by Michael Moore
There have been so many Tony Hawk games and yet somehow they continue to make each game good and unique. The great addition to the Underground series was the addition of the story mode. In this one the story isn't as much of a story as it was in the previous one, but it's still enjoyable to play through.
The story with this one is that Tony Hawk, and pro skater/MTV star Bam Margera are setting up a world tour where two teams will compete in various locals for points. These points are earned by completing certain goals, most of which are destructive. Which leads to a cool feature of the game. When a certain trigger is hit in each level there is a movie which shows something happening in the level that leads to the landscape of the level almost completely changing. In some levels there are even more then one.
Graphically I was surprised to see how close THUG2 looks to the PS2 version, considering its the PSP. Especially with all the little things going on in each of the levels. Unfortunately I think that this causes the one major issue with the game, and that is the long load times. They can get a little annoying when you are trying to quickly play the game.
The voice acting in the game is pretty good, considering they aren't really actors, but sometimes there are issues with the cut scene sequences where the audio lags behind the video by a few seconds. That's the only time the audio is anywhere near bad. It's amazing to see the number of songs that are in the game. I wasn't expecting to see as many as they put in, and they nicely organized them so you can pick only the kinds of songs you want to hear, or specifically which songs.
The game's controls and gameplay are pretty much unchanged since the last one, but that is expected since they pretty much got it right the first time, and have since just been tweeking it a bit. The new tweek with this one is the focus mode that you can activate when you have your special bar full. It basically just slows down time making it easier to pull off tricks and keep your balance during grinds and manuals. It's a nice addition, but its not as big an addition to the game as the manual and revert were when they were added.
Overall it's one of the better Tony Hawk games. The fact that it is almost an exact portable port of the console version makes it all that much more enjoyable. It's definitely a must buy for all PSP owners.