Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Tony Hawks Underground 2 (GameCube) Review

Tony Hawks has been around for a heck of a long time now, this being the sixth game in the series. Will Tony Hawk still provide the public with the addictive gameplay that we have all come to love, or have the cogs ground down smooth? Let's hop on the skateboard and find out for you...

"Welcome to Tony Hawks Underground 2". As you stare at the nice new menu of the 'wheel of loogies' you may note the return of some pretty nifty customisation tools, which can be found in "Create-A-Modes". As you enter this category you are shown many interesting tools such as: create a skater, create a trick, create a park and the all new create a tag. We were pleased to note all of the create modes are very versatile and provide a good sense of control to the user, whilst thankfully keeping everything simple and quick to complete. This means you can quickly get into the in-game modes, where the fun begins...

Screenshot for Tony Hawks Underground 2 on GameCube - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The story mode is surprisingly pleasing and brings a breath of fresh air into Tony Hawks gaming. The story mode now offers you a choice of four different skaters on each of the fifteen overall levels, letting you switch between each during play. There is a choice of a "pro skater", a "guest skater" and the "secret skater", who opt for weird and wonderful methods of transportation (shopping trolley anyone?).

This gametype revolves around a 'World Destruction Tour' with the "Hawk Team" vs. the "Bam Team". As the game progresses skaters change teams, coming and going, challenging you personally and specific skaters causing trouble. This is an interesting addition, but could do with being a bit less linear feeling, the same line of events takes place every time you play, reducing replayability. None the less it's an extremely welcome addition, and helps to pad out the game from just simply performing tricks.

Screenshot for Tony Hawks Underground 2 on GameCube - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When Tony Hawks went from Pro Skater to the Underground, many of the loyal fans were upset with the new look and feel to the game, losing the simple but effective task orientated gameplay. Well now it's back and cleaner than ever! You have all the old favourites of S-K-A-T-E and C-O-M-B-O whilst still adding new fresh fun tasks to perform which change on each levels just like the originals, it's almost like a second game.

With each new game new tricks are obviously expected and this time we are blessed with the graphic tag moves. Surprisingly, we found these new little tricks, and in particular the tag wall slap, a huge help in creating new longer and more creative combo's that span further whilst going faster, longer and higher than ever before. The wall slap is a simple push off the wall that you are about to collide into, sounds simple enough but this provides some huge combos where as in past titles you would simply hit the wall, and fall flat on your face...

With this added trick included we found ourselves performing grabs, into manuals, into kick flips and grinds and then at the end of the rail a simple hop into the wall, press A once, slap the wall, land back on the rail and repeat the entire line again in the opposite direction. This gives combos and lines a new life and if you can handle the balance meter, you can continue forever in mid combo. Exhausting stuff!

Screenshot for Tony Hawks Underground 2 on GameCube - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


The graphical elements of the game are clean and good, which we are proud to say is a huge update from dull and dark days of THUG, thankfully the games graphics have gone back to their older roots of having colourful and light surroundings. The levels now feature a day and night feature, the day will pass to night after you have been skating for some time, this is a nice touch of realism, whilst also keeping the levels looking at their best thanks to the ever changing light.

The sound on the other hand is where the game has fallen short on. All previous games of the series have had rich sound tracks from popular artists currently topping the chart or old classics, unfortunately this time the playlist lacks a lot of the fresh talent that we are used to hearing in a Tony Hawks game. However with the few good songs present you could always just loop your favourites or simply turn it off and enjoy the sound effects, or (and this is a stunning idea), put on your favourite CD...

The game excels in length by giving you a mass of unlockable characters, double the amount any other game of the extreme sports genre has to offer, whilst still also including other unlockable items known to the Tony Hawks series. Thankfully the story mode lasts far longer than would be expected and with the added bonus of classic mode, lastability really is not an issue. This game really could last a lifetime and still get you coming back for more.

Screenshot for Tony Hawks Underground 2 on GameCube- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

When it comes to pure addictive gameplay THUG 2 offers it on all levels, simple pickup and play controls let you take advantage of the pick up and play feel to the game, a perfect all rounder.

Graphics

Simply the best graphics of the series and a huge improvement over THUG, cleaner, lighter and more colourful.

Sound

The lacking track playlist whilst still holding a few worthy songs is nothing compared to expectations of the series and the game.

Value

A long story mode, a second classic mode, extra multiplayer modes, a variety of crate-a-modes and don't forget more unlockables than you could shake a stick at, the game is sure to last you your moneys worth... and then triple.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

After the let down that was THUG many were wishing that the classic mode of Tony Hawk Pro Skater series would return whilst also dreaming the graphics would go back to their colourful days. Well folks, your saviour is here in a two for one game featuring everything of THUG with all the gameplay of the classic series and then some, this game really is a massive improvement on everything that was needed to be improved. Don't miss this opportunity to get a real feel of the game series that started the extreme sports genre, all in one little disk.

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23.10.2004

2

4674

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Developer

Neversoft

Publisher

Activision

Genre

Sport

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

i've been having problems getting in since monday. tonight seems to be really bad for some reason, took me about 10mins and several hundred refreshs to get in.

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We'll be back and running full steam soon enough! :Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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