I bought this game from a place in Bradford town centre called ?Game station?. I took two games that I had got extremely bored of and got £18 pound each for them, so I traded in and got Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 and £1:01 credit. The prices on all GameBoy advance games are hugely out of proportion. For £35 pound I expect a long, enthralling, exciting game, which has good graphics and, most of all, is playable. Most GBA games don?t live up to half of the aforementioned standards and fall way short of the mark. There should at least be some ?Budget? games, which are £20 each. To be honest, I would pay a fiver for half of the GBA selection. I had been waiting for a good game to come out on the Gameboy Advance since Christmas and I knew 3 were coming out in March, Sonic Advance, Mario Advance 2 and this. Seeing as Sonic had fallen way below my lowest expectations, the baton of hope went on to THPS3. It looked good, sounded cool and I had played and experienced it on the Playstation 2. On the car ride home from Bradford Town Centre I opened the box to look in the manual. As I flicked through it, I noticed that the game only had 7 levels (the last one is secret). The PS2 version had about 9. Where have the other two levels gone? Did Neversoft, makers of the Tony Hawk series, think that us GBA gamers wouldn?t notice that 2/9 of the game has gone? Obviously so. When I looked through the list of skaters I realised that a TV star was on there. Any one who is familiar with the ?Jackass? TV show will know who Bam Margera is. Always wearing black and nearly always equipped with a skateboard, he has been chosen as a new skater to be put on THPS3. Here are the Skaters who are on the game: Tony Hawk Often mistaken for Tony Hawks, the writer of one or two books, he is the most famous skateboarder that the world has ever seen. Through creating endless amounts of tricks and being the only person ever to spin 900
degrees on a skateboard, he has become an idol for the skateboarding youth of today. Steve Caballero Often called the ?Godfather of modern skateboarding?, ?Cab? is an all round skater who leads by example. He rides every terrain with the skill and passion of a master Kareem Campbell Born and raised in huge cities, Kareem is the ultimate urban skater. Kareem is smart, keeps it real and is smoothed out. Rune Glifberg Rune, the master of all skateboarding Danish people, is one of the most versatile skaters of the modern day and has done so by pinching bits of experience from any terrain. Eric Koston Being a major fan of his hometown basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers, Eric is also an idol to the youth of today. His smooth, consistent, innovative style of skating has made him what he is today. Bucky Lasek An excitable 20-something, Bucky has now emerged out the shadow cast by his long-term friend and mentor, the great Tony Hawk. He has gotten rid of his sidekick image by creating his own type of skateboarding. Bam Margera Bam is star of the cult show, Jackass. Almost every show shows him Tony Hawk and Mat Hoffman messing around on a loop near a lake. For skaters he?s a talented hilarious breath of fresh air. To the rest of the world he is just the ?jackass who skates on TV?. Rodney Mullen Rod has made many moves and created today?s street tech. (some technical speech for all you skaters out there. Don?t ask me what it means; I am just taking bits out of the manual!) Chad Muska Testing the physical limits of skating, Chad has turned himself into a public figure and has had time to make his own music! Andrew Reynolds Andy has been unleashed on the planet to make certain that ticky-tack mediocrity will never been seen on our streets again. Geoff Rowley Originally lived in Britain (WAHEY! Someone from this side of the Atl
antic can skate well!), Geoff now spends his time grinding any unsuspecting rail in sight. Elissa Steamer The only girl on the game she doesn?t care about any gender related issues. All Elissa wants to do is the thing she loves ? skate Jamie Thomas Coming up quick after 15 years of living, breathing, eating drinking and sleeping skateboard, Jamie?s leap-of-faith style of skating has many admirers. When I first turned the game on, the graphics stood out a mile. They were so good, so detailed. That is, for a Gameboy Advance game. If it were any other console it would look chunky and hard to make out. You cannot actually make out you tiny little skater on the screen. It just looks like a few random pixels thrown together and called whichever skater you want. A new part of THPS3 is the ability to create your own skater. This means you can give him a name, choose which random arrangement of pixels you want for his clothes and pretend that the face is changing when you select his complexion. Unfortunately, you can choose the moves but only change the buttons you press for your ?special moves? Each skater has their own special moves that get them loads more points. If you have never played on this game, you are given points for the tricks you pull off. A simple trick will get you 500 points or so, where as a special can get you as much as 10,000 points. If you spin while you are pulling off a trick, it acts as a multiplier and gets you move points. These are what you can expect for more spinning: 180 Degrees ? 1.5x 360 Degrees ? 2.0x 540 Degrees ? 2.5x 720 Degrees ? 3.0x 900 Degrees ? 3.5x Say you did a trick which was worth 1,000 points and you spun 540 degrees, you would now get 2,500 points Spinning is essential to any good skater. The more you pull off a trick, the less points you get. This means that, if you do your special move loads of times, the a
mount of pints you get the 10th time you do it will be the same as a simple trick. This is your guide to the points you can get when tricks are used more than 1 time a session. 1st time ? 100% 2nd time ? 50% 3rd time ? 25% 4th time ? 10% This means that, say your special move earns you 10,000 points, the first time you get it you will get ten thousand, but if you pull it off a second time in that session, you will only get 5,000 and 2,500 a third. Any times after that you?d only get 1,000 The way you handle Tony and co the GBA is different to how you do on the PS2 as well. On PS2, you are behind Tony and you control him from there. On the GBA you are taking a side view from the sky. This means you are more able to see where you are going and you can plan where you are next going to go. It also means you are you cannot tell when you skater is about to hit the floor when pulling off a trick, therefore making grinds the best moves on the game and the easiest to do. The overall control on the game is pretty good. It is easy to learn (if you have some smarts with you) but very difficult to master. The tricks are hard to remember and some are near impossible to do. For simple tricks you need to press a single button and one of the shoulder buttons at the same time. The more difficult ones require you to press one direction, then another with a shoulder button at the same time. The shoulder buttons do different types of tricks. If you press the left shoulder button, you will get a flip trick and if you press the right shoulder button you will get a grab. The grab tricks are the hardest to pull off because, to press the right shoulder button you have to take you right hands concentration off of the direction pad and onto the shoulder button. This means you will probably miss your trick and your skater will fall flat of their face causing many little red pixels to fall out of his body. To grind, go to
somewhere that looks grind able (i.e. a kerb on the road or a rail) and jump is necessary. Then press a direction and the A button to pull off a grind. Easy, innit? There is also is another trick which acts as a multiplier s you can get more points by combining 2 or 3 tricks together, you press up and down and you pull off a manual. I haven?t yet talked about one of the major parts of the game, the levels. As I said way up in one of the first paragraphs, the 2 levels from Tony Hawks 3 on PS2 are missing. They aren?t the only things that have been missed out. Large areas of levels have been missed out. On the first level, Foundry, you are put in some kind of steel works. This is one of the only levels to have been left totally untouched by the scissors, which have cut out so much of the PS2 version out of the GBA game. You have many different goals to complete like empting some molten steel and opening 5 vaults. There are 5 set goals on every level. These are the high score, Pro Score, Sick Score, find the hidden tape and collect T-R-I-C-K. On the high score, pro score and sick score all require you to get a certain amount of points with High score being the lowest amount, the pro score being quite high and sick score being very hard to get. The hidden tape can be found somewhere in the level that is quite secretive and is hard to get. The letters T, R, I, C and K are scattered around the level and you have to get them all in one 2 minute session to complete the goal. Different levels have different goals. In the level ?Suburbia? you have to help a man get into his house by getting him an axe and on the same level you have to get a hot dog to give to a tramp. In Los Angeles you have grind on 4 different rails to grind on to cause an earthquake. All levels have goals apart from 2. These are the two competition levels in which you compete against the other skaters to win the competition. J
udges give you points out of 100 for how good your 1-minute session on the level was. Points are deducted for falling over and points are also taken away for unoriginal tricks. To get a gold medal you have to get 90 ? 95 points. For silver you need 85 ? 90 points and silver is 80 ? 85. There are many different types of play on THPS3. For all you novices there is a tutorial mode that lets you learn how to skate with the help of the game. Even if you already consider yourself a pro, you can still learn on or two things from this mode. The main thing on the game is the career mode. This is the mode that lets you complete goals and unlock new levels. It also lets you save your progress, so no more repetitive game play. Free skate does exactly what it says on the tin. You can skate freely with no time limits or goals to complete on one of the levels you have unlocked on career mode. Single session gives you two minutes on the unlocked level of your choice. No goals can achieved but you beat the high score on the level and complete gaps (a gap is where you do a trick between two things.) There is also multiplayer which I have never had the chance to play on. Come to think of it, who ever uses the multi player link up? I have once on my original GameBoy and that?s it. By the look of it in the instruction booklet, multiplayer looks like the strong point of the game. You can play 5 different games with any mate who has a GBA and THPS3. In Trick Attack you are both put into a level and you and your mate have a set period of time to get the highest amount of points possible. Whoever gets the highest, wins. Tag sets you a certain period of time and you play a game of tig. If you are on, you have to skate into your opponent to get them on. Then spend the rest of the time avoiding them. King of the Hill sounds a lot like tag. There is a crown somewhere on the level and you have to find it. T
he person who has the crown skates slower and has the crown above his head. If the ?king? is collided into, the crown has to be coughed up. The person who holds the crown for the pre-set limit is the king. Free skate in multiplayer mode is the same as in single player. No objectives, no time limit, just plain fun. In each round in horse you attempt to do a trick and put up the most points possible. If you get the lowest, you get one letter towards horse or whichever word you choose (keep it clean now!). The options on the GBA version are ok but nothing special. You can do the normal stuff, which is expected like change the volume of the songs on the game and the same with the sound effects. You can also turn special things on and off. For instance you can turn ?kid mode? on. This makes you fall off your board less. Seeing as this is technically cheating, if you get on the high score board there is an unhappy face next to it. You can also turn the blood on and off (if a few red pixels on your screen are too much for you) The music on the game is pretty poor and is nothing like the quality you have on the PS2. Gone are the punk songs and put in their place are some little drumbeats and annoying songs with no words. I just turn the sound off. The game play for THPS3 is pretty good for the first week or so when there are still new levels to unlock and goals to complete. After that it all goes a bit sour Overall THPS3 is not a bad game, but compared to the PS2 version it is nothing. If you are looking for a short burst of fun, get this but if you are looking for a long challenging game, get a PS2 and THPS3 for that
Tony Hawks 2 (TH2) was one of the first releases for the GBA and it was stunning, it was smooth, perfect control, long playability, the sound complemented the fantastic graphics...I played it for a whole day, then my mate wanted it back :-( But it wasn't enough for me to buy a GBA. Then earlier this year, I got a glimpse of TH3 on a games website and it was EVEN better than TH2. I went weak! I bought a GBA. If you've played TH3 on a Playstation 2 then you will be a little familiar with the levels such as 'The Foundry', 'LA' and 'The Airport'. They are very well represented here even though it's in a isometric perspective just like TH2. The game is tasked based to unlock new skates, levels and clothing (bizzare). For example, a task may require you to collect the letters S-K-A-T-E, or start an earthquake in Los Angeles. This gives the game a longer playability. The controls have been tweaked a little to give you more control. By doing this I think 3 is a bit easier to play than 2; I've unlocked all the levels within 7 days of playing on the commute to and from London. The graphics have been beefed up to show much more detail; the textures have an extra crispness to them and the whole environment looks that much more realisting than 2; it's all superficial to the playability but it does create an enjoyable atmosphere in a tiny screen. There is a blood option, but I don't think it adds anything to the game. Sound is good with sampled grunts and groans as you hit the ground (normally with my head!). The music is rock based, so I turn it off ;-) Overall, a fantastic game. Like I said, i've unlocked all the levels, but i haven't completed all the tasks. Then there are the amazing trick combinations you can do to get massive scores. All this means it's a game you will be returning to over and over again...this commuter certainly will be.