Reviewed on PC


for PC (or read our GameBoy Advance review)
Reviewed By: Nathan & Rick Casteel

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Activision
Price Range: $20-30
Learning curve time: 1 hr.
Age level: 12+
ESRB Rating: Teen
System Requirements: P233, 32 RAM,450 meg HD, 3D Graphics card recommended

Genre: Sports
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

All the games I have reviewed for this page up to this time have been ones I have purchased for myself or were given to me after friends had finished with them. Recently, I was contacted by Activision Value who volunteered to send some games in exchange for posting reviews of each. One of the titles sent was “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2” for the PC. My 14 year old son, Nathan, had played the 1st iteration of this product for the Nintendo 64 so I asked him to assist me in the review. Now I am so inept at this game and too old to “get” the skateboard thing, that we agreed it would be best to do a dual review, giving a father/son perspective.

Being the senior writer, I get to go first…
The first thing we had to do was hook up our old Microsoft Sidewinder game pad. We have had it for several years but it hadn't gotten much use lately as most games for the PC are designed with a keyboard and mouse interface. You can play “THPS2” this way but we advise a game pad as it is more command friendly, especially when you get further along and into the trickier combinations. It took Nathan a bit to adjust as the pad is laid out different than the Nintendo pad but he soon had it down.

The game allows you to play as several different skaters in several different modes. The player can simply free skate in a number of different parks and settings or you can play career mode where you earn dollars by completing certain tricks that is used to buy other boards, skills, tricks and your way into other areas. The player basically navigates their skater through the parks, doing a variety of tricks, finding and collecting different items and areas to earn enough to move to the next. I guess to a lot of kids today the language of skating is like it was to me with baseball. I don't know an ollie from a kick-flip so it made the game difficult for me. Nathan, on the other hand, consumed it. I had not seen him so into a game since "Sim-City 3000". Commanding his skater, doing outrageous tricks, and finding the secret areas proved tremendous fun for him. For me, I had passing interest in trying it out, doing a free skate and learning a few things, but just didn't find it holding my interest for long-term play.

The graphics are first rate. You will require a 3d graphics card to play but the system requirements aren't terribly steep. We have it loaded on a P450 with 128 RAM using a Voodoo 3 and it runs flawlessly. It comes with a skate park editor, which is another cool feature. Nathan really gets a kick out of developing and experimenting with his own skate parks. Seeing his wild and imaginative creations and how he attempts to navigate and tweak them is fun and this feature really extends game life.

There is no real violence per say in the game but when you first load it up the developer's logo animation is a disembodied eye that ends up being smashed in a rather graphic fashion. Also, when a skater takes a fall, there is a splash of blood though no obvious injury appears nor is there a health score or meter. I saw no adult themes or gratuitous situations at all. There are a few items in the game I felt were unnecessarily disrespectful. One of the characters that can be unlocked is a police officer. The officer is portrayed as being very fat and is named "Officer Dick". Another thing that grated on my nerves but that Nathan enjoyed was the music score. A mix of hard rock and rap, I wanted to turn it off while he wanted to turn it up. It's a “discussion” we have frequently at home and I didn't enjoy it being a part of the game. It all plays off the image of skater as rebel (not necessary!) and leads to my score of 3 in the Christian/Moral perspective rating.

My score for the game is a 3CMP/4V/5AC/3GP.

My turn…
Hey this is Nathan. I have never done an official review so please feel free to complement/criticize me so I can do better next time. I skate myself so it is nice to be able to do part of this review, "There are 208 bones in the human body and every one of them is a good reason not to go skateboarding."

I love my computer and I don't like to be away from it. Up until now there has never been a decent skating game for the PC so I just fiddled on the N64 for hours on end with the first one. But alas the second one came out and the game was not for Nintendo. I was crushed. And then a beam of light in the tunnel… it came to the PC.

You can try to use a keyboard but I think it is insanely hard, if not impossible, to get the most out of the game. The sidewinder game pad is a great help. The control was a bit difficult to get used to if you played on the Nintendo or Playstation but after you're used to it, it's not hard at all. For those of you have never before played a game like this will be surprised at how easily it picks up.

Some people aren't into the whole skateboarding thing, pant sagging, and loud rap music but even if you aren't you will find this game enjoyable. The sound is the first thing I have to comment on. The in-game sounds are great, the skaters grunt if they fall, you can hear the wheels roll under the skateboard. Yeah, yeah that's great but you want to hear about the music tracks right? Well, I think it could have used a little POD, project 86 or Cross movement but they had other stuff in mind. Papa Roach, Chuck D, Naughty by Nature are among the few of the tracks and that are going to offend a lot of Christians--my mom can't stand the soundtrack. The cussing is blanked out (mostly). And the tracks don't have sexual content or killing, yet that still doesn't justify the music.

There is no explicit sex/nudity in the game but the game does have some blood in it when the skater falls. I don't think many will object to that. Some of the rappers talk about fighting but there is no explicit violence in the lyrics.

The graphics are great and there are almost no bugs, although I do find myself upside down on a few wall rides. The game play is excellent, it is fun riding the walls, combining tricks, jumping huge gaps, a skaters dream. There are also many ways of playing the game. You can play hot seat or you could play over the modem and have some fun with your friends that way and show them how a master can skate. The play modes are: Horse, Graffiti and regular scoring.

In Horse you take turns, the first person goes does one trick and sets the score then the other person tries to beat the points of the first person. In graffiti when you go on a ramp, half pipe etc. your points get saved on those specific places and they turn your color, the person with the most colors at the end wins. The cheats are a-plenty (if you can unlock them). You can be Spiderman; skate like you're on the moon, even put it in slow motion when you are doing your tricks.

The additions of a skater creator and park creator are awesome; you can do your own gaps ramps and almost everything that is in a real park. You decide what the skater wears and you decide what his hair looks like, everything, even down to his shoes.

This is a great game and if you like boarding yourself, this game is a must-buy! My score 4CMP/4V/5AC/5GP

Year of Release—2000

Positive—I, too, think this is an awesome game from a skating standpoint. My whole family has had a blast at one time or another skating as any one of the many pros. My main (and major) objection has been the music feature. The pulse of the music does add to the thrill of playing but I find the lyrics to be VERY detrimental. Turning off the music I thought would be a viable option but I found that in some instances it came back on automatically during the final moments of play (i.e. during a competition). I would like to see a game made available where we could program the music ourself. …we haven't stumbled upon the shirtless female. Other than that, there is a disgruntled taxi driver who is foul in nature and who's comments I wouldn't allow my son to repeat. Overall, with the music muted, we've LOVED this game. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Marri Olsen, age 34

I bought Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 after watching my cousin play it. Overall the game is a winner. The graphics and gameplay are realistic and convincing. The game puts you in control in all aspects of the game including creating your own skaters and parks. However, one aspect I wish I had more control of was the music selections. The music does not set a good example for young Christians or for any person who plays the game, for that matter. The style of the music does make your pulse quicken and add to the experience of the game, the subject matter and lyrics are full of obsenities, most of which are blanked out, and I'll just leave the rest at inappropriate. Otherwise, I have enjoyed the game a lot. Since I do not possess the dexterity to skateboard in real life, the game is the next best thing. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Jamie, age 27

Ladies and gentlemen, this game is absolutely awesome… Since I got Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 for the Playstation in October of '99, I have been an avid fan of the series. I'm sure if you give this game a chance, you will be too. This game is made up of 10 totally three dimensional and superbly detailed levels… they consist of an airplane hangar, a huge highschool, an actual skatepark in France, downtown New York, a So-Cal beach, a skatepark in southern California, a bullring in Mexico, 2 secret levels, and, my favorite level, Philadelphia. Philadelphia consists of a large city, complete with a garden to pull off huge grind combos in, a fountain you must empty as one of the level goals, and a skatepark in which you must do 4 specific tricks to achieve another goal. The game lets you skate as 19 different skaters, 20 if you count one that was replaced in the PC version. The skaters consist of the following: Actual Pros: -Tony Hawk -Bob Burnquist -Steve Caballero -Kareem Campbell -Rune Glifberg -Erik Koston -Bucky Lasek -Rodney Mullen -Chad Muska -Andrew Reynolds -Geoff Rowley -Elissa Steamer -Jamie Thomas Secret Skaters: -80s Tony Hawk -Private Carrera -Spiderman -Trixie (Replaced Private Carrera in the PC version) With hundreds of tricks and trillions of combo possibilities, this game is one that will not be left on the shelf. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Andy Glover, age 14

My favorite game. I found nothing offensive about it, and I find nothing wrong with it. I am a skater myself, and having these parks even within 100 miles of me would be a dream. They did an excellent job. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Jordan Adams, age 17

I believe this is one of the greatest games ever. It is not too hard but it will take you a while to earn enough money and medals to pass to the final levels. There is also a high replay value because of the many playable characters, hidden characters,the create-a-skater mode, and the create-a-skate park mode. The music is awesome. All the bad lyrics are cut out just leaving some good skating music. I will admit that none of the music is christian and it would have been a lot better with some christian alternative music, it is not all that bad. If you can get past the music aspect this has got to be one of the greatest games ever. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Brad Strouse, age 15

Officer Dick was not named that to offend people, or to make fun of him. Officer Dick, also known as Andy Dick on NYBD Blue, is his real name. So don't take offense to his name, but one thing to take offense to is Papa Roach's song on the soundtrack. All it talks about is "Kill Kill Kill". My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Anon., age 14

This is a pretty good game…I didn't find anything offensive in it. There's only a little bit of blood that you can barely see. The music didn't bother me at all. I rated it 4 out of 5 for a Christian rating just because, well it isn't a Christian game. The game itself is really good, but not perfect. I think it's kind of dumb how the guy that's skateboarding just “goes” without doing anything, but it's a video game, I guess… My Ratings: [4/4]
   —Leanne H., age 14

One secret character (girl) doesn't wear a shirt. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Nick, age 13

As a 12-year old, I love to skateboard, even if it's on a game. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is a great way to learn more about different tricks and how to do them. It's a great way to be entertained when your bored, which is something I am a lot. I've played lots of skating games and this one is one of the best. The songs have some mild language, and there is mild animated blood, but there is nothing else offensive in the entire game that I can think of, so Teen is a reasonable rating. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Ian, age 12

Nathan man, you need a Playstation! THPS2 is a WHOLE lot better on PSX. I'm practically a pro ya' know. I got like 200,000 points on one level. I'm at skatestreet ventura. I pretty much reassembled the old THPS moves back to the original. (like, up+right C/ circle is Japan Air) This game RULES. Especially the PARK EDITOR! Oh yeah! My friend is currently borrowing the game, and when I played it w/ him we built the ultimate skate-park where you can do a 900 Benihana/mute/japan/indy/ or anything EASILY! Well, enough of that, I'd say even if you don't like skateboarding you'll like this game. RENT/BUY IT! My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Brad Eggerton, age 13

I agreed with most of your comments concerning the TH2 review. However, the music should be turned off if Christian parents are going to let their children play this game. There is an option to silence the music portion of play, while retaining the games sound effects. I think you may have skipped over a particular “skate” song on the soundtrack. Here is a sample of the lyrics: "it's in our nature to kill each other / it's in our nature to kill ourselves / it's in our nature to kill! kill! kill!" This took away from what could have been a great game. My Ratings: [1/5]
   —D. Woolston, age 32

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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