Review by WainioTheMaster
"The wait for Tony Hawk 2 Advance is over, and to say the least, it ROCKS!"
The Hawk has already been a huge success on the consoles and pc, but now he's arriving at the Gameboy Advance and rounding up the usual suspects. If you played the GBC version of Tony Hawk, you may be a little skeptical on why this version will ''blow you away''. But trust me- this game delivers. While the Gameboy Advance isn't straight-out capable of making 3-D graphics, developers stretch appearances and make games with the optical illusion of being in a 3-D world interacting with 3-D objects. Tony Hawk 2 for the Advance stays true to that idea and the final product is an awesome game that looks and plays excellent. The main outlook is that the world is displayed at a fixed tilt. Sure this may seem annoying but it’s a great alternative to the GBC engine. The GBA version is nothing like its portable predecessor. Instead, it stays true to the great point system of the console versions. Which means all the moves are brought back with your favorite grinds, flips, grabs, and even manuals. Not only that, but the levels are recreated for the portable system and levels like the Hangar look surprisingly similar to the 3-D versions. And of course, it wouldn't be Tony Hawk without the butt-load of secrets seen in earlier products. This is one game that without a doubt will go down in portable gaming history.
First time you play it, one word will escape from your mouth--Wow. The hand painted environments look great and the semi-polygonal skaters look even better. Best of all the game plays unbelievably fast- the same speed of the consoles. The only thing wrong is the fixed perspective. It gets annoying when you have to go off a halfpipe that’s facing your direction. When you get near it, it turns transparent, but it still may take time to get used to. It'll get annoying when you----say, have to wallride a wall you can't even see for the cash above. Besides these minor faults, you should get used to it and it'll play fine.
Vicarious Visions did a great job making the games signature punk rock music for the small system. While it’s hard to make instruments like a guitar sound good on a GBA, they pulled it off. All the tracks aren't excellent, but some may catch your interest. The sound effects are top-notch on the GBA. I have to say it sounds exactly like the console version when it comes to SFX. A great advancement.
Since the GBA was made and set, Vicarious Visions made it what they thought was the simplest control scheme possible. But not to worry. If the controls aren't what you'd like them to be, you can easily switch them in the Options menu. This little feature is missing from a lot of great games and I'm glad it was included in this. I will say it’s hard to get used to playing especially if you spent hours with the controller on your PSX or Dreamcast. But it shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to nail it down.
GAMEPLAY/ REPLAY VALUE: 10/10
Excellent. One word can describe it. The game plays so much like the previous games that took the gaming industry by storm. It plays fast, is challenging but not to the point of annoyance, and is great to have on a rainy day. Most of all it’s just plain fun. That’s what video games are all about. One thing may disappoint you though. Actually, three. The Create-A-Skater feature is nowhere to be found, Park Editor was left out, and you can’t humiliate your friends in 2 Player mode. These features were left out so the game could be released as a launch title but the game still strikes gold. As for Replay Value, where should I start? I don’t want to ruin anything but I already said there was a butt-load of secrets. And even when you’re done with everything its fun to beat your high-scores and perfect your skills.
OVERALL: (not an average) 10/10
I was very excited when this game came out and so were a ton of other people who were anxiously awaiting this anticipated title. When it came out, the wait definitely paid off. If you’re a fan of THPS2 for the consoles, I know you’ll love this game. Only problems with it are the perspective and getting used to button location on GBA. Once it’s mastered, hang out for one of the best rides ever on a portable system.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/14/01, Updated 07/14/01
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