Memories-Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

slus-20965-game-ss-1Seeing Tony Hawk’s name on a game used to be a sign of greatness. People argue which installment was the tipping point before everything came crashing down. This particularly one many consider either the last good game or the first worst game. I wouldn’t consider it either extreme, but it is a lot of fun. This was the first Tony Hawk game I played actually.  I never owned until around 2009, but my friend had it and during a sleepover we played it all night long. I was terrible at it. I never seen anything like it, for one you could create a character. How great is that. The only other thing I remember from that first encounter all the way back in 2005 was it inspired me to get my first owned Tony Hawk game, but that’s a story for another time.

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Playing it again years later after I had been acquainted with other games in the serious was quite surprising. It actually really revitalized my enjoyment in the series. I only got it because it was like four bucks at game stop and I had somewhat fond memories of the only time I played it. I expected a game with the exact same formula as the Pro Skater series. You do missions, you earn points, you move on. That’s exactly what the game does too (double so in classic mode), but they do it with a twist. Besides the typical Tony Hawk and pro skaters cast of characters, Bam Margera and the crew from Jackass. They are pretty important as this game has a plot unlike traditional Pro Skater games. So the missions you do each have a point value (which means nothing) and the story is Bam and Tony are facing off in teams to cause the most mayhem and be awesome. The missions involve either a cool trick or destroying something through skateboarding.

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The first level, Boston is the one I most associate with the game. It sets the tone and structure of the whole game. In story mode you go through Boston with nothing but your skateboard and a checklist of goals. You can do them in any order at any time, the only thing is to move to the next level you have to earn enough point totals. This also shows how ridiculous these tasks are. As seen above you have to find Ben Franklin for literally no reason besides Boston. There’s also decapitating statues by jumping over them and setting your board on fire just to do a combo. My favorite is one where you steal a sick kid being wheeled into a hospital and run, not board, him back to Tony where just meeting Tony makes him magically better. I’ve played it so much I can clear every mission the first time though with sheer muscle memory. The only tragedy is it doesn’t matter if you earn every point or not. Whether Bam or Tony’s team wins the level is completely story based and already set in cutscenes. Still a great game though.

 

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