The game will debut at the US launch, featuring six full skate parks and hidden levels unique to the GBA version. Visually the third dimension has to go, making it less than a perfect conversion, but the skaters use up to 300 polygons each and the third dimension is faked remarkably. The lack of detail in a 300 polygon model, PC fans might argue, is enough to make Doom 2 look like a 2001 release, but given the size of the GBA screen, things are slightly more promising. Skate parks are viewed from a fixed perspective, which is a departure from the classic (and highly imitable) behind-the-action approach, but thanks to the indistinguishable-from-3D skater models the GBA genuinely realises a proper vision of Tony Hawk's. The six parks are The Hangar, School Yard, Marseilles France, New York, and Skate Street, borrowed from the console versions, as well as the usual hidden bonuses. According to the developer one of the special extras is a re-rendered version of the Warehouse level from THPS the original, which they liked so much they decided to re-do.
Complete the puzzle
As with the console versions, the same combos and moves will be available, with thousands of points required to advance to new stages, SKATE letters to collect, hidden bits and bobs - you know the drill though right? If you don't, feel free to read our review of the original Tony Hawk's on N64, or THPS2 on Dreamcast or PlayStation. It's a game you deserve to be well-versed in. So what else? Well, I suppose the defining thing will be what's missing rather than what returns. Gone in the translation is the licensed music, which will sting a bit for fans, but given most gamers will be playing this on the train and under the desk at work that's not too important. What might annoy is the lack of create-a-skater and create-a-skatepark options, and even more unfortunate, the lack of multiplayer options via the link cable, something even RPGs are cashing in on. Nevertheless it will be nice to play THPS2 on the GameBoy Advance - God only knows the world needs something that addictive on a handheld of the GBA's quality. If you have any doubts about that, check out the praise we've already bestowed upon the game elsewhere. Need we say more?