PS2 Reviews: Tony Hawk's Underground 2
The Final Say!
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
- reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: October 2004
Review Score 9.2/10
Not Based on an Average
Distributed By: Activision
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Holy smokes! It's
back and bigger than ever for your skating pleasure. Each year I
cannot wait for the latest Tony Hawk title from those legends at
Neversoft and every year they don't disappoint me. Here's what I
thought of the latest incarnation of the title.
Yours Truly (and
yes even the leg tattoos are pretty accurate to the ones I have in
For starters, this
game is big folks, really big. So big that it needed two teams of
skaters to compete against each other in a World Destruction Tour!
Team Hawk and Team Margera are traveling the world racking up
points and the loser is gonna have to pay the travel bill! Levels
are really well thought out and asides from a bit of problems with
regards to drawing distance and animated objects, this game is one
sweet looking beast.
One other thing to
look at is the character editor. I was able to make a replica of
myself very readily to the point my three year old thought it was
great that her dad was in a skating game when she saw it.
There are two ways
that you can play this game; either in Story Mode where you'll
follow the general storyline and be a part of all the excitement
and action. The game sees the return of you playing yourself and
your so called friend Sparrow from the first Underground with the
difference now that you are both pro skaters and the other pros
know who you are even if they don't necessarily think that highly
One of the things
that surprisingly enough I was really looking forward to was
skating as the pros in the game and not as myself.
Sounds weird but the
way I look at it was that I am probably never going to skate as
good as these guys and to take control of the characters and their
abilities was for me, simply sensational. All of the pros and
celebrities that took part or feature in this title did their own
voice work and the face mapping of all the characters is pretty
much spot on throughout, which helps drag you even more into the
fun of the storyline.
During each level you
need to find the pros on your team, special guests and secret
skaters that will unlock more tricks and goals for you to do. By
pressing the O button you can switch to the new character and then
go berserk with him/her/it which is loads of fun. I prefer the
Story Mode to the old fashioned Classic mode simply due to the
fact that I want to explore the world I am skating in, not simply
find my way around in a panic while the two minute timer ticked
down. It's neat that it's back in the game however I'd play that
after story mode if I was playing this title as a consumer rather
than a reviewer.
There are a number of
new moves that have been brought into this game including stuff
like the Barf Grind (discovered in Berlin when Bam grinds whilst
in special and vomits on cops) and also the Natas Spin where you
have to find Natas Kaupas who will teach you how to spin on fire
hydrants and poles. It's a neat move and also pretty random where
you'll get thrown off when you decide you want to get off the
pole. Speaking of Natas, I just finished watching him do that spin
in the old school DVD Santa Cruz movie Streets on Fire.
Some of the tasks in
this game are going to annoy the heck out of the core skate crowd
who might play one game only being this one. Throwing spray cans
at taggers and other odd jobs won't win over these kids who are
looking at that side of things however it's all good and a lot of
fun. The tasks are varied and levels do lend themselves to some
pretty sweet lines that you will need to find to get some great
combo scores up.
that is brought in as actual gameplay (it used to be a cheat) is
the Focus move where you get Special then hit L3. Everything slows
down and you can see in amazing detail the level of animation that
is in the game. This is a great way for you to learn how new
tricks work and to get a better feel for the game in general. It's
how I first picked up the best ways to rack up huge points doing
manual combos as you can see how one flows into the next for the
best effect. Not only that but it'll also let you see your points
tallying up faster so you know what works when you are really
going for it.
If you are lucky enough to have broadband, take this puppy
online for a bit of fun too as the game is designed for online
play. I like to hook up a USB keyboard and chat as I go. There
is a bit of lag in getting into a game and when new players join
your server, however for the most part it is a lot of fun that
will only stand to make sure that this game stays in your PS2
for even longer. We haven't reviewed the XBox version of this
title and are not sure if it's online or not, though from what
I've heard, it isn't. fun form that gamers can lose themselves in
as a good little distraction as you play your way through an
entertaining experience. Recommended.
- Tory Favro
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