The skateboarding game is a genre that has taken off in the past year, most notably with the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. And while Street Sk8er 2 doesn’t quite live up to the heights of that game, it does leave you with a frantic, fun experience.
Picking from a select group of skaters, you grind through the amazingly detailed and long courses of Washington DC, Moscow, London, Miami, and San Francisco. Five courses may not seem like a lot, but as your skater racks up extra skill points by winning competitions, they can access previously out of reach areas of the courses, enhancing replay value and keeping you coming back for more.
You’re constantly running against the clock in SS 2, but race through the course too quickly and you won’t get enough trick points to move forward in the competition. Spend too much time catching air and doing radical tricks and you’ll run out of time before finishing the course. It’s a perfect combination, not allowing the player to focus on one aspect more than the other.
Tricks can be performed pretty easily in the game — almost too easy. The computer takes care of the landings for you. All you have to make sure is not to be doing a trick as you hit the pavement, and you’ll always land just fine. There seems to be almost an infinite amount of tricks to perform, especially as your skill points increase.
The music in the game, from such bands as Del the Funky Homosapien and Ministry, is fairly sub-standard. It’s nothing to write home to mom about. The graphics as well are average. While simple looking, there is an immense amount of detail provided.
There is a create-a-park feature, which is definitely one of the high points of the game, as well as a free skate mode, which lets you just skate around the courses to get a better feel for them. The two-player mode though is not done well and was very disappointing.
With the financial and critical success of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Street Sk8er 2 will certainly not be the last of this genre of game to hit the shelves. With incredible courses, easy gameplay, and solid replay value Street Sk8er 2 has a good chance to stand the test of time and rates a solid 3 1/2 GiN Gems.
"Ken, what the hell is this," I hear my loyal readers exclaiming. "This is a straight-forward review. No funny anecdotes, no elaborate wit on display. Are you losing your touch or what?" Well, the answer loyal readers is what.
You see, I saved up space in my 750 word count limit to once again lobby game development companies across this great land of ours (and Japan) to please, please, for the love of God and all that is Holy — Make A Chips and/or A-Team game. I mean just last week I saw a news item at GiN that a Starsky and Hutch game is going to made. Starsky and Hutch?!? What sort of ungodly act did I perform in a former life to deserve the horror of a Starsky and Hutch game and yet still have no opportunity to ride as the great Ponch on the roads on California or help those who need it as the intimidating B.A Barracus.
Am I going to be able to play a Mr. Belvedere game before my fondest desires to fly a helicopter as Murdock are realized? Maybe an Alf game or Suddenly Susan are next in line? Will I solve mysteries as Angela Lansbury in a Murder She Wrote game maybe?
Does anybody realize how much money a Chips and/or A-Team game would ring in. I’m trying to help you guys, help me, help you. I mean, it’s a win-win situation — you guys make a ton of cash and I get to use Hannibal’s superior intellect to turn a 57 Chevy into a mobile battle-tank to save the day. Or have Mr. T and his mini-14 blow holes through a wall.
These games are important. America’s youth needs to play these games. Dirk Benedict needs the job a voice-over in the A-Team game would give him. I beg of thee, please bring joy to the masses. If not, then I say — a plague upon your houses! May all your games suffer from choppy graphics, poor controls and a crappy ad campaign. May Eric Estrada and Mr. T haunt your dreams for the rest of your miserable days. Make the right decision, make these games.
Oh yea, till then, I guess skateboarding will have to do.