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The sixth game in Activision Tony Hawk Skateboarding game series, was released in October 2004. Tony Hawk's Underground 2 is a skateboarding game for the Xbox. The game supports single player and multiplayer and is backward compatible on the Xbox360. It has also released for the Gamecube, Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable. The main part of the game is the story mode which has you going on a world destruction tour around the world, skating in several different locations around the world and performing tricks. You also get the option to create all sorts of different things like your own skater, tricks and tracks, there is about 10 different tracks and 20 different skaters to choose from. The graphics of the game are an improvement over the previous game but the actual gameplay and tricks are very similar to the last game. The controls are good and easy to use. A fun game to play that is easy to get into and fun to play not a great improvement on the other games in the series but still worth a look.
Being a skater game fan I bought this game when it first came out for my XBOX. It really delivers in gameplay and length. You can customise your own skater for use in the game. You can change their clothes, skateboard and other items to accessorise your character. Once you have chosen a character you will enter the single player mode where you must make your way through the game and become the best skater around. You do this by completing various missions to earn money, respect and stat points. These stat points can be used to improved different areas of your skaters abilities. There are many missions to do in the game with varying difficulties. They will keep you amused for hours. You can perform many different tricks using your character. Many more than in any other Tony Hawks skater game. You can still assign special tricks to your skaters to earn big points. You can also play a variety of different modes against your friends making this a game that you can enjoy again and again.
-(Game Information)- Name:Tony Hawks Underground 2 Publisher:Activision Developer:Neversoft Ent. Genre:Skating Release Date:Oct 8, 2004 Age Rating:16+ for Blood, Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence and Language Number Of Players:1-2 Xbox Live:No Custom Soundtracks:Yes In-game dolby digital:Yes Developer Site:http://www.activision.com/en_GB/home/home.jsp Product Site:http://www.thug2online.com/ -(History)- Activision and Neversoft have always made the Tony Hawk series. Since the days of the playstation, Tony Hawk has been the best skateboarding games ever. There have been 8, with the latest being Project 8. -(The Story)- You have been kidnapped and taken away by these Hocky masked thugs (reminds me of the Jason films). As you're about to die by being cut up by a chainsaw, the masked thug says 'Hello Butnuggets' and reveals himself to be Bam Margera. The other thug was Tony Hawk. Basically they have taken you away to compete in the 'World Destruction Tour' as you travel around the world and cause chaos, and blow things up. -(The Controls)- The controls are pretty much the same as the previous game. You move around using the Left stick and move the camera using the right stick. To do trick, you need to press either the X and B buttons and a direction on the D-Pad, or you can use left stick, but using the left stick proves to be a little awkward. A problem with the controls is hitting the spine transfer, as you have to hit the to triggers on the back of the controller, which is hard to do. But the controls are responsive, and hitting spine transfers is really the only problem with the controls. -(The Gameplay)- The gameplay in THUG2 is pretty much the same as THUG, which added the ability to get off of your board and run around, and THUG2 expands from there. Probably the biggest addition in THUG2 is the sticker slap, which is basically a wall plant that shoves you off with a good amount of acceleration, making it perfect for finding your way back onto a rail and continuing a combo by going back the way you came, and you basically slap a sticker onto the wall as well. The other gameplay changes aren't that useful. You also can execute wall plants while going up some ramps, giving you an extra height boost that you'll won't need to actually use, but it will occasionally come into the goals. You can also now spray graffiti tags when you're off your board, which is needed in some goals. When you're special, you can enter focus mode, which is basically when you go into a Matrix-styled slow motion. Some of the goals in story mode use it, but beyond that, all focus will do for you is make it slightly easier to land better or to balance on rails, lips, and manuals for longer periods of time. If this is your first time with the Tony Hawk series, you might find that useful, but anyone with even some experience with the games won't need the help. There is also a new move called the natas spin, which lets you spin in place on top of poles, fire hydrants, trash cans, and other pointy objects. Like most of the other new moves, it's needed in a couple of goals, but doesn't really seem all that necessary. The game also has a new freak out function, which is basically a move where you can completely freak out and smash your board (mostly over your head). After a some of the falls, a freak out meter will appear on the screen, and mashing the Y button will fill it up. If you reach a certain point on the meter before your skater stands up, you'll make him mad and destroy his board. A new board gets thrown in and play continues as normal, but your tantrum get's you a couple thousand points to start a new combo. So if you can get a combo going a few seconds after your fall, you'll get some bonus points to throw in there. However, freaking out just means it'll take longer to get back on your board and start skating again, so it's just better to get back on your board, and the score bonus isn't enough to justify the extra time it takes to get back on the board. While not all of these changes are for the better, the core gameplay in THUG2 is still on fire. What THUG2's story mode is, is a big tour that gives you four skaters and a ton of goals to accomplish in each level. You will start out each level as your created skater, but you'll also need pick a pro skater to skate with you. You'll also find two other skaters, well at least people who ride skateboards, since it seems a little odd to say Benjamin Franklin or a shrimp vendor are skaters, who are hidden in various spots on each level. Each time you run into a new skater, you'll unlock another set of goals for that level. But some of these new characters don't even ride boards. Other characters you'll meet including Steve-O, who rides around on a wheeled mechanical bull, Australian who rides in a small go-kart and even Jesse James on his 'big' scooter. Unlike THUG, Goals are handled differently, as rather than having people on that you can speak with to start your goals, you're given a list and set off into the world. There's no on-screen indicators to show you where a is goal, though if you do a trick off of a piece that is part of a combo goal, the other the pieces will light up. If you need help on what exactly you're meant to be doing, you will need to pause the game and go into 'view goals', which will give you more details on what your goal involves you doing. While this approach gets rid of clutter and on-screen icons, it also means you will need to be able to read as you're going to be spending a lot of time reading text in the pause menu. Each goal is worth a different amount of points. Once you've earned a enough points to move on, you can go to another level. This also gives you a cutscene, which puts some backstory to the Bam versus Tony adventure. Overall, the story mode is very fun to play, but it's also short. Though it has three difficulty levels, you should be able to burn through the story mode in around five to seven hours. Luckily, that's not all that THUG2 has. Underground 2 also has a mode known as classic mode, which basically is like Tony Hawk 3 except in new levels. It has the two-minute run timer and goal structure of the first three Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games. Most of the game's levels are the same levels that you find in the story mode, but there's also a number of levels from previous games in the series, all the way back to the school and downhill jam levels from the very first game are here. It is nice to have a separate mode like this, yet the thing about playing to unlock levels that you've either already played in the story mode or remember from earlier games in the series makes the mode a little underwhelming. More new levels for this mode would have been nice. There's also multiplayer as well, though you can only have 2 players. There's all the old modes like trick attack, score challenge, combo mambo, slap, king of the hill, capture the flag, firefight, and graffiti. There's some new modes as well, including scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunt is like a knockout race in a driving game, where the player in last place is eliminated at specific intervals until only one player remains. Scavenger hunt has two phases. The first phase has each player skates around and drops five coins at different spots in the level. Then after that it's up to the players to collect as many coins as possible. The first player to collect them all, or the player with the most coins when the time expires, is the winner. There's lots of create-a-modes in THUG2, which are all fun to do, though a little complicated. The mode you'll most use is the create-a-skater mode, as you'll need to make a skater for the story mode. You can choose from lots of options, including hair styles, clothes, your characters size and the skaters board style, plus much more. You can create some cool skaters and even some gaming characters like Krypto 137 from Destroy All Humans and Kratos from God Of War. My favourite mode was the create-a-goal mode. I had hours of fun, creating my own goals in levels like Australia and Downhill Jam. You can create up to10 goals in each level, including High Score, collecting S-K-A-T-E and even racing. You can create goals in any levels you've unlocked or created. Yes, you can create your own levels, but the mode feels limited, as you can't choose from many backgrounds and there's not many items to choose from, and you can't create very big levels. But the create-a-graphic mode is much better, as you can make some really cool tags. Now that you can graffiti, you can also make your own tags, as you can choose from hundreds of options, colours and designs. I loved this mode, and it's certainly fun for aspiring artists. Overall the create-a-modes are fun, and they will take up lots of your time. -(The Graphics)- THUG2 looks slightly different compared to the previous Tony Hawk games. Specifically, the character models used in cutscenes have a slightly more exaggerated look to them. While they may not look realistic, this exaggerated look makes the characters seem much more expressive and animated than they have in the past. This fits well with the crazy nature of the story mode, which makes you go all over the place and blowing stuff up in an unrealistic, but satisfying way. In the game, the worlds are colorful and unique looking and are pretty big as well, so there's lots to see. The skater models look good and animate well, which is isn't surprising as much of the game's animation is recycled from previous games in the series. -(The Sound)- The audio in THUG2 is very impressive. There is a lot of voice work from the various pro skaters that appear in the game, and most of it comes excellently. The sounds of actual skating haven't really changed, but they still suit the action going on in the game. The soundtrack is as excellent as the previous games. It's also very varied, featruing Frank Sinatra, Old Blue Eyes, Metallica, The DOC, Ween, Less Than Jake, Violent Femmes, Atmosphere, Ultramagnetic MC's, X, Ministry, Brand Nubian, and Audio Two. With over 50 tracks in all and the ability to turn off tracks that don't fit your tastes, you'll probably find a suitable bunch of songs to skate to. Also the game features the ability to listen to your own music that you've ripped onto your xbox, so if you want to listen to a song that isn't on the soundtrack, if you've ripped it onto your xbox then you can listen to it. -(Replay Value)- The story mode is short, as it'll only take you about 7-10 hours, but there's lots and lots of modes. Though there's no online play, there's lots of create-a-modes and there's the classic mode. There's also some characters to unlock and lots of parks to unlock as well. If you try to complete the story on all difficulties, play around with all the create-a-mode, complete the classic mode and have some fun with the multiplayer mode, you'll have about 20 hours of play. -(Score)- Controls=9-They're responsive, but it's still hard to nail the spine transfer Gameplay=8-Pretty much the same, just more extreme Graphics=9-A little exaggerated, but that's what it's trying to do Sound=9-Awesome soundtrack and effects Replay Value=8-The story mode is short, but there's lots of other modes, but there's no online play Overall Score=8.6=Great -(Ending Comments)- THUG2 is well worth the Tony Hawk name, though it should probably be called "'Tony Hawk's and Bam Margera's Underground 2" as has a lot of Bam's influence on this, as the game's more extreme and features a lot of Jacka** styled stunts. Some die-hard fans of the Tony Hawks series may not like this major change, but i think i'm a die-hard fan (i have played all the Tony Hawks games) and i liked the change, as there's more to the game than just skating, but that's my opinion. As they say, quality is better than quantity as though the story mode is short, i loved playing it, so i played through it more than once. The graphics and sound are very good, the game has a more exaggerated look to it, and the soundtrack is amazing. If you absolutely love Tony Hawk games then you'll like this, or if you like Bam Magera and his stunts then this may be for you as well. -(If You Like This I'd Suggest)- SSX Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure Amped Aggresive Inline Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX -(Where You Can Buy It)- Amazon from £4.59
Despite the inclusion of the number "2" right in the game's title, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 is the sixth Tony Hawk game that has been released in as many years. Over these past six years, the series has created a genre and, with every entry, reshaped that genre. Early installments in the series basically rewrote the book on the rewarding combo system every year, but with the gameplay already in a rock solid state, the more recent entries have made more subtle changes. THUG2 hangs on to the great gameplay of the previous games, makes a few minor tweaks, and wraps it all up in a new Bam Margera-centric package. The result might be more satisfying for those who haven't seen most of this stuff already done before in previous Tony Hawk games. Yes, professional shopping cart destroyer Bam Margera, and his brand of destructive fun, figure much more heavily into the latest Tony Hawk game. The game's story mode essentially plays out like a Viva La Bam scavenger hunt, with two teams--one led by Tony Hawk and the other by Bam Margera--setting out on the World Destruction Tour. So your goals don't focus so much on becoming a star of the skateboarding world; here, you're just trying to fly around the world and break stuff. THUG2's story mode is a whirlwind tour that gives you four skaters and a mess of goals to accomplish in each level. You start out each level as your created skater, though you'll also pick a pro skater as a partner. You'll also find two other skaters--or at least, people who ride skateboards, since it seems weird to call Ben Franklin or a shrimp vendor "skaters"--hidden in various spots on each level, and each time you encounter a new skater, you'll unlock another set of goals for that level. Some of these new characters don't even ride boards. You'll run into Steve-O, who rides around on a wheeled mechanical bull, and you'll meet an Australian in a small go-kart. Goals are handled a little differently this time around. Rather than having people on the street that you can speak with to get your goals, you're given a list and set off into the world. There aren't any on-screen indicators to point you in the direction of a goal, though if you happen to do a trick off of a piece that is part of a combo goal, the rest of the pieces will light up. If you want the skinny on what, exactly, you're supposed to be doing, you have to pause the game and go into your view goals screen, which will give you more details on what you need to do. While this approach frees the game of clutter and on-screen icons, it also means you're going to be spending a lot more time reading text in the pause menu. Each goal is worth a different amount of points. Once you've earned a specific number of goal points, you'll be able to move forward. This also triggers a cutscene, which puts some more backstory to the Bam versus Tony adventure. All in all, the story mode is satisfying in its structure, but it's also short. Despite having three difficulty levels, players should be able to burn through the story mode in around five to seven hours. Fortunately, that's not all that THUG2 has to offer. Underground 2 also contains "classic mode," which brings back the two-minute run timer and goal structure of the first three Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games. Many of the game's levels are the same levels you see in the story mode, but a number of levels from previous entries in the series--all the way back to the school and downhill jam levels from the very first game--appear here. While it's nice to have a separate mode like this, the concept of working to unlock levels that you've either already played in the story mode or remember from earlier games in the series makes the mode a little underwhelming. More unique levels for this mode would have been a big help. The gameplay in THUG2 starts with THUG, which added the ability to get off of your board and run around, and expands from there. Probably the most important addition in THUG2 is the sticker slap, which is an airborne wall plant that shoves you off with a good deal of acceleration, making it perfect for finding your way back onto a rail and continuing a combo by going back the way you came. The rest of the gameplay changes aren't really as useful. You can also execute vertical wall plants while going up some ramps, giving you an extra height boost that you'll rarely need to actually use, but it will occasionally come in handy. You can now spray graffiti tags when you're off your board, which factors into some goals. When you're special, you can enter "focus mode," which is essentially a glorified slow-motion effect. A few goals in story mode require it, but beyond that, all focus will do for you is make it slightly easier to land cleanly or to balance on rails, lips, and manuals for longer periods of time. If this is your first experience with the Tony Hawk series, you might find that useful, but anyone with even limited experience with the games won't need the help. There is also a new move called the natas spin, which lets you spin in place on top of poles, fire hydrants, trash cans, and other pointy items. It, like most of the other new moves, figures into a couple of goals, but doesn't really seem all that necessary. The game also has a new "freak out" function. After some falls, a freak out meter will appear, and mashing the grind button will cause it to fill up. If you reach a certain point on the meter before your skater stands back up, you'll make him get mad and destroy his board. A new board gets tossed in and play continues as normal, but your tantrum translates into a couple thousand points of base score. So if you can get a combo going a few seconds after your bail, you'll get some bonus points to throw in there. However, freaking out just means it'll take longer for you to get back on your board and start skating again, and the game has almost completely de-emphasized point scores in its goal-based modes. The score bonus isn't enough to justify the extra time it takes to get back on the board, so you're usually just better off keeping your cool. While not all of these changes are all that great, the core gameplay in THUG2 is still very strong. The refined gameplay that comes from six years of tinkering still works, and fans of the series should still enjoy themselves quite a bit.