Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Activison
Developer
Neversoft
Genre
Extreme Sports
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Well-designed courses
• Excellent soundtrack
• Trick system is well done
• Both skater and park creation are deep and with a lot of options.
• Online skating

The Bad

• Soundtrack may not be for everyone
• Casual gamers may get frustrated by the competitions

 
Grade
A-

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 Is the continuation in the series of skater games that have set the benchmark for extreme sports (skating, bmx) in the past few years. In this game, you can choose to be either Tony Hawk, one of a few other famous skaters (Jamie Thomas, Elissa Steamer, etc.) or a skater of your own design as you perform on a series of skate parks. Some parks require you to do various tricks or get a certain trick score to move on, while others are competitions where you perform tricks against other skaters in one minute runs to move on.

Each and every park is well designed with a number of places to pull a variety of tricks and even perform funny side-events (my personal favorite is knocking the guy's tongue free of the frozen pole in Canada only to have him running around moaning about his tongue later). In Season Mode, you can gain points to improve your character's stats so you can focus on certain aspects (like Ollie, Air and Balance).

Graphically, the game runs smoothly and everything is put together well. The character animation is well done. When your skater wrecks, they grab injured shins, backsides and groins and leave bloodstains where they've fallen. While the non-skater character models aren't all too detailed, the environments in their scale and design more than make up for it. The only rough spot I saw in the environment was some polygon clipping when you're skater fell outside of the park boundaries.

The sound-effects and voices add another layer of quality to the game. The soundtrack provides an amazing collection, including the Ramones, Rollins Band, Motorhead, A.F.I., Alien Ant Farm and a number of others. While I'm not a fan of most of the music, I could appreciate the quality line-up and was also pleased that I could choose to just pick certain tracks to play or not have the music present at all.

Where Tony Hawk 3 really excels is the ability to pull of simple stunts which can be strung along into combos. With some many places too pull off stunts in each of the parks, gamers can really experiment with a variety of moves. And even once you learn how to pull off a series of moves, you're given scoring challenges and a number of secrets to locate in each area. Let's just say that there's a lot to do and a number of ways to do it. And, if that's not enough, you can play online against three others, create your own skater (with an immense number of options) or your own park.

If you're not a fan of skating games, this game might get old after a few days. While you can play around in the regular parks with no problem (most of the tricks required are easy to pull off), the competitions are sadistic if your don't have a great handle on the trick system and landing combos without wrecking. Dedicated skating gamers will eat this game up, if not for days but weeks on end. Even if you're not big on skating games, you should at least rent this. It is a fun game. Period.

- - Vane

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