Now, HERE is a game...
A game I have sunk absolutely countless hours into, and the finest skating game ever crafter by man. A true masterpiece, THPS2 set the benchmark for all skating games to ever be judged by.
The original burst onto the scene and left people shocked, and just showed how exciting the formula could be. But it had flaws. It's trick book was a little basic, and it lacked features. After it became a smash hit, Mr Hawk came back strong in 2000, with this epic MONSTER of a game. Seriously, everything you've ever played in a skating game pretty much came from here.
10 years old, this game, but just look at the stuff it had in it. Create-a-skater, create-a-skatepark, Liscensed merch, real locations, the game really did carve the way for the skating sim (and yes, that pun was fully intentional). Put it this way, Skate 3 has only just implemented the Darkslide. Mr Hawk slapped this in 10 years ago, as Rodney Mullen's special move.
One thing games like this absolutely THRIVE on is level design, and oh boy, this game was dripping in diversity. All the levels had lovely unique feels. From Venice Beach, to the Bull Ring in Spain, to countless personal hours being sank into the now infamous School level, and the Ventura skatepark. This was a game that was clearly a game to be absolutely hammered, to be practised and cherished, and played to death. Literally. I reckon I'll be playing this game until my last days. I still play the original PS1 game. That and Star Wars beat-em-up Master of Teras Kasi is the only reason I have my PS2. Well them and Gitaroo Man, but that's for another time.
And the really good news? There is a version available for the iPhone. I found this out today, and nearly wet myself with excitement. The idea of playing THPS2 on the bus is possibly the best thing since I found out you can cook waffles in the toaster. Currently out only in America, I would hope to expect a UK iTunes release sooooon.
Back when Tony hadn't signed a 20-year deal with Activision to make skate games for ever, back when the franchise wasn't a joke, this really is a piece of gaming history. Ask anyone who owned a copy, and they'll tell you, this was a piece of pure joy, the definition of fun and playability. N64 owners always had Mario to tease you with, always chatting shit about fun factor, but with a copy of THPS2 in your hand, all that melted away.
Oh, and you can play as SPIDERMAN. End of discussion...