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Platform

PSP

 

Genre

Extreme Sports

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Shaba Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

March 2005

 

 

- All the features of its console big brothers

- Amazing replay value

- Classic mode for those who had the THUG concept

 

 

- Ad-hoc multi-player only

- No customizable song list

 

 

Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (GBA)

Review: Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (PS2)

Review: Tony Hawk's Underground (XB)

 

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Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix

Score: 8.8 / 10

 

Tony Hawk Underground 2: Remix for the PSP is a pixel-perfect, hardly-changed port of the hit PS2 game.  Probably, you already know if this game is for you.  If you liked its console brethren and you like the idea of taking that game play into the portable realm, THUG2 is a definite purchase.  If you hate what the THUG games have done to the franchise, then this sharp looking little portable version is unlikely to change your mind.

 

thug 2 remix review          thug 2 remix review

 

The original THUG was a near complete overhaul of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series.  The actual skateboarding action remained familiar, but the game had suddenly been crossed with the Grand Theft Auto series to create something radically different.  Gone was the tight, controlled level design with easy-to-understand, repetitive goals. THUG greatly widened the play options and the play area, and it added the ability to explore a level either on another vehicle other than a skateboard or on foot.  It was an eye-opening experience to climb a ladder for the first time and discover a rooftop half-pipe and to never have to worry about the two-minute timer.

 

THUG2 continues the game play seen in the original, but it gives old-school Tony Hawk players the opportunity to play the classic game with its S-K-A-T-E collection glory as well as the more wide-open Story Mode.  The Classic Mode hardly changes the original formula at all, while the Story Mode is very close to what was seen in THUG.  This time, instead of working your way up from young punk skater to superstar, your skater starts off as a member of either Tony Hawk's or Bam Magera's team as the go on a worldwide tour to see who can break the most stuff and cause the most trouble.  That plot is far less compelling than the rags-to-riches original, but, even in Story Mode, story just isn't that important to the series.

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What is important, of course, is game play, and THUG2: Remix provides some great game play.  Each stop on the tour has an interesting selection of goals specific to each city.  Some of the goals are incredibly challenging, while others can be stumbled upon rather blindly (The Find... goals are especially random).  I really like how forgiving the THUG formula is,as players need only complete a 

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small percentage of the goals to open up the next city.  That means players can open up all the stops rather quickly but still have lots of incentive to play through the levels over and over. 

 

Graphically, the game is just a step below the PS2 overall.  Still, it looks great and has few, if any, graphical flaws.  No matter what is happening on the little screen, the game never slows down (unless, you activate the Matrix-like trick enhancement).  Really, it is still a little hard getting used to just how console-like the PSP graphics are.  It is hard to believe this is a first generation release or that later releases will look much better than this.

 

The sound effects are identical to the console version and the soundtrack seems to feature a similar number of songs.  I am a little disappointed that the developers didn't take a page out of the Xbox playbook and allow the game to access the MP3s stored on my memory stick.  That feature alone is the reason I usually hold onto the Xbox version of the Tony Hawk games instead of the PS2 version.

 

In the past, shrinking a game down to portable form meant cutting out a number of features, but that doesn't happen here.  All of the modes and features of the console versions are here, including face-mapping, multi-p;ayer modes, create-a-skater, -park, -level, -trick, -etc.  In fact, the Re-mix part of the title partially refers to the fact that the PSP version has 4 bonus levels not seen in the console editions.  All of this adds up to an amazing value.  In fact, though it isn't my favorite launch game on the system, THUG2: Remix probably is the best value, with hundreds of challenges and on-line mode for when they have been completed.  Anyone who has enjoyed the other incarnations of the THUG and THPS games will likely find a lot to love in THUG2: Remix.

 

- Tolen Dante

(April 27, 2005)

 

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