Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 Preview

The Hawkman is back in the sequel to Activision's highly acclaimed skateboarding game. Check inside for all the details on what Neversoft plans to do with the sequel.

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The Hawkman is back, and this time he's taking no prisoners. Scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2000, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is the sequel to the best-selling and critically acclaimed THPS from 1999. Featuring top-notch playability and excellent graphics, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater set a new standard for the fledgling skateboard genre. To wit, THPS was to skateboarding what 1080 Snowboarding was to snowboarding. Shortly after THPS conquered the PlayStation's sales charts, N64, Game Boy, and Dreamcast (with the DC version to be published by Crave) versions were announced. This time Activision is going with a blanket attack on the market and is bringing the game to all the major consoles simultaneously.

According to Activision, THPS2 will feature the most comprehensive lineup of professional skaters, intuitive controls, and an enhanced physics engine. In addition, THPS2 will expand on the number of features found in the first game by adding new grinds, inverts, and lip and nollie tricks. Of particular note is the new Skatepark editor, which lets you build your own skateparks from scratch. You can throw in every park feature you could ever want with a selection of pieces that include ramps, rails, obstacles, and quarterpipes. Naturally, you'll be able to save your park to a memory card and invite your friends to skate on it. In addition to the Skatepark editor, there is a create-a-skater mode where you can edit an existing skater's clothes and appearance or simply build a skater from scratch.

New York, Marseilles, and Rio de Janeiro are among the real-world locations featured in THPS2. As with the first game, there will be loads of secret areas for you to find, and the environments will be even more interactive than before with virtually everything in the game ready to support a grind or a trick. The game offers several modes of play. The two-player split-screen trick-attack mode gives skaters the ability to interact with other players, letting them compete on ramps and in skateparks for style points. You can also race between various obstacles on the tracks, or play in graffiti mode, in which you "tag" different obstacles in the environment by performing tricks off of them. The game also features a variety of multiplayer modes including an all-new multiplayer competition mode in which you can compete with and against up to seven opponents in a judged skate competition. Other modes include new street, vert and best trick modes, and an enhanced version of H-O-R-S-E. Additionally, the game features new minigames that you can unlock as you advance through the improved career mode, as well as a replay mode where you can view the highlights of each run.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is scheduled to ship this fall, so it won't be all that long before one of the best games of 1999 gets a big brother. Stay tuned for more details, and check out the screens of what could be the biggest sports game of 2000.

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