Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - PC - Review
Tony Hawk is top of the charts once again, this time with his sequel to his first successful title Pro Skater. I once read an article that asked why Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 are so good. The answer is that Tony works alongside the development team and gives info and support. Tony only puts his name on the best and seems to have a knack for knowing what is needed for a good game. Although Pro Skater 2 looks and feels like a console game, that shouldn't deprive us computer players the thrill and excitement of putting our big butts in the air and falling on our heads. Computer players need to get out of the mind set of keyboard/mouse controls and dust off those sidewinders cause your going to need them.
The original Pro Skater was so fun you didn't think it could get any better; we were wrong. The sequel to the best skateboarding game ever has added larger areas to skate in and the ability to buy stats and tricks for your skater. This allows you to specialize in your favorite moves or maybe add a little bit of everything to your list. When you buy stats, your player gets physically better in whatever you purchased, such as: hang time, speed, or ollies. After building your player up to the limit of some stats, you can do 720s with ease. You also have the ability to buy special moves, but can only use two at a time while playing. The ability to customize your look and skateboards is also included in your options. All the skaters are back with some hidden people also. The great movies are there and are unlocked as you progress through the game. Along with all this customization, you also have the ability to design your own track. The tracks can't be as elaborate as what's included in the game, but they do allow some great area designs using ramps and obstacles. As much personalization you could ask for is included in this game.
The map areas are massive with more than one level at places. The hidden areas and items are plenty and it takes some skill and practice to get them. The graphics are a bit sluggish and remind you constantly that this is a console game. The 1024x768 resolution does help, but doesn't eliminate the rough edges to the game. The models are excellent and look great pulling off their tricks. Overall, the graphics are less than desired, but the fun exciting gameplay allows you to ignore the small flaws in an almost perfect game.
The sound and music are great. The sound effects are your usual bone crunching, head pounding, and blood squirting yelps of pain found in other games. The soundtrack to this game is an excellent choice to complement the game's action. I also found a neat trick online that allows you to convert your favorite mp3s to your background music in the game using RadTools. My game played better with Creed in the background for some reason.
Gameplay is second to none. There is not another game out there that gives you as much action at such a high speed than Pro Skater 2. The controls are not hard to pick up and only really consist of 4 main buttons. I would recommend using a gamepad instead of the keyboard. I tried both controls, and the keyboard took too much away from the game. Along with Freeskate and Career modes, you also have multiplayer through LAN or Internet. The multiplayer only consists of two player competitions and wasn't very good with poor lag and dull interaction with your opponent. The single player game more than makes up for any inconveniences that the multiplayer has.
Overall, the game is almost near perfect. Only small flaws and nuisances take away from the game. The high flying no holds barred action is more than enough to make up for any problems the game might have. If you buy one game this Christmas season...Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 better be on that list.
Install: Easy, CD is required to play
Gameplay: 9.8, Fun action. Multiplayer takes off just a little with its not-so-par performance.
Graphics: 8.5, Great detail to models and levels. The game just graphically feels like a console title.
Sound: 10, Awesome sound track and the non-printed tip on how to make your own.
Difficulty: 10, The game is just hard enough to make you keep trying to get those rare tapes and money.
Concept: 10, Although other games try...they don't come close to what this game offers.
Overall: 9.7, If you don't get this game...you're missing the point of playing games.