Lagwagon – May 16
You’ll either find this cool, or find me completely lame, but every year on this day I’m reminded of a really cool song simply because of today’s date.
You may have first heard May 16 by the American pop-punk band Lagwagon on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – in fact, perhaps you could be tempted to break out the PS2 (or semi-faulty backwards compatible PS3) today to play a few rounds in tribute.
Elsewhere, on the THPS2 soundtrack there are some great songs alongside some…not so great ones. For every Bad Religion gem there’s an ill-advised Papa Roach follow up; just as Anthrax and Public Enemy bring the noise, Powerman 5000 brings the annoyance.
The Tony Hawk’s series is, no doubt, a classic – easily some of the most playable and most challenging of console games of all time (and soon to include the recently-announced THPS5! Perhaps a debate looms on the horizon…) but nostalgically, the original Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding is untouchable; it even made my Influential 15 Video Games list.
Soundtrack aside though, the great leap from first to second game was astounding – even for its release on the original Playstation – and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 does have its many, many charms; just as an example, if you ever had the rather specific thought of “hey, I want a skating game where I can theoretically manual forever,” then this game no doubt did the business for your very precise demands. (Just as it did me in, whenever playing a game of H-O-R-S-E against a couple of friends who had had far too much manual practice).
But the game’s ratings speak for themselves; according to the all-time Metacritic list, only Ocarina of Time has a higher rating! In ALL games! Ever! I cannot believe what an achievement that is. (Even better when you consider that the following game in the series rates so highly too, even on a superior console it scores a point fewer.)
I guess I know what I’m playing on this sunny Saturday afternoon! (Yes, indoors on a sunny Saturday afternoon, don’t you judge me.)