THPS2X is a very enjoyable game if you missed out on these classic games.
Little of the gameplay has changed since the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skaters 1 & 2. The controls are basically the same but have been slightly reformatted to fit an Xbox controller. The control stick controls your skater and the main buttons are used to perform tricks. There are also some more advanced things that you can do. The most important one is manuals which are done by tilting the control stick up then down quickly. Manuals are an efficient way to keep combos going but they take practice to get good at. One thing that has been changed is the balance meter when you perform grinds. In the original version of the game when you performed grinds there was no balance meter which made it very hard to perform grinds. Luckily in this version there is a balance meter this is very handy but it lowers the difficulty some.
The career mode in THPS2X is almost exactly the same as it was in the original games the only addition is the three or so levels that have been added on. In THPS2X you have two minutes to complete as many goals as you can in the level. Most of these goals will consist of doing things such as getting high scores, finding the letters that are scattered around the area to spell SKATE, or performing a certain trick on a certain ramp. As you progress the game the goals will get noticeably harder; the scores you have to get will be higher, the letters will be harder to find, and they’ll get harder in other ways similar to those.
At a few points in the career mode you will encounter special levels that aren’t like the normal levels. These levels are the competition levels and are probably the best levels in the game. Instead of trying to complete goals in these levels you participate in a competition to try to get the highest score. You are judged on the score you get, the style of the tricks you perform, and on how many times you bail. What medal you get determines how much money you earn in the THPS2 career but in the other two it doesn’t really matter that much.
There are only a few problems with THPS2X’s career mode one of them being in the way you earn stats. You start off the game with access to only the THPS2 career, by the time you’ve finished that career you should be at max stats or be very close to max stats. When you start up the THPS career your stats aren’t reset so you could play through the entire THPS career with max stats making it a breeze. The only other significant problem comes when you start the THPS career. In case you didn’t know when that game originally came out you didn’t have the ability to manual. In THPS2X you have the ability to manual and you can do manuals in the THPS career allowing you to easily link combos making the game even easier.
Three new levels have been added in THPS2X one of them has been seen before but the other two are brand new. The first one which is a French dance club is probably the second best there are plenty of rails to grind and high balconies to reach. The second one which is a construction yard is probably the worst although it isn’t terrible. There isn’t a whole lot to do in the level but there are some nice rails and some good vert ramps. The last level which is also the best is one that we’ve already seen before. It’s the Florida skate park seen in Tony Hawk’s Underground. With its many ramps and rails this map makes for the perfect place to hold one of the many skate competitions in the game.
THPS2X also has a Free Skate mode and a fairly large variety of multiplayer modes. In free skate you can pretty much just skate around and look for nice areas to perform combos and for gaps it’s definitely the best mode to do if you just want to play the game for a little bit. THPS2X has a fairly large variety of multiplayer modes to choose from. There is basic Trick Attack where you and a friend compete against each other to try and get the highest score. There are also other modes like Horse where you take turns trying to match each others combos.
When you beat THPS2X you unlock different videos to watch. If you play through the game without getting all Gold medals you will unlock a bails video. However if you beat the game with all gold medals you will unlock a video for the skater you used. This gives you somewhat of a reason to play through the game again to try and unlock more videos. The graphics in THPS2X are okay. They have been slightly updated from the original version but they don’t look fantastic. The character design looks okay but at times the characters look some what blocky. However all of the levels look nice there are some rough edges with the backgrounds but for the most part the level design is pretty good.
The sound in THPS2X is great the game features the same small but good soundtrack that was in THPS2. The soundtrack has songs from bands like Rage against the Machine and many others. All of the sound effects are pretty good. The sound effects when you bail aren’t very good but the other ones like when you are grinding a rail sound great.
THPS2X isn’t a very long game it will probably take you about seven hours to complete the game the first time. However if you play through the game again to unlock more of the videos it won’t take you very long. Like I already said THPS2X does have pretty good replay value with the many videos that you can unlock and because the game is still fun the second time through.
All in all THPS2X is a very enjoyable game if you missed out on these classic games. However they don’t hold up fantastically compared to the later additions in the series. But if you can find this game for cheap it’s definitely worth buying especially if you are a fan of skateboarding games.