Review by mononoke86

"Did Tony perform his 900 on the GBA or did he bail?"

Frankly all other games of this genre on handheld systems have been crap, THPS2 has hopefully turned things around and other companies will follow this awesome example.(Matt Hoffman!). This was the first game that I got for my Game Boy Advance and good thing I did because it kicks ass.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are beautiful. I can’t think of any more stunning graphics on a handheld. Somehow Activision made Tony look 3D while not actually being 3D. It’s hard to explain. The camera is in a fixed position at an odd 3/4 view. So when you go behind something you can see yourself through the object that would be blocking you. At the character selection screen the player models look excellent but they don’t have actual faces(???). At the board selection screen they look almost the same as on the Playstation. Oh yea, they kick ass.

Note: I have also heard that the actual gameplay graphics out-clock the GBA hard ware and chew up the batteries a bit faster. Don’t worry, you will still get at least 13 hours of battery life.

Sound: 9/10
Once again THPS2 sets the bar again with the best sound on any handheld system that I’ve heard. (Wait and see if they port Chrono Trigger to the GBA, than it will have a contender). Too bad they couldn’t duplicate the exact music ‘cause listening to Rage Against The Machine while grinding my heart out sounds kick ass to me. (I can always listen to my CD player if I want to). While listening to the music you can distinctly tell the diff between the guitars, bass, and drums. The only thing that keeps this score from being perfect is the lack of tunes. Don’t get me wrong they sound great but with only ten you get tired of the same thing repeating. (Once again if you need to just use your CD player).

Control: 8/10
The controls are spot on while you kick, grind, and grab Tony for some huge air. Well, most of the time- one thing that bugged me was it was hard to perform kick tricks while using the diagonal directions on the D-pad. The other thing was because of that 3/4 perspective, some tricks were awkward to land and perform. Hey, I still topped my high score from the Playstation version at a new record (for me anyway) at 1,200,000 without cheating. I have yet to know of anybody who has bested my high score though I am sure some of you have and that some of you lie when you tell me you have. Sorry I had to brag.

Gameplay: 9/10
Did you read the rest of the review? The gameplay is what makes Tony the best. You can tackle the game however you want as one of thirteen default characters and 2 bonus (You webslingers know who I’m talking’ about). There is one course to start out with but as you move through the game you unlock other courses. There are six in all plus one bonus for completing the game 100% Everything is all good until you have to 50-50 Joey’s Sculpture which is a real drag because of that darn 3/4 perspective again! No biggy, you’ll get it eventually. Best of all once you beat it you can just go to free skate and trick your heart our while waiting for someone to pick you up or something else to happen.

Multiplayer: N/A (I guess it should be 0/10 but I’ll let you decide)
Too bad, this could’ve topped another best for a handheld if there was someway to connect using the link cable. I’m surprised they even had room to fit a battery in the cart with so much going on in THPS2.

Frustration: 2/10
Wow, the lowest score, who would have thought with all the positive things to say about Pro Skater that…wait…oh yea, this low score is a good thing. Only problem? You guessed it, the 3/4 angle. You’ll get over it.

Should you buy Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for the Game Boy Advance? Unless you have some sort of prejudice against this genre of games go for it. If you’re still not sure, hell, why not rent it?

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/18/01, Updated 12/18/01

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