Game Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Geek Specs:
Title: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Genre: Sports
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Release: June 11, 2001

Introduction: For the people out there who have played the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, you should expect the sequel to be no exception. With stunning graphics, 13 different pro skaters at your fingertips, and an amazing array of tricks and massive 3D levels, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater sets the standard for extreme sports games. Back in the early days of Playstation and Nintendo, the best skateboarding games around were ProSk8r, Top Skater, and the NES classic Skate Or Die. But they hardly produced real diecast skating. They were filled with boring levels, few skaters, mediocre graphics, and limited tricks. All of that changed when Tony Hawk was granted an oppurtunity to create his own video game back in 99'. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater delivered a swift kick in the ass to the extreme sports genre and gave Activision the edge over all sports games. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 simply adds to Tony's legacy.

Review: For some reason, Nintendo decided to create a handheld console with unfathomable power. Okay. That's a stretch. But still, the Gameboy Advance is a masterpiece of gaming technology. And Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was added to its gaming list mid 2001. Much like the Playstation version, THPS2 on the GBA delivers the best skating action around.

The game allows you to choose from 13 different pro skaters, including the legend himself, Tony Hawk. Then you can either Free Skate, Single Session, or begin a pro skating career in Career Mode. When playing Free Skate, you're allowed to pick any level, out of a total of six, already unlocked to you(levels are unlocked in Career Mode) and skate it until your wheels burn off. No time limit. This is good for scoping out levels before playing them in Career Mode.

The other option, Single Session, is just like Free Skate except you have a two minute time limit. This also prepares you for Career Mode in that you have a two minute time limit in both scenarios. You can also watch a replay of your skating when time is up in a Single Session. As for Career Mode, this is why most people buy the game. You select your skater and begin on level one. Before starting the level, you will see a checklist with ten goals. Each goal must be completed within the time limit, but you may retry the level as many times as you would like. Some are simple. Like getting the High & Pro Scores. To achieve those you must pull off tricks and gain more points than the scores listed. But some goals are more complex. Like grinding over the halfpipe rail or knocking over five barrels. You gain money for each completed goal and after you have enough the next level will be unlocked. Two of the levels are competitions where you faceoff head-to-head against the other pro skaters for the best runs. With the money won, you may also buy new boards, tricks, and player stats. Your stats will eventually be at full and you can ollie, grind, and skate faster than when you first started.

Overall, this is just a really great game. Obviously, since it's a cartridge, it doesn't have the cd quality sound that the Playstation delivers. It also has no 2-player mode or as many levels, but it definitely competes graphics wise. Just look at the screenshots. They're amazing!

Conclusion: I would recommend this title to practically anyone because its so much fun, but of course, the real skaters out there get more of a kick out of it. Download this rom immediately from Emuparadise. Also, grab an emulator for it, like Visualboy Advanced, from the emulator page. Enjoy.

Ratings: (scale of 0.0 - 5.0)

Gameplay: 4.0 Graphics: 5.0
The controls take a little while to get used too, but not a bad set up. What can I say, simply stunning.

Sound: 3.0 Overall: 4.5
The lack of cd quality sound attributes to this, but decent soundtrack. Great title from Activision, but not quite as good as the PSX version.

Written by Magus


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