No matter what new system comes out, there is bound to be a Tony Hawk?s Pro Skater title to be released on it. The PSP is no exception. The series has released its first Tony Hawk title upon the PSP?s launch. Tony Hawk?s Underground 2 Remix is the first skateboarder for the PSP, but is it as good as the other Tony Hawk titles?
As the title says, it?s THUG 2, but remixed. Basically, Neversoft and Shabba (both developed THUG 2 Remix) ported Tony Hawk?s Underground 2, but added tons of new characters and a few new levels. The new exclusive levels include Las Vegas, Atlanta, Kyoto and Santa Cruz. As for the new characters?well, there are just too many to name.
Tony Hawk and Bam Margera have split into two teams (Team Hawk and Team Bam) to wreck havoc on the world. It?s your turn to cause complete mayhem. Choose your character?s appearance and then get ready to cause pranks and impossible stunts on the cities you travel to around the world. It?s Team Hawk vs. Team Bam on the World Destruction Tour!
Gameplay in Tony Hawk?s Underground 2 Remix has gotten a bit stale. The first installment was a great step up for the franchise, but Tony Hawk?s Underground 2 Remix doesn?t really introduce anything to make the game more entertaining. Sure you can spray graffiti on walls and sticker slap things, but do you really need to do all this when you skateboard?
Though the ported levels from the original THUG 2 may seem a little boring and small, the new levels are actually pretty fun and unique looking. There are also events that happen in certain levels that change the look of the environment. For example, Kyoto is a massive level where you can summon a great monster (like Godzilla) to stomp out a part of the level. After the monster?s footprint is in the ground, you can now skate inside of the footprint as if it were a bowl. Some levels are also pretty detailed and fun to play in.
Each level has certain objectives each skater on a team must complete. When you complete these tasks, you earn team points. The missions usually consist of throwing objects at people, going for a big combo, grinding off of something, or performing a certain trick. Though the missions get more fun throughout the game, they can become repetitive. Goals include doing certain tricks or hitting certain gaps, landing tricks to a beat of a stereo, wrecking some part of the city, or throwing objects at random people. After a certain amount of points, you can advance to the next level after a short cutscene. When the story takes a small turn however, you are faced to complete an ?equalizer.? The equalizer is a massive stunt you must pull off to advance to the next level. Hanging on to a helicopter and dropping in to a quarter pipe is one example.
If you don?t really like the new style of gameplay, you can always play classic mode. Classic mode features all of the levels from story mode, but the player is limited to only two minutes. I played this?but I wasn?t satisfied. It seemed that the goals weren?t too direct, and I didn?t know exactly what to do. I had more fun free skating.
One thing that makes gameplay better is the multiplayer. You can now play over 10 multiplayer games wirelessly against friends. If you have friends with this game, you can have a lot of fun with THUG 2 Remix. I enjoyed making goals for a level and emailing the saved file to a friend to complete. Another thing that makes the Tony Hawk?s Pro Skater game better are the ?Create-A-Modes.? You can now create goals, graffiti designs, stickers, decks, and skaters on this handheld. Customizing each part of the game brings nothing but pleasure. The slow motion effect was pretty damn fun to use also. When you fill your special meter up, you can do tricks in slow motion. This also made it easier to balance while manualing or grinding. I also thought that the face mapping was an extremely cool feature for this game. You can upload an image of your face on your memory stick and place it in the game. Very cool.
The THPS series has always been known to have great bonuses and unlockables. This game is once again, no exception. This has a gigantic amount of secret skaters to unlock, including Shrek (Dreamworks movie)! Not only that, but you can also unlock levels from previous Tony Hawk games. I enjoyed playing the Airport ([THPS 3) level a lot.
Now one of the major flaws in THUG 2 Remix are the graphics. I noticed a lot of texture problems. When skating around, I saw blurry walls, and sometimes buildings just turned into black blobs. Also, during the cutscenes, for some odd reason the character?s eyes bulged out of their skulls. I found this extremely annoying.
Other than a few major graphic problems, the game has a few audio issuses. One of the biggest reasons is lack of voiceovers. That means you won?t hear any sounds of pain when your skater falls. You won?t even hear pedestrians talk or the goals being read to you. This is where most of the humor from the previous games came from. The soundtrack is also pretty bad. I loved the previous THPS game?s soundtracks, but this one is just awful as it is overloaded with crap metal and junk punk.
The final flaw I found in this game were the controls. If you?ve never played a THPS game before, they probably wont bother you, but if you?re like me, that means you use your index finger to grind with a shoulder button. Because of the PSP?s design, it?s very hard to do that. Also, the analog stick is a bit confusing. During gameplay, it?s used to rotate the camera while on your board, and used to control the player when you?re off the board. During WiFi play, you can?t rotate the camera at all because it?s only used for controlling your character. This becomes quite confusing.
Overall, Tony Hawk?s Underground 2 Remix is a great game for first time players. But keep your eye out for the future release of Tony Hawk?s American Wasteland.