Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is an extreme sports/skateboarding video game that was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision in 2000 and 2001. It is the second installment in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series of games. It is first released on the PlayStation and eventually ported to the Sega Dreamcast, PC, and Game Boy Color in 2000, and later to the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64 in 2001.
Why It Rocks
- Refined the gameplay of its predecessor by expanding the number of tricks available.
- Objectives have been expanded from 5 per level to 10, giving the player more to do. These include:
- Performing a trick in a certain spot.
- Collecting 3 or 5 items in the stage.
- Grabbing all of the cash icons in the stage.
- Finding the SKATE letters.
- Introduced the "Manual" in which the skater pops their board up on two wheels; this increases combo potential considerably.
- Superb graphics for its time, with detailed environments and memorable set pieces, such as the Banks area in New York.
- Completing the objectives in each level now gives cash rewards. This can be used to buy new tricks, gear, or upgrade your skater's stats.
- A great soundtrack that mixes hip-hop and punk rock. Among the soundtrack are "Bring the Noise" by Public Enemy feat. Anthrax, and "Guerilla Radio" by Rage Against the Machine.
- Completing all objectives in each level and winning 3 gold medals in skate competitions unlocks new skaters, cheats, and new stages. As a result, there is a ton of replay value.
- Has a deep customization system; you can create custom skaters, parks, trick sets, and buy new gear.
- Multiplayer returns, along with Graffiti, HORSE, Trick Attack, and Free Skate modes.
- New to the series is a Level Editor, in which the player can create and customize their own skate parks.
- The game is very well optimized, maintaining a solid framerate throughout, and loading is relatively quick.
- Some stages now have hidden areas. Many of these have cash icons hidden within, so you're encouraged to search the levels for these.
- If you beat Career Mode with a custom skater, Spiderman becomes playable! He comes with his own Special moves, and even has his own skater video.
- Excellent controls, that feel very responsive. While they feel tight and precise, Neversoft loosened the physics to allow for bigger scores and combos.
- Perfect difficulty curve. The game isn't too easy but it never gets too hard, nor does it ever feel unfair.
- Later levels become bigger and more open compared to the earlier ones. Even still, you will never feel restricted in any way and you have complete freedom in the levels. There are also no limits on the order in which you can fulfill the objectives presented in each level.
- Improved graphics compared to the fifth gen ports of THPS2.
- Unlike the fifth gen versions, the grind balance actually have a meter to show your balance.
- Not only does it contain Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, but the game also has the same goals from the first Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game. The score goals from the original game have not been changed, and are now easier to reach because Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 has a manual move while THPS1 didn't.
- The game has a multiplayer mode with up to four players.
- The game has a system link feature where you can play with up to eight players.
- Tons of unlockables.
- The menus are completely changed.
- The game also includes bonus levels to play in career mode.
Remake (applies to THPS1 as well)
- Players can now perform Reverts, Spine Transfers, and manipulate Grinds, Flatland Tricks, and Lip Tricks by tapping buttons.
- Increased roster of skaters, including younger skaters like Nyjah Huston, Riley Hawk, Lizzie Armanto, Aori Nishimura, and a handful of others.
- The new physics make pulling off certain moves like reaching the valves on the balcony in Philadelphia from the ground much easier.
- The soundtrack has been expanded to feature more modern rock and hip hop tracks.
- The addition of challenges to add even more replay value.
- In the original release, Grind and Lip tricks lacked a balancing scale; while it is easy to tell when you're over-balancing in a grind, it is near impossible to tell if you're about to bail from a Lip trick. These balance indicators are now in THPS 1+2.
- The GBA port has a worthless unlockable level known as "Rooftops".
- The Nintendo 64 version has inferior graphics, the movies are missing and despite having an improved audio quality than the first game the soundtrack still limited compared to the other versions.
- For a while, the remake had universal Tour progression; in other words, if you complete both Solo Tours with one skater, you couldn't replay it with another skater. Patch 1.09 fixed this though, and Solo Tours are now replayable.
- Big Drop is still present.
- Two bonus levels in the game do not have goals in career mode for some reason.
- It wasn't released outside of North America, meaning that fans of the Tony Hawk series who live in Europe, Oceania or Japan will not be able to play it (unless you can find a disk that can bypass the Xbox's region locking function).
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was met with unanimous acclaim, with the PlayStation version getting the highest rating, and is considered one of the greatest video games of all time. With a score of 98/100, it is among the highest-rated PlayStation games ever, as well as the highest-rated sports game of all time. The PC, GBA, and Dreamcast versions also received universal acclaim, scoring 91, 95, and 97 out of 100, respectively.
All versions were praised for their addictive gameplay, graphics, soundtrack, controls, and large environments. The Nintendo 64 version was criticized however for having an inferior soundtrack and visuals. It is the lowest-rated version of the game at 84/100
As of September 2007, THPS2 sold 5.3 million units across all platforms.
- Due to licensing issues, only 2 tracks from the original release are missing from the remake's soundtrack, those being BlackPlanetMusic ft. Alleylife's "Out with the Old", and The High and Mighty's "B-Boy Document '99".
- Although the classic songs were censored to give the remake a T/12 rating, Consumed's "Heavy Metal Winner" contains an uncensored use of "balls" despite it being censored in the original version.