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Something else that makes THUG2 really stand out is just how much customization you are allowed. You can create your own levels once again and now there are more pieces and you are allowed to make a bigger park than ever before. You can then put in your own custom goals. There is also a great Create-A-Skater feature that allows you to make characters as realistic or as crazy as you like. When you are finished with the look of your skater, you can also build a completely new trick for them in the trick creation mode. Then you can customize a skateboard to look just how you want it to. And, finally, you can create your own graphics to use when you jump off your board and press Y to spray paint something. Yes, you can have your own custom graffiti tag to spray all over your custom levels with your custom skater. If you want to really dedicate the time to make nice levels and well thought out goals, you can really make some super nice stuff. That is the great thing about Neversoft. Most people will be happy with just one game mode, but in THUG2 you get two full featured modes along with a ton of customization features to create anything else you could want.
Old-School Feel in a Shiny New Package
Even though the last two games have been fun, they havent really lived up to the standard set by the first three. When the two-minute timer was eliminated, everyone thought it was wonderful and would lead to more open-ended, realistic gameplay. It did all that, but it also killed the sense of urgency in picking up as many goals as you could in the time limit. It lessened the sense of accomplishment when you racked up an insanely high score. And it all but destroyed the replay value in the game. I played THPS 1,2,3 for months and months, trying to get high scores and to just make sure I saw everything there was to see. With THPS4 and THUG, I was finished with them as soon as I beat them. I got all 190 goals and whipped Eric Sparrows butt on the highest difficulty before I was done, of course, but I had no desire to keep going. That little extra piece of magic that was missing is back in THUG2 in the form of classic mode, and I am definitely glad to see it return. THUG2 is the best of both worlds - a good story mode and a great classic mode and that is why the whole package works so incredibly well and stands as one of the best Tony Hawk games so far.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in THUG2 are pretty much like they were in THUG. The levels all look really great and are very detailed. Special effects for sparks and fire and other stuff look really nice as well. I am not a fan of the exaggerated cartoony style used for the characters this time around, but they are animated so perfectly and smoothly that it is easy to overlook the blurry, bug-eyed faces.
The sound is also well done. The sounds of skating all sound great, as usual, and there was a lot of voice work done by the skaters and celebrity guest stars and most of it sounds good. The soundtrack is an important part of any Tony Hawk game, and THUG2 has the best soundtrack of them all. When songs stick in your head and you can relate each song to a particular moment in the game, you know it is all good. There are over 50 tracks spanning hip-hop, punk, rock, and more. Artists include Frank Sinatra, Metallica, The Ramones, The Doors, Faith No More, Johnny Cash, and Ministry. There are lots of different types of music represented and it all sounds really cool and works well with the game.
Tony Hawks Underground 2 does pretty much everything right. It really should be able to please everybody even if you havent been too happy with the last couple of games thanks to the fact that it includes both a lengthy story mode and a classic mode filled with old school levels and goals. On top of that there is a wealth of customization features so you can make any kind of skater, level, trick, board, and graphic you could want. This game is simply huge. The Tony Hawk gameplay is as solid as ever and the level designs really make every aspect of the gameplay stand out. The soundtrack is also among the best the series has to offer. THUG2 stands as one of the best Tony Hawk games yet and is highly recommended for a purchase.