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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – Nintendo 64

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – Nintendo 64

Platform: Nintendo 64

Developer:  Neversoft/ Edge of Reality

Publisher: Activision

Release Date: August 1st, 2001

Genre: Sports

Rating:  8.5/10

Reviewed By: Steroid Gamer

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was the follow up game to the hit smash Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (2000).  The Nintendo 64 version was released in August of 2001, nearly a year after the game’s initial release on the PlayStation 2 in September of 2000.  Some would say that this game is the ported version of the PlayStation game, which isn’t entirely untrue.  However, the biggest reason it wasn’t released at the same time as the PlayStation version is because Activision wanted the sales of the first game to increase and thought the first game needed more time on store shelves.  Either way THPS 2 is a heck of a game.  It takes the formula established in the first entry in the series and adds just enough to make it more than a copy and paste sequel.

I wasn't allowed to skateboard at my school.

I wasn’t allowed to skateboard at my school.

The big theme in this game is “more.”  Yup, that may sound silly, but THPS 2 just added a lot more content the second time around.  The game gets three new professional skaters, Eric Koston, Steve Caballero, and Rodney Mullen.  Big skateboarding fans out there will know that Mullen is considered the “father” of manual skateboarding tricks, so naturally developer Edge of Reality added in the “manual” trick option.  Manuals allow you to string various tricks together in one bigger, longer combo and thus, increasing your point score.

The gameplay hasn’t changed much from the first game.  You select your favorite skater and go from level to level completing a variety of challenges while receiving cash for each completed goal.  The cash you earn can be spent on new boards, access to new levels, and stats (that could then be assigned to various attributes of your skater like “Air”, “Ollie” “Flip Speed” etc).  Competitions make their return in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 as well, and they work exactly the same way they did in the first game.  On the surface THPS 2 may come across as “more of the same” or what today we would think of as a DLC expansion.  To be honest, that’s not an entirely unfair observation.  However, if you sit down and spend time shredding up the streets of Philly, or back alleys of New York, you’ll discover the game has more to it than meets the eye.

Who doesn't want to skateboard on water?

Who doesn’t want to skateboard on water?

The levels now have 10 goals for you to complete versus the five per level via the first game.  You still have to go find the hidden tape and collect all the letters spelling “SKATE,” but now there is a third high score to go for, as opposed to two scores in the original, a few more trick related goals, and a reward for completing a level to 100%.  There are also wads of cash scattered throughout each level that players can hunt down and collect.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 also introduced two “create your own” modes allowing you to make a skater or skate park.  If you’ve played later games in the franchise you’ll appreciate just how huge of an addition this truly was.  There was not an overabundance of options for your create-a-skater, but there was enough variety to make it fun bringing a skater to life using your own imagination, which could also be used in the create-a-park mode.  Here, players are given just about any and every option you would ever want to use in building your dream skate park.  Rails come in a variety of sizes and lengths, quarter pipes, pools, kickers, just about all of the items found from the game’s main levels are available for players to use when crafting their signature skate park.   The game also came with about 20 or so pre-made create-a-parks that you could skate around in.  The only real downside to the create-a-park mode was how limited each size of the parks where.  I often found myself having more ideas for killer trick spots than the space I actually had to work with.

Koston was on of three new pro skaters added to the game.

Koston was on of three new pro skaters added to the game.

The levels in THPS 2 are extremely varied, which in contrast, is something the original lacked.  From the infamous School II level to the sandy beaches of Venice beach, or even the dingy streets of New York lit up by street lamps in the night sky, each level had a distinct visual style and personality.  The game also had a killer soundtrack with songs like “Out with the Old” by Alley Life, “Cyclone” by Dub Pistols, “Bring the Noise” by Anthrax, and plenty more, it was hard not to get pumped when your favorite track(s) hit.

New York city has never looked better.

New York city has never looked better.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is also what I consider to be the first game in the series to show off its creative humor.  With goals like “Ollie over the magic bum,” draining fountains in Philly, or grinding rails to open secret areas, this was just the beginning of the series’ crazier goals.   Speaking of secrets, this game is absolutely filled with them.  There are a few hidden skaters to unlock and most levels have a secret area buried inside it.  Some of the hidden sections were hard to get to but when you do it feels so sweet.  It really is a “holy sh!t” moment every time you uncover a new treat.

If you were still looking for more to do, the game included a list of every gap in each level, so if you wanted to hit them all there was a handy checklist for you.  You could even edit the trick options for your skater, and the two-player modes from the first game make a return in THPS 2.  Also, those horrible “downhill” levels from the first game are gone, thankfully.  Unfortunately, if you weren’t a fan of the original then you’re not going to find much here to change your mind. The camera can still be irritating at times and your skater being glued to their board, as well as the overbearing time presence, give Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 its fair share of frustration.

What does the "BS" in BS 50-50 mean?  Does it have to do with bull excrement?

What does the “BS” in BS 50-50 mean? Does it have to do with bull excrement?

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 for the N64 may have been released a little time after PlayStation owners got their hands on the game, but the N64 version didn’t suffer from any shortcomings and proved to owners of the Nintendo 64 that the wait was more than worth it.  THPS 2‘s fresh new levels that were bigger, more varied and creative gave player’s a reason to pick up the latest entry in the skateboarding franchise. There were more goals to complete, and the new create-a-_____ modes provide more than enough exciting things to do in THPS 2.  The game still has its flaws, but if you’re able to overlook the bumps and bruises the game has and get back up from your bails, then you’ll find Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 to be more than worth your time.

Written by Sean Collins

Sean Collins

Sean Collins (aka Steroid Gamer) started playing video games when he was 8 years old. His first console was a Nintendo 64 and his first game was Mario Kart 64. He fell in love immediately and has been playing games ever since.

My current systems include; N64, Gameboy Color, Gamecube, Wii, 3DS, PS3, Vita, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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