On this day, September 20th in the year 2000, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 released, and changed the world of skateboarding games forever. Sure, we had the original game in 1999, but THPS2 perfected the formula, bringing with it a more amazing soundtrack, and turning friends into living room rivals for high scores. It is also one of the highest rated video games of all time, currently holding a 98% on Metacritic.
Set in various open world environments, you would play as an existing pro skater or one that you created yourself. Ollie, grind and trick your way across each of the levels, finding the best lines to complete combos and rack up the highest scores possible. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was the first game in the series to introduce Create-a-Skater and Park Editor features, both of which have remained in the series ever since.
Each stage tasked you with completing multiple objectives in a two minute time period, although you didn’t have to do them all in one go. Collecting the letters S-K-A-T-E would have to be done in one session for example, but you could achieve the high scoring targets in one run, collect the letters in the next, and find the hidden vhs tapes during another session. Some skate park levels tasked you wish obtaining a high score to win a medal, and only then would you advance to the next level in the game.
The game was simple to play, with left and right directing your skater, and each face button on the controller doing either a jump, grind, flip or grab trick, when pressed with a direction on the controller. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 also introduced the Manuals, allowing players to quickly press down up or up down to manually balance your skater on two wheels to continue your combos, which has been carried into every other skating game on the market, including EA’s excellent SKATE series.
As mentioned above, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 also boasted a brilliant soundtrack, which easily surpassed the first game’s selection, adding more tracks altogether, and more memorable ones. Here’s the full list of songs on the game:
|1.||“Guerrilla Radio”||Rage Against the Machine|
|3.||“Bring the Noise”||Anthrax featuring Chuck D. of Public Enemy|
|4.||“When Worlds Collide”||Powerman 5000|
|5.||“Pin the Tail on the Donkey”||Naughty by Nature|
|6.||“Blood Brothers”||Papa Roach|
|7.||“B-Boy Document 99”||The High and Mighty featuring Mos Def & Mad Skillz|
|8.||“Heavy Metal Winner”||Consumed|
|10.||“Five Lessons Learned”||Swingin’ Utters|
|11.||“Subculture”||Styles of Beyond|
|13.||“Out with the Old”||Alley Life (feat. Black Planet)|
|15.||“Evil Eye”||Fu Manchu|
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 also came with a bunch of secret codes and unlockables. Disco mode, Always Special (for unlimited character special moves, Kid mode, moon physics, the game had it all. Completing the game in various ways, with all skaters and 100% completion would unlock 80’s Tony Hawk, Officer Dick, and even Spiderman as secret characters.
Multiplayer modes consisted of skating at the same time to get the highest scores in splitscreen, and then there was HORSE, where one player would perform a trick, and the second player had to copy them. If unsuccessful, the first player would gain the letter H. If the second player matched the first player, they would set the bar with their own trick, and whoever completed the word ‘HORSE’ first, would win the game.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series stopped at 4, before we had American Wasteland, Underground, and the Shred series which involved a motion skateboard that somewhat flopped despite two efforts by Activision. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 releases this holiday, promising to return the series to the greatness it once possessed. Unfortunately, Neversoft are not making this one, as the studio has dissolved and the staff have now been absorbed into Infinity Ward, making Call of Duty titles.