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Game music of the day: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Game: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Song: No Cigar

Composer: Millencolin

       
Above: No Cigar from Tony Hawk 2

It's damn near impossible to fathom today, but a decade ago the Tony Hawk series was one of the fastest-growing, most-acclaimed new IPs out there. It pulled skating games out of the gutter with a balance of real tricks and skaters against impossible stunts and outrageous locations. It was the perfect introduction to skateboarding as well as wish fulfillment for mid-level skaters who wanted to pull off a flawless 900 without breaking every bone in their body. But it wasn't just the gameplay that made Pro Skater such a hit - its punk rock soundtrack introduced millions of gamers to bands that they'd never heard of before, and THPS2 one-upped its predecessor with an eclectic mix of alternative rock and hip hop.

Anyone who played THPS2 has a favorite song, the one that really got you pumped and ready to 100% that god damn Philadelphia level. Mine was No Cigar by Swedish rock band Millencolin. That opening, with the marching drums and repeating guitar licks, perfectly conveys the sense of rolling on a skateboard. Then, just as you jump into your first trick, the song kicks up and you've got an amazing song narrating your every move. Even if you don't care for the style of music, you can't argue that No Cigar is a dead-on audio match. Road Rash for 3DO may have tried the "real songs in games" approach first, but the Pro Skater series popularized it before even GTA made it a point to have fully licensed soundtracks.


Above: And despite being the exact opposite style of music, Naughty by Nature's "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" fits just as well


Above: I wanted to say something about The High & Mighty, but just ask Cheryll or Mike and  they'll tell you all about it


Above: Back to metal, I was always fond of Consumed's "Heavy Metal Winner"


Above: I'd never heard of Lagwagon prior to THPS2, but "May 16" is just about the most "2000" song you'll ever hear. All it needs is a turntable and a Durst-style "CHEEEYA!"

So great was the Pro Skater influence that it created a sub-genre of extreme sports games - Mat Hoffman, Kelly Slater, Jonny Moseley, Shaun White, Dave Mirra, Shaun Murray and more all had varying degrees of success, and the Pro Skater series itself went on to become an annual cash cow for Activision. It's not in the greatest shape these days, but we're still holding out hope for a back-to-basics sequel that recaptures what made the series fun in the first place. Hell, we'd even settle for an HD remake of 1, 2 and 3...

 

Game music of the day: Mortal Kombat The Album
Six songs that will change your life forever, all by The Immortals

 

 

Game music of the day: Gauntlet
Song A by Earl Vickers and Hal Canon

 

 

Game music of the day: Ys Seven
Place of Reticent Lava by JDK Band

Topics

Game music

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36 comments

  • AnalogKid - November 30, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    love this whole soundtrack it just fits the game perfectly
  • EAC73 - November 30, 2010 8:29 p.m.

    ah one of the best soundtracks but i have to say i liked that Rage Against the Machine was on it as well as powerman 5000
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - November 30, 2010 8:11 p.m.

    @ranman Oh I agree, lagwagon sounds nothing like Limp Bizkit, but their sound is verrry late-90s early 00s pop-punk. Or at least that particular song is. Hey I like it, but IMO it's as dated as the far-worse rap metal of the same time period.
  • Spybreak8 - November 30, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    Oh man sound of nostalgia. I was playing this over in Spain, it was one of the only things my Spanish exchange student and I agreed to like haha.
  • sternparez - November 30, 2010 7:12 p.m.

    I always loved Papa Roach - Blood Brothers, still do
  • sleepy92ismypsn - November 30, 2010 6:33 p.m.

    nice choice Brett. Theres alot of good songs on this soundtrack but how can you not have listed Rage Against The Machine- Guerilla Radio and Public Enemy & Anthrax - Bring the noise?
  • CharlieFockstrot - November 30, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    Hell, we'd even settle for an HD remake of 1, 2 and 3... +1
  • billyjack77 - November 30, 2010 1:50 p.m.

    Gotta love Naughty By Nature man i remeber hearing this all the time while at the School.
  • asljirk - November 30, 2010 1:22 p.m.

    Wow I haven't heard this in years. Thanks alot. Keep posting this article, the past few weeks have been a trip down memory lane for me!
  • GayforGilbert - November 30, 2010 12:12 p.m.

    Brett, what do you think of the menu music?
  • philipshaw - November 30, 2010 11:58 a.m.

    Awesome GMOTD, that game definitely had the best THPS soundtrack but I still think THPS3 was the best game in the series
  • mattchew86 - November 30, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    I have THPS to thank for introducing me to all of my favorite band. Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, RATM, Millencolin, Sublime. The list goes on and on. Good to hear No Cigar again \m/ >_< \m/ Oh, and Millencolin FTW!!!
  • H311DUCk - November 30, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    I really miss this game.
  • Yaro - November 30, 2010 9:50 a.m.

    Personally I always loved Public enemy + Anthrax = bring the noise =) Man, this sure takes me back =)
  • nai1210 - November 30, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    @QWERTYcommander surley the series went downhill with downhill jam(sorry :))
  • LordPantsless - November 30, 2010 6:46 a.m.

    OMG. Brett, I sincerely thank you for posting this. It's one of the few songs from THPS2 that I haven't heard since I played the game. I can't even describe the memories this evokes. Thanks, man.
  • elpurplemonkey - November 30, 2010 6:45 a.m.

    This song bring back great memories. And while I remember enjoying all of these songs back then, nothing compares to Superman by Goldfinger in the original Tony Hawk. An HD remake of the THPS 1 and 2- why does this not exist?
  • Shrimpandwhitewine - November 30, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    A great part of my early childhood soundtrack.
  • QWERTYCommander - November 30, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    @Jurdge Am I the only one that likes THUG2? I played the series since the 1st Pro Skater, and I absolutely loved THUG2. The hilarious off-the-wall humor, the big, secret-filled levels, and awesome characters. I personally think THAW was when the series went downhill. But anyway, this is still the best game in the series. And the soundtrack was the best out of them all too.
  • Jurdge - November 30, 2010 5:58 a.m.

    Fantastic game and the best in the series. Though I thought THPS4 and THUG were still good games. THUG2 is were the series lost me.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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