Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review #377: Tony Hawk's Underground 2

 Stands tall as the peak of Tony Hawk's games.
 Now this, this what I think about anytime someone brings up Tony Hawk. Fast, simple gameplay, ridiculous goals and a very immature sense of humor. Realism is thrown out the window, this game embraces what's made the Tony Hawk games so good before and delivers what I consider to be the finest in the series.

 There're two main modes to choose from: Story Mode and Classic Mode. Story Mode centers in a contest around the world between Bam Margera and Tony Hawk, with your own custom skater caught in the middle. It's a hilarious, ridiculous, if short, adventure that has you seeking secret skaters and secret vehicles while trashing everything around you. You'll spend time raising the dead, throwing shrimp at lifesavers as well as playing chicken with a stampeding bull. To cal it over the top is an understatement. But hey, maybe, just maybe, you don't enjoy Tony Hawk post THPS3, and that's fine, THUG2's got you covered with Classic Mode, featuring repurposed levels from the Story Mode as well as 7 new levels(Remakes from levels from THPS 1 to 3) as well as the 2-minute, multiple objective structure.
 Story Mode is a blast, you'll never be doing the same thing for too long, and every level lets you skate with four different characters: Your custom skater, a pro, a guest and a vehicle-character. Vehicle Characters come with their own set of wheels, from karts to rocket-propelled wheelchairs, and they control well enough, save maybe Steve-O and his bull. The character creator is fairly robust, so you'll be able to create something to your liking. I found it brilliant how you develop your stats in story mode: By accomplishing feats, like grinding for X amount of seconds, landing X amount of grabs in a single combo, etc. This lets you raise your stats at your own leisure. You could pretty much max your stats on the first level, or you can ignore it and develop it as you accomplish goals. In Classic Mode, however, it's back to finding stat points hidden throughout the levels.

 But what really makes Tony Hawk's Underground 2 my favorite game in the franchise are its levels. There's so much variety, and every level stands out from each other... well, at least as far as Underground 2's exclusive levels go, but hey, the retro-levels selection is pretty good as well. These new original levels feature all sorts of landmarks that make them so memorable and fun to just fool around in. It helps that there's a ton of secret skaters to unlock by completing both classic and story modes in different difficulty settings.
 But maybe you are the creative type? That's just as fine, create-a-park returns as well as create-a-trick, and now you can even create your own goals, with a few types that didn't even make it into the story mode. Basically, if you like to create? The game's got you covered. You like Multiplayer? You're accounted for as well, featuring the classic suspects like HORSE, or even 2-Player free skating. You like Classic Tony Hawk? It's got you covered as well. You like Modern Tony Hawk? Enjoy. There's something for everyone in here.

 I don't know what else to say, I love Underground 2. If I was to complain about it, it'd be about the short length of the Story Mode, since it's what I enjoyed the most. Regardless, if you like Tony Hawk's games, Underground 2 is a no brainer.
 9.0 out of 10

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