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The refreshing thing about THU is the choice between story mode and classic mode. In classic mode the levels are focused around goals, in story mode the levels are focused around story based goals. If you want to play both modes I advise completing story mode first if you have never played a THU game. Classic mode is more difficult as it requires you to pull off more difficult
tricks and combinations.
As with most THU games on the PC the controls take a little bit of getting used to on the keyboard. I did however dislike the graphics, most THU games don't have fantastic graphics but for the time the graphics on this were quite poor considering some of the cards available at the time.
Overall it's a fairly decent TH game but TH games are just the same old thing rehashed but even if you like the old TH games you might not be a fan of the style of the Underground games though personally aside from the graphics I don't think there's much not to like. 4/5 instead of 5 due to poor graphics.
I am also a member of Ciao and have posted this review there.
I've played and loved all of the Tony Hawk games so far, some on the Playstation / PS2, some on the Game Cube, and some on the PC.
This one though, is simply the worst of the lot. I could even say it's just not a good game full stop, although I'm torn about going quite that far.
Under any other name it MIGHT, just MIGHT have qualified for the title of an OK game, but as a Tony Hawk game it is a HUGE disappointment.
=====WHAT IS THIS GAME?======
The Tony Hawk games allow you to start as a new skateboarder, and progress up the ranks learning tricks and combo's until you become a Pro. Some of them also allow you to play an existing Pro skater instead.
There's secret tapes to gather, combos that get you more points, and 'special' tricks to unlock.
It's basically a skateboarding extreme sports game - do tricks by pushing buttons in the right order and get ranked on how well you do.
The older games were fun to play, but most of the re-play value was in the multi-player games like 'HORSE' where two or more players would compete to get the highest score they could in one combo.
The loser would get a letter out of a given word, such as 'horse' - the first person to get all the letters loses the entire round.
======WHY IS THIS GAME BAD?======
Tony Hawk's Underground, introduced a plot to the game. This plot wasn't anything special, but it was vaguely interesting and engaging - it certainly let you feel you had something to do, and to work towards.
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 continues this on in that it has a plot, but it's tried to combine the plot and the old style free-roaming levels together. You complete a certain number of tasks in one free area to unlock either another person in there who will give you more to do, or another area to travel to.
This is similar to the Vice City games, but something about the way they have done it makes it less fun.
That's not may main problem though.
The controls are terrible - really, really terrible - and they aren't that easily configurable either.
This game was obviously written for the console then ported over to the PC with no thought to the fact that we need a different control system - you skate with the W A S D keys and do tricks by pressing a combination of keys on the numeric keypad.
Between differing keyboard sensitivity levels, repeat rates, and what I assume is just poor coding, it is almost impossible to do certain tricks or specials on the keyboard. Play the same game on the console and the same tricks are a lot easier.
========OKAY... ANYTHING ELSE?=======
The graphics. They are so bad it is unbelievable. I have a GeForce 5900 with 256Mb RAM, I have a AMD 3000+ processor - I didn't get a machine like that to play games that look like they were released years ago.
Tony Hawk's Underground on the console (Gamecube in my case) wasn't anything fancy, but it was clean and polished. It looked like they had put some effort into making it look good.
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 looks BAD, it looks like it was done for the Playstation 1 and ported right over - not even the Playstation 2!
To give an example of how unfinished it is, in the opening cutscene a van drives into a garage - you get a texture hole so big when the camera pans to the rear of the van that you can see through it and out into the garage again.
This is a CUTSCENE, it shouldn't have graphic bugs like that!
The faces and people are jaggy, the entire environment just looks worse than it did in the previous game.
I'm not one to demand the best graphics all the time, but I do expect in an existing series that a follow up game has at least equal graphics to the previous one. Or, if not, it should at least have nice controls. Bad graphics can be forgotten if you get immersed in a game, but bad graphics AND bad controls makes it hard to get engrossed.
======SO TO CONCLUDE=====
There are to modes in this game by the way - story and classic. I played the story extensively, and I played classic briefly but was not impressed at all.
I have tried this game on the console as well, and it is much better with decent controls, although still probably inferior to Tony Hawk's 1 through 4 and Underground
If you own a console then by all means, purchase this game, but on the PC I would say stay away.
They have added some different challenges - there are tricks timed to music, a few vehicles to drive as well as a skateboard, and some little puzzles to solve, but it's not enough to redeem this game.
Seriously, some stuff should just either never come to the PC, or be completely re-written for it. If the developers aren't willing to consider how PC users play their games, then they won't get our (or at least my) money again.