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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Nosegrind, Bluntslide, Ollie, Boneless, Wallride. If none of these terms sound familiar to you then you haven’t had the opportunity to dive into all the tricks that made Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater so much fun to play. Well, you’re in for a treat, because Activision and Neversoft have given loyal playstation junkies the power to place themselves in the talented shoes of some of the most influential skateboarders, including the games signature player and father of modern skateboarding, Tony Hawk.

To kick off the game, players must choose from a variety of play options based on single or two-player modes. In single player mode, you get a pick from three basic categories: Single Session, where you choose a single level and a two-minute time limit to perform your best tricks in an effort to set high scores; Free Skate, which provides practice for some and just plain fun for others giving each player the opportunity to skate as long as they like preparing their tricks for competitions or simply learning the limits of the terrain; and finally Career Mode, the chance for you to show your pro skater abilities and compete for cash money which you can use to buy new equipment, unlock levels, buy tricks and increase stats to get into elite competitions.

Two-player and multi-player modes offer, in my opinion, the majority of the game’s entertainment. If you can coax a willing friend to take you on in the skate park, there are four amazingly fun categories to choose from: Graffiti allows you to set your own time limit and push the limits in a split-screen race to see who can nail or steal the most tricks before time runs out; Trick Attack allows competing friends to take part in a total free-for-all to see who can skate the best lines and rack the most points; Horse is well, just as you remember from basketball, where you literally get a chance to spell defeat in this one-on-one best trick contest. Nail a trick, then watch your opponent try to beat it or watch them get a letter; and finally Tag is just how it sounds. If you don’t wanna be “It” then you’re gonna want to tag other players. When you are “It’” you have to bust tricks to gradually cripple your opponent’s stats until you’re back on top. But watch out, because if the timer hits zero while you’re still “It”, you lose.

Well, if you’re not a pro at this whole skate thing like me, then a few handy tips are just what you need. To get a top score you’ll have to start thinking about your “line” and mix up your tricks a bit. Try tricking into and out of every grind and only use special tricks for huge scores. Using the R1/L1 buttons will allow you to spin faster making your big spins even bigger. Because remember, bigger spins net bigger scores. Also remember that every trick in a combo adds to your multiplier, so use manuals to keep your combo going across flat ground sections. I would also suggest using Nollie tricks more and tricking across gaps to maximize your combos. Every little trick helps when it comes to your overall score. As a final tip I would watch your Special Meter carefully; when it’s glowing yellow your adrenaline’s pumping and you’ll be able to perform your special tricks with a little more “oomph”.

The game level layouts were one of the most fantastic aspects of the game. Not only do you get to traverse the fine rails, stairs and lines of Southern California schools, but you get to take a visual trip to France, New York and Venice Beach as well as the opportunity to ollie over the benches of Philadelphia’s Phillyside and shred quarterpipes, rails and kickers in a semi-abandoned bullring in Mexico. Of course, if you want to see each of these levels you need to try your talents in career mode; no tricks, no money, no travel.

Although it’s tempting to play in the shoes of greats like Tony Hawk, Chad Muska and Steve Caballero, the game does give you a chance to create your own legend (or legends). With the addition of Create Skater you can build a custom character from scratch and add him/her to the skate roster. All skaters in the roster are available in all game modes and you can edit existing skaters in your slots or import a skater from a different saved file into a slot in your game. When creating your ideal skater, don’t forget to make them talented and trendy. When it comes to the personal menu and appearance it’s up to you to give him a name, hometown, stance (goofy or general), specialty, and weight. From here you can alter everything from skin tone, head style (cap color, if you wear one), torso style, logos and tattoos to shirt and pants color, shin/socks and shoes.

Stats increase your skater’s performances so remember to be picky when altering your preferences. There are ten stats for each skater: Air affects the boost you get; Hang Time affects the length of time you stay in the air; Ollie affects your ground jump height; Speed affects your flat ground speed; Spin affects the speed at which your character rotates (remember to max it if you want the big spins); Landing affects how easily you nail big drops; Switch determines how well you skate when you’re skating switch; Rail Balance affects your ability to balance on rails; Lip Balance shows your balance for lips (remember the higher the stat the longer you can tweak lip tricks, which equals more points); and Manual Balance shows manual balance (the higher the value, the easier you’ll be able to balance manuals). As a tip, don’t forget that in Career Mode additional stat points can be purchase cuz in the end, money gets you everywhere and everything.

Okay, so you can edit and buy tricks, uniquely create your very own skater, compete against friends or foes in a variety of gaming modes, but this game has one other incredible feature. In addition to skating some of the most legendary skate spots in the world, players can create their own dream parks in realtime 3D using a variety of ramps, rails, kickers, benches, pools and many other objects with a virtual tool box containing over a hundred different parts. All creations can be saved and used over and over again and can be played in any game mode, so you can enjoy your creation alone or share it with a friend.

In the end I think you’ll have more fun vicariously living the experience through this game than joining in the real thing. And skater or not, this is definitely a good time for any game player. Every camera angle gives the game a more realistic feel and the graphics are every bit as amazing as seen in the original Tony Hawk’s. The Soundtrack offers 20 alternative and hip hop tracks that feather bands including Papa Roach and Rage Against The Machine and real skateboards, trucks and wheels can be found from over 50 different brands. Every detail of a trick is perfectly executed and when your skater falls, you’ll see and hear the enhanced bails, nutters, knee slides, pole wraps, board breaks and wall splats. Trust me, in this game “ouch” takes on a whole new meaning.

I rate Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 a 10/10.

Review ID Number: 494
  Product Details
Review Date: 2002-02-05
Reviewer: Kristin Sardy
Rating: 10 out of 10
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