Review by MysticSyphon
"Fun, Portable, and one of GBA's finest so far!"
Another installment of THPS 2 has hauled its way onto the GBA, this game is a definite must-buy launch title. Stunning graphics, extremely addicting gameplay, and smooth controls make this port an instant classic.
THPS2's gameplay and fun factor is unprecedented to any other skateboarding game out there. There are 3 modes to choose from: Career Mode, Single Session, and Free Skate. Career Mode is the main part of the game, in it, you basically choose a skater and earn money to unlock more tricks, levels, secrets, and other extras in the game. Single Session and Free Skate are mainly for practice purposes....people that have never played a THPS game should spend some time in these modes. There are dozens of things to do in this game, while it's trying to earn money for better tricks, perfecting your high scores, or challenging yourself to beat the game with every skater, you'll find yourself having fun every minute you play.
The first time I played THPS2, I said to myself, ''These graphics are on a portable system? The graphics are simply stunning (although a touch under PSX and N64, they are the best on the GBA so far, IMO), Vicarious Visions did an excellent job of putting great detail into the game. The animations are smooth and very realistic. As other reviews have said, THPS2 truly pushes the GBA's graphical capabilities.
The controls are simple and easy to learn. The default controls are: A - Grind, B - Jump, L - Flip Tricks, R - Grab Tricks. Like the graphics, the controls are very and responsive to the game, every trick from the PSX's version is availiable. Once you get used to the game's awkward camera angles, you'll find yourself pulling off all sorts of tricks.
Music is probably the game's weakest category. The hip-hop and rock songs have been taken out and replaced by lyric-less music beats....not really catchy, but it isn't so tedious that'll make you try to pull your hair out. The sound effects in the game have been transferred directly from the PSX and DC's versions, whether it's Tony Hawk grinding on a halfpipe or Bucky Lasek muttering ''Ugh!'' as he takes a nasty spill, the sound effects are as realistic as they've ever been.
THPS2 has close to unlimited replayability. After completing Career Mode(which by the way, will take you quite a while), you can still achieve more by unlocking cheats, raise your high score, trying to discover more tricks, up your players stats....this game will keep you busy for quite sometime if you take the time and effort to try to unlock and complete everything.
Buy, Rent, or Stay Away:
This depends if you own the PSX/N64/DC version of THPS2. If you do, I would advise you to simply rent it to get a taste of it....there's not really a reason to buy it besides the fact that it's portable...other than that, it's not really any way superior to the console versions. But if you have never played a Tony Hawk game in your life, run to your nearest retailer and buy this game right now!, it's well worth the money.
THPS2 is one of the best games out for the GBA right now, it demonstrates the power of this amazing portable system. The game's few and minor flaws are outnumbered by its good points. Pick this one up, you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/30/01, Updated 08/30/01
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