Gamestyle Archive intro: it‘s easy to forget how huge the Tony Hawk’s series was and the impact it delivered. The sequel to the massive debut just didn’t cut the mustard on the Dreamcast.
Published: February 2001
VERSION: PAL DC
ACCESSORIES: VGA, Vibration, VMU.
RELEASE: Out Now
It shouldn’t work, but somehow Tony Hawks 2 is very addictive, going up those ramps and performing tricks became the must have game last year. So the sequel to the very successful Tony Hawks is here already complete with new options but is it more of the same or something new?
The control system has been retained from the original with a few minor adjustments to what was already an excellent design. At first the targets that you need to achieve in order to progress to the next level may seem impossible. Using the single session/free skate modes you will be able to put in the necessary practice and pull off those rewarding and high scoring combos. Tony Hawks isn’t easy and does require some thought and skill, which is what makes it so playable.
A new addition is the Park Editor allows you to create your own level for amusement or tailored to your preferred style. If you prefer grinding to high jumps then you can develop and re-edit to your hearts content. This mode has plenty of options without being too detailed and is a welcome extra to the overall package. Adding to the sense of involvement you can now create your own skater, cool or nerd, its up to you. You can define everything from your hometown to the colour of your pants or even hairstyle. Cash won in the career mode can be spent on new items such as boards, trucks and sponsors at the skate shop. The customisation of your skater isn’t purely visual, you can purchase tricks and statistics to improve amongst others your scores, speed or hang time.
While this is a good solid, playable game, some of the hype it has received has been ridiculous. The main fault is that the game is basically a PSone conversion and it shows. The resolution is very low and other effects such the lighting are not far removed from its 32bit cousin. The Dreamcast can produce wonderfully detailed and coloured games but Tony Hawks 2 is dull, dull, dull in comparison and that goes for the menus as well. The levels are well designed and can provide a variety of challenges but the level designers colour palate must have consisted of greys browns and blacks! The sound again doesn’t take advantage of the Dreamcast’s excellent sound chip, game sounds are bland, background noise during the levels is minimal and the third rate punk wannabe’s begin to bore and annoy very quickly and I like my punk rock.
Tony Hawks 2 is unrealistic when compared to MTV Skateboarding for instance as your skateboard feels as if it has a rocket strapped to it. The game camera can also be problematic when making tight turns and more views would have been welcome. The two player mode is fun while it lasts, yet it is very limited but at least the developers have hidden away videos, levels, characters and boards for you to pursue.
In the end it’s the game play that saves this, I dare say, cash in sequel. The learning curve may prove too steep for some (especially if this is your first experience of Tony Hawks) but for those who excelled at the original and want more of the same – here you go.
More Tony Hawks 1.5 than a true sequel 6/10