Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 Review – Definitive 50 N64 Game #26
The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was a runaway success on the PlayStation, and became one of that system’s defining games. The N64 received a late port that, thanks to cartridge space limitations, had the audio quality severely reduced.
The game was followed by Pro Skater 2, which similarly came late to the N64 and with fewer songs, but at least it got a few extra features.
Pro Skater 2 picks up right where the first revolutionary game left off. Rather than racing – you explore intricate skate parks. Learning the locales and mastering the gameplay at the same time.
Most of the action in THPS2 takes place in Career mode. Here, you’ll develop your favourite skaters as you board across the world – locations range from Montana to Marseilles. Pro Skater 2 includes eight normal levels and two secret ones, one of which is not to be found in the PS1 version of the game.
In each level, you’re tasked with completing a list of small objectives, and given just a couple minutes to get anything done. It’s unlikely you’ll scratch off more than one or two of your to-do items in one go – and not without plenty of practice. Objectives range from finding certain sets of items, to performing specific tricks, to simply hitting high score targets.
Achieving those high score goals will also take yet more practice. You need to develop an understanding not only of what moves can be performed with each of the N64’s buttons, but also how those moves fit together with others to pull off ever more impressive and valuable tricks. Play becomes art with Tony Hawk, learning to chain together moves and really becoming one with the controller.
Each completed objective will earn you a little more money. Cash serves a dual purpose – you need it to unlock additional levels, and you can spend it on your skaters to boost their stats.
Pro Skater 2 comes equipped with both Create-a-Skater and Park Editor features. With Create-a-Skater, you can customize the appearance and stats of a skater to your liking, and in Park Editor, you can build the skate park of your dreams, or nightmares. Of course, you can also combine these two options for an extra fun time.
Due to Tony Hawk’s regularly scheduled lateness on the N64, as well as the poorer audio capabilities of the system, the Tony Hawk series just didn’t mean the same thing to the N64 that it did to the PlayStation. PlayStation became associated with the franchise, and that cachet of coolness came with it, even though the N64 got the same games.
The Tony Hawk lateness curse continued… Pro Skater 2 was already one of the last N64 games, but incredibly, it would not even be the last of the series on the system. That honour belongs to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, which released August 20, 2002, many months after even the GameCube version of the game. It would be the last N64 game.
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