got into skateboarding soon after Back to the Future hit
theaters and got out of it as soon as I found out I was too chicken to
pull an Ollie on a paved surface. I had a beautiful board that rode
like a dream, but my imagination was too good. I was able to see just
a little too clearly the consequence of a misplaced hand plant or a
mistimed kick flip. I had no desire to impart my flesh to the asphalt.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 on the Game Boy Advance has only served to
validate that fear and will probably keep me from letting my kids get
anywhere near a skateboard. But it shouldnt be too painful for them
as long as I let them play this game. THPS will give you all the
thrills of extreme skateboarding with none of the hospital bills.
Hawk Pro Skater 2 plays like a dream on the Game Boy Advance. Even
after seeing the screen shots and reading some of the previews, I was
surprised by how impressive a game it was when I plugged it into the
system. For a while now, people have been singing the praises of THPS
on every system (except the Game Boy Color). It is a game that has
single-handedly redefined a genre. I never thought that it would be
possible to translate the addictive, insane feeling of the earlier
console versions to a handheld system, but Im happy to report that
the GBA version is completely faithful to the spirit and gameplay of
the original. It tweaks with the graphics, but is still a beautiful
thing to look at.
most already know, the GBA doesnt have a 3D chip, so the designers
opted for a cutaway perspective for the levels. The faux 3D
perspective works amazingly well. In some ways I preferred it to the
camera work of the console versions. I found that a better sense of
the level design allowed me to plan out tricks further in advance. The
level of detail in the skater animations is also very impressive. I
quite was happy with the number of different wipe out details that
were included in the game. When you blow a combo, you really can feel
music for the game is also some of the most impressive that Ive
ever heard on a console. The sound effects are nicely executed as
well. People should also be very happy with the level design. The
amount of detail crammed into each room is a little overwhelming.
Theres lots to explore and lots to unlock. It might have been nice
to have a multi-player or park design option, but I wouldnt have
noticed their absence if others hadnt mentioned them. This game
really has everything a skateboard game should.
It may take a little while for THPS
veterans to get a handle on the new control scheme, but rookies should
actually be able to pick it up fairly quickly. I was surprised at how
quickly I was racking up the cash and pulling off sweet grinds all
over the levels.
has got to be incredibly difficult to make a skateboarding game that
works. Its got to be even more difficult to make one that works on
a handheld, but the folks at Activision have done it. If youre a
fan of the game and need a portable version to get you fix on the
road, then this is a must have. It is easily the most impressive
launch title for the GBA, and if there are faults with the game, they
are so minor that I promise you wont even notice.