Street Sk8er 2
|a game by||Atelier Double|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Even though Street Sk8er 2 may look, sound and even feel a little like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, it isn't going to be the next big thing in the world of skateboarding games. At best, it'll be filed under the "rent once but never buy" category. After playing THPS, the semi-arcadey Street Sk8er 2 just doesn't seem worth the time or money. While the graphics are admittedly more crisp (except for the undetailed skaters) and sometimes speedier than THPS, the control is terribly sluggish. This makes pulling off tricks--and especially combos--more trouble than they're worth. This is really unfortunate, considering the levels are long and jam-packed with rails, ramps and objects to use for tricks. The Skate Park Editor is fun to mess with as well. And while I like how you can upgrade your skater's stats, and open up different stuff as you advance, all in all, the skaters are stereotypical and lame, and there aren't enough courses to choose from. So what about the two-player stuff? Well, it doesn't hold a candle to the kick-ass modes in THPS. A box collection mode is a mindless game of tag, and the trick duel is annoying thanks to the aforementioned control problems. And finally, do we really need to hear some "hipster" announcer telling me how much I tore up a course, or asking if I meant to bail on that last trick? I don't think so.
I wouldn't put SS2 above Tony Hawk, but it'll give Thrasher: Skate and Destroy a run for its money. The trick system while ultra-simple, is more intuitive than Thrasher. You'll be doing just about everything there is within the first hour of play. That's nice, but unfortunately the animation looks robotic and stiff. It'd be more realistic if subtle nuances were thrown in here and there. Instead you see the exact same motion repeated over and over again.
If you've already played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, don't even bother with Street Sk8er 2. It rips ideas from Activision's superior skating game while also managing to look and feel clunky. Although it packs loads of moves, the tricks system just doesn't feel natural. Your skater appears sluggish, particularly when he or she gets air; it's like you're skating underwater. The park-editor, although a nice touch, doesn't give you enough options.
Tony Hawk has blown open the genre floodgates for mediocre knockoffs. SS2 is a huge improvement over its predecessor, but it still lacks the controls that make THPS the standard by which all other skating games are judged. And to EA's credit, they've embellished the game with plenty of authentic branding and some decent music. But why the uber-annoying "xtreme" announcer dude? SS2 is painfully ordinary...I'd pick up THPS and Thrasher first.