RETRO REVIEW: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Whilst Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (THPS) made a huge impact on the industry, it wasn’t until THPS2 was released that gamers were blew away with just how good a skateboarding title could be.
Ultimately, gameplay is the same as its predecessor, meaning you must complete goals within a two minute time limit, whether it be to simply score a certain amount of points or ollie over homeless people. It’s true. This time around, new pro skateboarders have been added to the already impressive roster, including Rodney Mullen (YouTube him, you’ll be mesmerised), Eric Koston, and Steve Caballero.
Giving you the opportunity to create your own skater, the customisation options might seem limited these days, but back then it was incredible to be able to put yourself in the game. That is, if you wore a beanie hat and baggy jeans – if not, you won’t be able to create anyone who slightly resembles you.
Now you’ve made a skater, it’s time to get your career started. Starting off on the iconic Hanger – a small and simple level that gives you the opportunity to get accustomed to the game’s mechanics, whether it be performing air tricks, grinding rails, or the newly added manual system. In addition to the main goals, each level has cash to collect, which once collected, counts as a completed goal, but also gives you extra cash to buy stat upgrades and special tricks.
With the introduction of being able to now manual, you can chain tricks together for maximum score. This certainly promotes hours of time spent in the game’s high-score mode, trying to beat your own score so you can show off to your mates. At least, that’s what I did back in the day.
It’s worth knowing what your special tricks are as they will give you plenty more points than the average Indy or 50-50. I usually put any grind specials to up down triangle or the opposite as it makes the button combinations so much easier – same goes for other types of tricks, whether it be air or manual and their respective face buttons on the controller.
The game will take you to the likes of New York City, Marseille, Venice Beach, and even Skate Heaven – a utopia for skateboarders everywhere, apparently. Each level has staple goals such as collecting skate or getting a “sick score”, but they will also have certain goals that represent that level’s theme. In New York, you’ll have to find subway tokens, whereas in School II, you must wallride school bells.
Since its release, THPS2 has increasingly been known for it’s soundtrack, including the likes of Bad Religion, Papa Roach, Anthrax, Millencolin, Lagwagon, and many more. The earlier THPS games certainly played a role into getting people into “different” music, myself included.
Considering THPS2 was released almost 15 years ago, it truly stands the test of time – still extremely fun, challenging, and very nostalgic for many. Do yourself a favour and play this on the PlayStation, definitely not the handheld version.
Worth Playing Today: Yes. Just…yes.
Available On: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Windows PC, Xbox, Gameboy Colour, Gameboy Advance, iOS
Released: 2000, PlayStation