see who can have the best overall score in a series of three runs. If youre playing with a created skater, than you have the option of buying new gear and stats for him. The create-a-skater is a very cool feature. It doesnt have the same depth as other creation modes Ive seen, but whats here gets the job done. Aside from designing the body of your character, you can also can customize their stats and tricks theyre able to perform. The track editor is another great option. Do you want to create a park thats like the one in your home town? You can do it with the track editor. You can put in as many rails, half pipes, and whatever else the game has to offer.
The multi player is a lot better than we remember it from the PSone version. Why? Because it can be up to four players! Not even the PS2 version of Tony Hawk 3 is playable with more than two players. You can even up the ante to eight players if you have the X-Box system link. This is a great addition. Now you, and up to three of your friends can tear it up in the games various multi player modes. Theres the main trick attack mode, where whoever has the highest score at the end of the run wins. Graffiti is a unique option where you must tag an object in the level by getting the highest scored trick off of it. The person with the most tags wins. The popular tag and H.O.R.S.E. modes are also available for your leisure.
Activision sure did roll out the extras for this game. Not only do we have all the levels from Tony Hawk 2, but we also have all stages from the very first game as well. If that isnt enough for you, the game contains five levels that are exclusive only to the X-Box. It just doesnt get any better than that. The multi player is as good as before with now four people playing simultaneously. Its rare if you can find enough room and resources to afford system link play. However, if you have a broadband Internet connection, than you can play online. What? You didnt know you can already play certain X-Box games online, even though the X-Box Live network didnt launch yet? Thanks to the Gamespy network, it makes any X-Box system link compatible game online ready. Its a bit complicated to get a game started, but once you do, youll be playing for hours. Just trust me on that one.
+: Enhanced graphics, five exclusive stages, now four people can play on one console, system link/online play can make it up to eight
-: You cant add your own ripped music in the background, the game seems like filler for the THPS3 release
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 9.1
Replay Value: 9.5
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
Activision did a marvelous job on this game. The exclusive levels and four player compatibility is a great touch. Playing the game online is an unforgettable experience. Its just too bad Activision released this when THPS3 was already out on two other consoles. This game just ended up as filler so Activision can make even more money when they released Tony Hawk 3 a few months later. If youre like me, and didnt feel like spending $50 on Tony Hawk 3, then go ahead and buy this game. I got my copy for $20 brand new. Im sure you can find it somewhere around that price too.
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