After I took out my PSP from years of collecting dust, I found an old favorite, THUG2 Remix, was in the slot, ready to play. Since I was given this chance I thought I would take a look at PSP’s 2004 exclusive expansion to what I considered to be the best skating game of all time.
The PSP was nifty at the time, but put next to a Vita, the graphics look blocky and ugly. Put next to the original DS the graphics seem more acceptable, but it is still a tone down from the high standard that PlayStation had been setting with the PS2. Furthermore, the way movement looks on that screen is painful to the eyes and headache inducing after a couple hours of gameplay.
This major hitch made it difficult to relive the love I had for this game, but knowing the fun that this game had in store I bore with it. The game retains the series’ precision control scheme and simple trick system that defined it and translated the ramp transfer system well from the consoles. Manuals are still a pain to use to link combos together and the game challenges you with a few objectives and variations to keep you playing.
The create-a-mode section of the game is also done to my tastes. You get a few options in every category and can mix and match any one of a couple hundred possible skaters (mine is a zombie that I call Solomon Grundy.) You can also make a sticker that you can slap onto walls, graffiti tag, and other easily over-lookable and highly unnecessary options.
The soundtrack is one of the best and most varied in recent memory, showcasing hip-hop, oldies, and rock music that all played very well with the game. The PSP version seems to have an issue that the PS2 version did not in that at certain points the music will simply stop playing making for a somewhat boring experience. Also, certain game sounds and cut scenes don’t carry over well.
The already large game included a few extra levels and skaters for the handheld version. Some of the levels give memorable experiences, but they are not particularly memorable and do little to augment the value of the game as a whole.
Finally, this game featured many of the multiplayer games that this series is known for. That being said, I feel that the strength of this game is in its story mode and the challenges, which you have to overcome in the game.
- Precision controls
- Fun single player
- Amazing soundtrack
- Extra levels
- Handheld quality graphics that cause headaches
- Random music stopping
- Half of the cast is useless
Final Grade: B-
As a side note: some character swaps and cut scenes seem to make my game freeze. I’m not sure if something happened to the disk while it was sitting in my PSP for many years or if that is an issue with the game. If you have more information on this please let me know in the comment section below.