One of the craziest games I've ever played, but yet another Tony Hawk game that's extremely fun to play.
The game's Story Mode begins in the New Jersey area from the original THUG. Your character is skating around when suddenly a van drives right into your skater's path. Once you smash into the van, two unknown men wearing hockey masks 'kidnap' you along with a few other skaters. The two men are revealed to be Tony Hawk and Bam Margera who have gathered skaters together for a 'sick-as-hell' world tour called the World Destruction Tour. The tour will be a contest between two teams led by Tony and Bam and the loser must pay for it all. What follows is one trip you won't certainly forget.
As with Underground 1 and Pro Skater 4, there is no time limit to complete goals in each of the levels. In fact in this game, you don't even have to talk to anybody to start up a challenge. The goal in each level is to score a certain number of points by doing crazy stunts. This includes finding gaps, getting high scores, and tagging various spots across each of the places that you visit. You need 400 'points' in each stage to move on to the next one. There are 4 skaters you can use in each level. Of course, you have your own skater. Then, you can also use one of the pros on your team like Bob Burnquist and Rodney Mullen. There are also two extra skaters to unlock in each level. Some of the other skaters you can play as in the Story mode include Steve-O, 'Ben Franklin', and even Bigfoot. Not all of these skaters ride skateboards though. Steve-O, for example, rides a mechanical bull. Sure enough, in that same level you find him, you can unleash a raging bull into Barcelona.
But if the Story Mode isn't your cup of tea, there is something else; Classic Mode. It will no doubt bring back memories of playing the first 3 Pro Skater games. It's the same general concept. Perform certain goals in each level under a time limit. Various goals include getting high scores or finding 5 things to smash or collect. Once you do a certain number of goals in each level, then you can move on to the next level. Sometimes, you can go to one of two levels at a time but you have to do goals in only one of the levels in order to go on. This mode brings back classic levels from the older games, including the School, Downhill Jam, and the Warehouse (significantly expanded) from Pro Skater 1, Philadelphia from Pro Skater 2, and Canada and the Airport from Pro Skater 3.
The game controls are basically the same as in the first Underground. Press the Z button to get on/off your board, press the X button in conjunction with the control pad to do a grab or the B button to do a flip. While walking, hold the R button while in mid-air to grab onto a ledge. To go up a ladder, just walk up to it and press up or down on the control pad to climb it. Even though some of the other characters in the game don't ride skateboards, they still control the same general way for whatever they ride.
As with every game in this series that I've played, Underground 2 is extremely fun to play. One of the reasons why that is is because it's one of those games where you can just explore without having to do much to move forward in the story, making it a great game for any casual gamer. This is probably the funniest game in the series although that's primarily because this is the craziest Tony Hawk game ever and quite frankly the craziest video game I've ever played in my life. As I've already mentioned, this must've had some inspiration from the show Jackass. Why else would Bam Margera be one of the stars of the game? The Classic Mode is what sells the game for me. I'll admit, I prefer the 'no time-limit free skate' style that the recent Tony Hawk games have over that of the original 3 games but it's nice to come back and skate through some classic levels from the Tony Hawk universe the same way I did playing the first 'Pro Skater' for the N64.
I really don't have any complaints for this game. One of the reasons why is because I liked that they took out the driving from the first Underground. I wasn't a huge fan of that part of the game because the controls felt kind of stiff. Plus, I really don't see why driving a car relates to skateboarding. All in all, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 is one of my favorite entries in the series. It's funny, brings back memories of the old games, and is still extremely fun to play. The controls are still excellent and it's easy to pick up and play. All in all, another great entry in this franchise which is a must-have for any casual gamer.