Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 «

I’m a huge fan of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the subsequent Underground titles; but never did I expect to get so much fun out of a mobile version of the premiere extreme game franchise. Making a successful cell phone title requires addictive play that feels right on the keypad — not an easy task. Even so, THUG 2 is the video game equivalent of the 900 trick that made Tony famous.

Was that Jebediah Springfield?

International Calling

Jamdat’s Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 has the same premise of the console versions. Bam and Tony are at war around the world, and you’re tagging along. Go to exotic locales and mess stuff up. Here, the stages are side-scrolling affairs (though you will be moving up and down a lot, too), and offer old-school challenges.

For each area, there’s a specific goal you must accomplish to end your run. In Boston, you have to decapitate historical statues, while Berlin makes you derail a train full of sausage. There are a variety of other missions to execute as well, such as collecting all the cell phones or slapping stickers in specific areas. Keep in mind that once you do the main task you’re charged with, you’re done and can move onto the next area. Of course, you can backtrack and try again all you want.

Dial-An-Ollie

The default controls do a good job of letting you maneuver as well as pull off tricks. The 2, 4, 6, and 8 buttons are for moving up, left, right, and down respectively. The 5 button makes you ollie, and 1 and 3 are your trick buttons. To stop dead in your tracks, hit 0. You can also use your phone’s arrow pad for movement; while it seems easier in theory, I advise against it.

Grinding and manuals have been simplified, but still offer a challenge. To grind a rail, just go up to it. To manual, hit one of the trick buttons when all wheels are on the ground. This brings up the familiar Pro Skater balance meter. Combos are pulled off when you do tricks in close proximity to each other; you’re given about three seconds, so you don’t need to be so anal about linking them together.

Little Thug

Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 satisfies all mobile gaming criteria. Its graphics are colorful, with a perspective that actually uses the entire screen to its advantage. The control will rarely frustrate (except if your fingers get tangled and you accidentally end your game, like I often did playing on an LG camera phone). You can play for five minutes, or spend an hour getting your skate on. All gamers packing phones are encouraged to pick this puppy up and start busting tricks.

 

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