Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Review by VeNoM
"Tuesday's with Tony, GBA Style"
Yea, sure, the DC and PSX versions maybe be better, but for a handheld, this is a ton 'o' fun.
-13 pro skaters to choose from
-Free skate mode, where you can practice your tricks
-Works amazing with the L and R triggers
If you already purchased the PlayStation or DreamCast version, you're not missing out on much. But if you didn't (and I know you did), you will want to pick this game up right now (don't walk, don't run, don't drive...well, yea, drive, but speed :P). The gameplay is amazing. First starting out with several modes, including Free Skate. But then ActiVision wants to add to that, including 13 pro skaters and their boards. In the original mode, you have to do things such as collect the letters S-K-A-T-E, and reach a certain score, but if you're new, be sure to check out Free Skate right now, and practice your tricks.
What amazes me is how ActiVision can cram such beautiful graphics into a handheld. Oh, well, to my point, the graphics are amazing. While it's not like the console counterparts, it gives you a 3/4/bird's eye view look, which in my opinion, does the job, and does it well. ActiVision uses all of GBA's power, and definitely makes one of the greatest looking handheld games of all time.
Since now, GBA has a couple of triggers, ActiVision puts them right to use, making THPS 2 fully controllable, with the 4 buttons. As for using the D-Pad, it's not too bad, but using an accessory (I think it's called a Face-Mask), you can turn the D-Pad into a joystick (a la DreamCast), which allows better control. For me, I often forget the button configurations, so at the last second, I press the wrong button (which sucks), but for you, I don't think it'll happen. Overall, great control.
The music isn't all that, but it delivers. The intro song sounds familiar, and it sounds great (especially on speakers). The SFX were pretty damn great. You could hear creeks, wheels, and of course, the painful bails :). While ActiVision didn't have enough space to put in the popular (sorta) songs in, the in-game music is replaced with original midis, which are really not that bad.
Difficulty Factor: (8/10)
This is right where it should be, and I think it's close to the console version. But a sentence can sum it easily: easy to learn, difficult to master. Any rookie to the series can pick it up and start having fun, but only die-hard fans will land every trick in the game. Pretty good overall.
Multiplayer Options: (0/10)
I was surprised actually, for it to be a (great) 1-player game. THPS 2 could've easily earned a 10 by having some kind of multiplayer support, but instead, it didn't. This would've definitely been better if you could challenge your friend, or someone. Oh well, hopefully in later versions there would be a multiplayer.
Bottom Line: (9/10)
A great skateboarding game no one should be without. Crisp graphics, original music, and awesome controls are definitely the key(s) to making a great game, and once again, ActiVision has done it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/30/01, Updated 08/30/01
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