" You will play until Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (Wheels of Blood…Do you hear me, Activision? WHEELS OF BLOOD!) is released. "
Title: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 by Activision
Format: PSX sports
Reviewing Monkey: Cornelius
The Hype: Tony’s second round in the ever-competitive realm of skater/extreme sports games. Activision’s first attempt was the best skating game ever; will this be the sophomore jinx? Read on monkey faithful, for the omniscient Cornelius has the answers you long for.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: The poor PSX is at its wits end. For a seven-year-old system the graphics couldn’t be any better. And yes, Activision did the right thing; all the skaters bleed after a particularly nasty crash just like in the first one. In fact the crash animations are half the fun of playing the game. Maybe on the third version the damage will be cumulative, with skaters slowly devolving into bloody meat bags. They could call it Tony Hawk 3: Wheels of Blood…But I digress. The skate parks all look great. Although some are rather dark, the overwhelming multitude of levels more than make up for some under-lit parks. The only serious clipping issues I found were when you try to make your own skater really fat. His arms tend to meld with his love handles and the blocky graphics of the PSX are hideously apparent, although a monkey who knows his big red butt from a banana won’t blame this on Activision, rather primitive technological capabilities of the PSX. Otherwise tricks look great, the skater animations are very smooth, and there is almost no clipping. Really a commendable job for the system it plays on. 5 out of 5
Sound: One of the best aspects of the game. Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy with Anthrax, and Cypress Hill to name a few add their touch to the game. It is actually a good enough sound track to throw into your CD player and, well…skate to. The sound effects are decent, if somewhat monotonous. There are just so much of wheels on pavement sound I can handle before going into the now infamous "Monkey Death Rage." In Mr. Hawk’s defense though, I return to the crashes, where the dull thud of a head slapping on a half pipe is quite gruesomely gratifying. Enough so that I again say Wheels of Blood could take off. The sound track alone gives Tony a 5 out of 5.
Game Play: Controllability was the reason Tony Hawk’s first game was head and shoulders above the pack and it holds true in part two as well. The skating is fluid and fun, while remaining challenging. Activision added a new trick to Tony’s already impressive repertoire called manuals. Manuals allow tricks to be linked across flatlands (a feat impossible in Tony Hawk 1) and allows some of the most disgusting trick combinations since the last Game Monkeys meeting where Dungapult tried to teach the Load Bearing Monkeys how to juggle flaming poo. The career mode is great and the build-a-skater is excellent. Many options and styles are at your disposal so let the tweaking begin. The only thing I found to complain about is that it takes an awfully long time to improve your skater, with money being hard to come by, and levels difficult to master. On the plus side it keeps the game really challenging without making you feel dumber than you are. 5 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: There are some insanely large levels in this game and by the Great Monkey are they fun. With 8 pre-made parks ranging from and airplane hanger to a bullfighting ring…With everything, and I do mean everything is skate-able…How much would you be willing to pay? Two bananas? Four? But, before you answer consider this, there is also a fantastic park editor, complete with two more demo parks! Now how much would you pay? That’s right, little monkey…You’d pay more than your miserable life. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the parks are all fully explore-able, with lots of hidden areas, and very fun overall. It’s everything you could possibly want…except maybe a real girlfriend. But would she be able to pull a 360 fakie stale fish off a half pipe? I didn’t think so. Besides, you are ugly. 5 out of 5
Multiplayer: For the solo simian the obligatory career mode and free skate are included, but the two player is where the fun begins (really, when isn’t that true). Four different game modes are unveiled, and by the Great Monkey do they rock. Horse and Tag are my favorite of the four. Yes, they play just like they sound. Also included are a trick attack and a game called graffiti. Most of the games are about pulling the most deranged combos possible and humiliating your pathetic friends until they cry. The biggest problem here is a serious lack of weapons. 4 out of 5
Replayability: You will play until Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (Wheels of Blood…Do you hear me, Activision? WHEELS OF BLOOD!) is released. And even if you don’t the music is worth listening to over and over again. There are enough secrets and unlockables to keep it fun for quite a while. 5 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: Just because this is a sports title doesn’t mean that a story line is completely unnecessary. At least let me climb through the pro ranks. I’m sure Activision used up all the room on the disk with all the other features, but there will be no excuses! The monkey has spoken! 1 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: Doing the tricks is pretty simple; mastering the tricks is another matter (and yes, you will try and master them). And now we have the added fun of trying to throw manuals into the mix. Surprisingly the instructions do not throw a lot of skater lingo at you, in a pathetic attempt to give a video game street credibility. In fact I think I only saw the word "sick" once, a refreshing departure from the usual drivel that we here at GMM have to pour over. The tricks could have been explained much better however. 4 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: For a game as taxing on the system as Tony Hawk the load times are surprisingly low. Not only that but there is no lag while playing, even on split screen, all in all a damn fine job. 5 out of 5
|Far and away the best skating game on the market, it's an excellent sequel that actually improves on the original...Not an easy feat. Accept no imitations and Tony Hawk 2 may even help you be a better skater, more popular among your peers, and let you get a girlfriend.|
The Good: There has never been a better skating game.
The Bad: Waiting for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3: Wheels of Blood...If I say it enough times it may come true.
The Overall Ugly: Whether you skate or not this is the game for you.
What it's Worth: The 50 bucks it will cost you plus a 3-dollar tip.