Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
|Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2|
North American PlayStation cover art
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS, Nintendo 64, Xbox, iOS|
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is a skateboarding video game, the second in the Tony Hawk's series of sports games. It was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision in 2000. It was first released for the PlayStation, with subsequent ports to the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, and iOS. It also was released for the Xbox on November 15, 2001 as part of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x collection featuring the first two Pro Skater games.
The player, playing as a professional skateboarder (either real-life or created) completes a number of tasks which result in cash rewards. With money gained, the player can then purchase skill improvements, better tricks and skateboards. Pro Skater 2 was also the first game in the series to introduce the manual, a skateboarding trick where the performer balances on two wheels. This improved players' ability to string together high-scoring trick combos. Many new tricks were introduced for the first time, as was the option to edit the combinations for tricks. It was also the first of the Pro Skater games to feature Create-a-Skater and Park Editor features, now staples in the series. Three new professional skaters were introduced to the series on this game: Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, and Eric Koston.
Most of the levels in Pro Skater 2 are designed for the player to complete 10 tasks in a two-minute time limit. Such tasks include finding the five letters of the word SKATE, finding 5 of an object specific to the level (hall passes in the school level for example), three tasks related to the score (as opposed to two on the first game), a particular grind, and finding a hidden tape somewhere in the level. Cash is also scattered around the levels in order for players to find, with a bonus once the level is fully cleared. Once a player has enough cash, they can continue on to a new level. The maximum amount of money that can be obtained in a single skater career is $150,000.
The other type of levels are competition levels, which consist of three one-minute sessions, from which the player can only advance once they have won a medal, which also comes with a cash prize depending on which medal was won. At the end of each session, five judges score the round, with only the best three scores counting. The rating by the judges that a player receives in a competition is based on how much they score, variation of tricks, bails, and how much of the level they have used. The lowest score is then taken away at the very end of the competition, leaving the average of the other, higher two scores as the final result. There are three minute-long runs in total. Competition levels also contain hidden cash like the regular levels.
The game was originally scheduled to be released along with the PlayStation version, but delayed to allow further sales of the first THPS for the console. Almost a year later, the game was released by the same company that brought the first Tony Hawk game to Nintendo 64, Edge of Reality. This version includes all of the features from the PlayStation version, including the Create-a-Skater and Park Editor. In addition to visual improvements (less jagged, smooth) like the Nintendo 64 version of the first game, a new level called Bike Headquarters (from Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX) was added. Also added were a few new cheats, such as the 10x Point Multiplier and Max Turbo Mode codes. The number of songs was reduced to six and portions of each one were cut for appropriateness.
Pro Skater 2x
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x was released on November 15, 2001 (only in the U.S. and Canada) as a launch title for Microsoft's Xbox. The game is an enhanced port of Pro Skater and Pro Skater 2, and includes five new levels, a 4-player split screen and LAN multiplayer feature and the ability to make female characters in Create-a-skater mode. Other new features include redesigned menus and the addition of visible balance meter that appears while grinding, which is absent in the previous versions.
Through his Twitter account, Tony Hawk announced a port of Pro Skater 2 for iOS. It would be developed by Activision and would launch before the end of March 2010. The iOS version of the game was released by Activision in the U.S. App Store on April 1, 2010 and subsequently into other regions. Unlike other ports, this game's only playable modes are Career Mode, Single Session, and Free Skate Mode along with options. Create a Skater, Create a Park, and levels Chopper Drop and Skate Heaven were removed in this version of Pro Skater 2. The original soundtrack was also removed and replaced with new music. Slight changes were made to the appearances of some of the pro skaters to account for changes of their sponsors since the original game's release. The game is playable on the iPhone, iPod Touch and also the iPad. In 2014, it was removed from the AppStore.
Game Boy Color/Advance
The Game Boy Color version (developed by Natsume) was better received than the first installment on the handheld. In spite of that, it still bore little resemblance to the other versions of the game. The Game Boy Advance version (by Vicarious Visions) received particular acclaim for being an accurate translation of the series, translating the 3D gameplay into isometric format.
A port of the game, based on the PS1 version was also released for Windows on October 24, 2000. Notable about this version is the presence of three levels from the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (Warehouse, Chicago Skatepark, and Downhill Jam).
In the United States, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2's computer version sold 320,000 copies and earned $8.0 million by August 2006, after its release in October 2000. It was the country's 58th best-selling computer game between January 2000 and August 2006. Combined sales of all Pro Skater computer games released between January 2000 and August 2006 had reached 440,000 units in the United States by the latter date. Also in the United States, the game's Game Boy Advance version sold 680,000 copies and earned $24 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the 38th highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable in that country. The game's PlayStation version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
Pro Skater 2 was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, greatly surpassing its predecessor. According to GameRankings, as of October 2013, it is one of the highest rated video games of all time and one of the highest ranking video games of fifth generation for PlayStation, holding the score of 94.75%. It also holds a score of 98, making it one of the highest rated video games of all time across all consoles and platforms, on Metacritic, Pro Skater 2 along with SoulCalibur, and Grand Theft Auto IV are ranked second behind The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot praised the PlayStation version, awarding it 9.9/10, saying As most major publishers' development efforts shift to any number of next-generation platforms, Tony Hawk 2 will likely stand as one of the last truly fantastic games to be released on the PlayStation.".
The PlayStation version of the game received a score of 10 out of 10 from the magazine Game Informer, while the rest of the other versions for other consoles received lower scores. In Japan, Famitsu magazine scored the Game Boy Advance version of the game a 33 out of 40 and The PlayStation version of the game a 28 out of 40. In the final issue of the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, the game was chosen as the 7th best game of all time. Game Informer named it the fourth best game ever made in 2001. The staff praised the game for its growth over its predecessor and its impact on its genre.
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