Game Over Online ~ Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (c) Activision, Reviewed by - Prolix

Game & Publisher Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (c) Activision
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 233, 32MB Ram, 350MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 95%
Date Published Sunday, November 12th, 2000 at 07:55 PM

Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

With the advent of "extreme" sports becoming more and more popular, we are finally starting to see console and computer games that reflect the intensity and skill of these unique sports. By far the most noticeable title so far has been Tony Hawk, which came out originally on the Playstation and later on the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. Its predecessor, Tony Hawk 2, has made it around to every gaming platform this time. Typically, when a game is launched on multi-platforms, it is doomed from the beginning due to its lack of complexity and depth. However, Tony Hawk 2 is an exception, due to its lack of a console feel and solid gameplay reflecting on the sport of skateboarding.

Tony Hawk is quite possibly the world's greatest skater, so it is only natural that he has own video game. The first Tony Hawk was nearly flawless. It contained a vast assortment of tricks, realistic locations, and professional skaters. This time around, Tony Hawk 2 ups the ante and comes complete with an entirely new set of tricks, levels, skatepark editor, and a few new skaters to boot. New locales include: Ventura Skate Street, Love Park, Venice Beach, Bullring in Mexico (famous skate vid spot), Chopper Drop (another famous skate vid spot), a school in southern California, the streets of New York, and Marseille, France. In addition to new parks, Tony Hawk 2 also contains a few new skaters in addition to the old cast; Koston, Cab, and Mullen. Perhaps the best aspect of Tony Hawk 2 is the skatepark editor, which lets you create any kind of skating environment you desire.

If Tony Hawk 2 lacks one thing, its solid graphics. Don't get me wrong, they aren't horrible, they just could have been a lot better. After playing both the Dreamcast and Playstation versions of this game, I have come to the conclusion that the PC version is smack dab in the middle of the two. Despite my computer's ability to produce graphics nearly on par with the Dreamcast, I felt a little disappointed to see that the PC version didn't look quite as good as on the Dreamcast. The game does, however, represent the skaters and the locations very well. After visiting several of the real life skating locations, I must say that the creators of Tony Hawk 2 did a very good job recreating the locations. The skaters themselves look very realistic and move with great fluidity while doing tricks.

The gameplay in Tony Hawk 2 is perhaps the most solid and entertaining to date. I can literally spend hours each day playing the same level because there are so many trick variations and combinations to perform, the possibilities are limitless. The main concept of the game is to skate and score points, this is done through tricks. The tricks range from flips and grinds, to grabs. Each button press and directional movement results in a different outcome. Quite frankly, I find skating for points boring. The game offers a free skate mode where you aren't timed and the points you score doesn't really matter. Perhaps the best new aspect of the game is the skatepark editor. With this tool, players can create the skateparks of their dreams and actually skate them. The editor is very functional and user friendly so even the most technically challenged individuals will find themselves at ease.

A word of caution, don't get Tony Hawk 2 unless you have a decent gamepad. Trying to skateboard with a keyboard is nearly impossible and it takes the fun out of it. I used a Gravis GamePad Pro (approximately $15) to play the game, and I had no difficulty whatsoever. The soundtrack is decent; it features an array of music styles from punk to rap. Personally, I would stick with one type of music, but then again I could just be the minority.

Much to my dismay, Tony Hawk 2 for the PC lacks any type of serious multiplayer options, even on the same computer. The only supported multiplayer is through a LAN, which most people don't have access too. I was really looking forward to playing this game against other people on the Internet. The lack of multiplayer definitely brings down the replay value of this game.

When the first Tony Hawk came out for Playstation, my life, and everyone else's I knew, was devoted to it. Tony Hawk offered something new and innovative. Tony Hawk 2 offers even more of the same qualities that made the original Tony Hawk a winner. For whatever reason, if you haven't played Tony Hawk, I would highly recommend picking this game up. If you own a Dreamcast and a computer, I would advise picking up the Dreamcast copy, just because it looks better. Tony Hawk 2 offers amazing gameplay with no serious flaws and that makes it one of the best games of the year.

[ 50/50 ] Gameplay
[ 08/10 ] Multiplayer
[ 08/10 ] Graphics
[ 10/10 ] Sounds
[ 09/10 ] Controls
[ 10/10 ] Bugs


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