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Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2
"Tony Hawk set the standard on skateboarding games to begin with, and Activision continues to do so with this new title. It's addicting. You'll want to go back again and again to get better. "
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Developer  Neversoft Game Type  Board
Distributor  Activision Review Date  Sep 00
 
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Review:
 
This is the much anticipated sequel to the award winning Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and as the name suggests this is a skateboarding game loosely based around the skills and techniques of one of the worlds greatest 'boarders.

To save going over old ground again, if you are one of the few who missed the last game, it's worth you checking out our detailed review to get a better idea of how this game works.

Graphically THPS2 is so good that you will no doubt find yourself checking your machine to make sure it hasn't been swapped for a PS2. Our little grey box just was never meant to be able to display visuals of this quality without sacrificing speed or performance.

The camera follows your skater from behind, staying roughly centered behind him and creating a huge field of vision - great for plotting and planning your moves around the various skate-parks.

The polygons used to render the characters and background are rock solid and seaming / break-up is almost undetectable. They even put the woodgrain on the plywood boards and show wear marks where previous skaters have used the board. All surfaces are instantly recognizable and give the proper feedback to the controller.

The sound FX are all excellent too. The skate sounds all differ based on the surface you are on. Background music is provided by a high quality soundtrack of various hip-hop and grunge tracks which are rotated often enough to maximise the time taken to get tired of them.

This game its-self is very easy to get started and up to speed. You have several options, Career Mode, Single Session, and Free Skate. Career Mode is where you unlock the additional skate parks. You unlock the skate parks by winning money by reaching certain goals for the level. They range from points scored in a round to collecting bonus items, to grabbing floating cash in certain areas. Once you receive a certain dollar amount, you unlock the next level. The money is used to add tricks, or upgrade equipment.

The controls are very intuitive and easy to master. You will be grinding on everything very quickly. You'll quickly find which key combos work in each area. This will help you reach your various goals. It also doesn't hurt to read the manual to make sure you're not missing any helpful tricks. One nice thing is occasionally on the screen, a tip will pop up to help you learn about certain maneuvers in this game.

The physics of this title are the most realistic of any skating game I've played. You're not going to do anything that is physically impossible. Land sideways, and you fall off the board, just like in real life. Land on a big air jump, and you're likely to ditch unless you niggle the controls just right. Enter the quarter pipe at the wrong angle and you land on the ground on your butt. You get the picture.

Features:
 
The most comprehensive roster of pro skaters ever, including three new pro skaters. Skate as Tony Hawk or as a "dream team" of 12 other pros including Elissa Steamer, Rune Glifberg, Jamie Thomas, Bob Burnquist, Geoff Rowley, Andrew Reynolds, Chad Muska, Kareem Campbell and Bucky Lasek.

An innovative skatepark editor allows players to build their own custom parks from scratch. Real-time 3D editor allows players to create their dream park from over a hundred different parts including ramps, rails, funboxes, obstacles and quarter pipes. Players can save their personal skatepark to a memory card and trade with friends.

Total character customization. This new customization feature allows players to modify the pro skaters' clothing and trick sets or build an entirely new character from scratch.

Tight controls and an intuitive trick/combo system allow players to pull off innumerable grabs, slides, grinds, flips and other skate tricks. An increased number of tricks and combinations - including new grabs, grinds, inverts, manuals, and lip and nollie tricks - plus enhanced skating physics lend to the games realism and challenge players to master new skills.

Real world courses in international skate parks/areas including the Marseilles Skatepark, Manhattan, Skate Street Ventura, and Love Park in Philadelphia. Each environment will be filled with secret areas, short cuts, ramps and interactive objects that allow players to trick off of just about everything in sight.

Additional multiple game play modes. An all-new multiplayer competition mode lets players compete with and against up to seven opponents in a judged skate competition. Plus a brutal version of skate "tag" and an enhanced version of H-0-R-S-E. Additionally, the game also features an improved in-depth career mode as well as a replay mode where players can view the highlights of each run.

Authentic in-game manufacturers, lifestyle licenses and alternative music soundtrack

Options:
 
• Number of Disks: 1
• Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 1
• Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 2
• Multi-tap compatible (max players): No
• Link-cable compatible (max players): No
• Split screen multi-player option (max players): Yes (2)
• Other accessories: None
• Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes
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Summary
Tom D   "Tony Hawk set the standard on skateboarding games to begin with, and Activision continues to do so with this new title.

It's addicting. You'll want to go back again and again to get better. It's not one of those frustrating games that piss you off and you just try to get through the level to move on, instead you'll want to go back and do a free skate to hone your skills.

Its so easy to start playing, but spend some time learning the various moves and it will reward you in ways other 'boarding games can only dream of.

This is a PlayStation classic, I fully recommend you check this out. "
Graphics  19/20
Playability  47/50
Sound  9/10
Lastability  20/20
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