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Well, what can I say? After playing the first two games to the absolute death (completing each one with every single character), I was in agony waiting for this the newest installment of the Skateboarders safer alternative. Being a skateboarder myself, and also a hard time gamer, I found the controls in the game to be quite good, you press up for control of your frontleg to do nollies and fast plants (called Boneless I think in the game). And you press down to control the back foot, to slow down and to stop even. The play is smooth and good looking, even the sound is quite close to real life... actually it is spot on. Although I am instantly full of praise for this superb game, there are some niggling doubts about the structure of the game, On the foundry level (1st level) one of the missions is to grind the molten metal bucket, this looks impossible untill you actually do it. The point is to time your jump so that the bucket that travels across the back of the room is horizontal and leap past the fiery metal pouring down on to a thin, short piece of grindable pipe on the side of it. easy enough if you know what you're doing. On the airport level you tend to get lost underneath the terminals as it all looks the same, and most of the lines that you try for will inadvertantly end up down here. Other than these few points there is little to worry about. MY favorite level has to be Suburbia as some of the horrendously long lines take the most out of your concentration and pure balncing skills. I managed to get a line that ran straight from the old house right into the caravan trailer park and back round to the back yard skate park within 1:30 this huge run left me with a high score of over 4000000 points! This now brings me to the BIG downfall of this game. It takes even more skill to get the big points on this game as your timing has got to be spot on otherwise you will be spending most of your time eating gutter. Thi
s is made a lot worse by the controls being a lot more sensative than what they were on THPS1 & 2. Back to the review. This huge game offers a choice of over 20 characters and the chance to create your own (just like THPS 2). The levels are decidedly huge and it will take a good few turns to be able to get to know them. There are hundreds of different tricks all with their seperate timings and points scheme, (TIP: use the L1 button to set yourself up for a nollie for extra points) and new to the seasoned pro's is the revert vert trick (press L2 or R2 on landing), which allows you to link out of a vert ramp trick, this gives a lot more options and opens up the game to allow for a long point filled game. (TIP: Do NOT try to kick flip after the revert, just go straight to manual, otherwise it's another face plant!). Now we come to my favorite subject... The Specials!!!!!!!!!!!!! The huge variety of special grinds and tricks already present in TPHS 2 has been expanded even more. My favorite so far has got to be the human dart, (where the character lies on his board in an arrow shape while grinding) although physically impossible, Good fun to watch. I have not seen yet if the Lazy ass grind is here, as i'm having so much fun with the rest, this grind was the best in THPS 2 and will be for THPS 3 if it's there. Two player... Have not had chance to try this out but if it's anything like what was on the other two, Yeehaw! Fantastic, hours of fun with the graffiti mode. Capturing poieces of equipment like rails and ramps with your colour and capturing the other persons with bigger tricks. This is a great game! All in all, I think any person could find this game entertaining and certainly the hard core gamers out there would certainly like it, but be warned... Your days will become shorter when you start playing and you will be addicted! It gets five out of five. Good work Neversoft! NOTE TO BEGINNERS: Try
to start with THPS1 or THPS 2 to get used to the controls as it gets a little confusing for the uninitiated.
I could sit here and tell you all what Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 is about, but I'm assuming you all know by now who Tony is and why he's such a great guy. I'm guessing what you really want to know is: a) does the Xbox flatter old Tony and b) can you expect any hidden surprises from Tony's new abode? The answer to your first question is 'yes', the Xbox has captured Tony at his best. The courses themselves are graphical masterpieces, the size of the skating environments in THPS3 dwarfs the levels that were found in THPS2 and each level comes to life with rich detail. As for your second question, don't expect a lot, but you will find new sound options, an extra level, and a new unlockable character. That Tony is such a reliable chap - he's guaranteed never to let you down
When you’ve got a big hit on your hands, it would be very rude not to make the most of it wouldn’t it? Well, Activision certainly thought so as the Xbox has now been graced with the arrival of one of the best PS2 games released to date – Tony Hawk’s 3. Now for those of you thinking ‘Dudes, Rad, Yo, Bogus…’. Just don’t worry about all that. Yes, of course it is up there with the extreme sports kind of games but THPS3 is accessible to just about everyone regardless of what your ‘typical’ kind of game is. For starters, choose one of 13 professional skateboarders including Bam Margera of MTV’s Jackass, Kareem Campbell and of course Tony Hawk himself. Rip it up (check me out using the lingo!) on one of the 8 courses, although there MAY be more wink wink nudge nudge, plus you can even create your own with the user-friendly Park Editor. Features: Single and Multiplayer modes await you so grab your board and follow me…. Career Mode – The heart and soul of Tony Hawk’s 3. Here you will tackle eight superb levels in which you’ll have to complete various tasks. As you progress and unlock levels they also become available for other THPS3 game modes. Single Session – Choose one of the available levels from those unlocked in the Career Mode and get the best score in the standard two-minute session. Free Skate – The Sunday driver option which lets you skate around the level as long as you like. Good for practising those high scores. Tutorial – An essential visit for those of you new to the Tony Hawk games but also worth a visit for regulars. Let Mr.Hawk talk you through the basics and a few more adventurous moves. If you’re still craving for more there are a host of Multiplayer modes to tempt you. Modes including Graffiti (pull tricks on objects to give them your colour), Trick Atta
ck (get the highest score), Slap (collide with your opponent – the one who’s going faster wins) and King Of The Hill (find the crown on the course and keep it – the one who keeps it longest wins). Graphics: Although the Xbox version doesn’t look staggeringly different to the PS2 version, it’s not really a big problem. The PS2 release was visually very impressive and the Xbox does add a few finishing touches to that impressive result. One moment where the graphical beauty of THPS3 becomes obvious is during the Airport level – just check out those amazingly gorgeous marble floors! So not a huge leap over the PS2’s graphics but a few noticeable changes to the observant ones among you. Sounds: Again, the improvements over the PS2 version are generally quite subtle but two major differences are a full Dolby Digital soundtrack and the ability to use your own soundtracks stored on the hard drive. The Dolby Digital soundtrack is simply marvellous – you’ll be quite surprised just how much of a difference it makes, again it’s the Airport level that reveals some of its better uses. You will of course need a suitable amplifier/decoder to gain the full benefits. The custom soundtrack has wisely been implemented here although I’m actually quite fond of the original soundtrack, especially Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades (let’s Rock!). Should you choose to pull off some gnarly moves to Steps, Hear’say or even Will Young – there’s nothing to stop you. But please don’t do it OK? At least play something vaguely respectable…. Gameplay: Ah, the icing on the Hawk’s cake. If there’s one thing that sells THPS3 more than anything else it’s got to be solid, tried and tested, gameplay. Whether you’re a hardcore Skateboarding fan or don’t even know who Tony Hawk is, the playability of this game can not be
underestimated by anyone who plays it. There’s nothing to stop you from doing really basic and boring moves in the earlier levels and you’ll still be able to complete many of the tasks. As you progress though you’ll start to get a bit more confident and before you know it you’ll be pulling off tricks and combo’s that will see your high-scores rocket. The X Factor: For those of you fortunate to own an Xbox AND a PS2 you’ll no doubt be dubious as to purchasing the Xbox version of a game you already own. Hand on heart I’d have to say it’s not really worth owning both although there are some fairly decent inclusions for the Xbox version. For starters, there is an extra level to negotiate which wasn’t in the PS2 version, you can now make use of the customisable soundtrack feature (so if you HATE the music you can use your own). Aside from the sound and graphical improvements there are also some new moves to pull off which along with the extra level will be the main two points for fans of the Tony Hawk’s games. The Verdict: It’s an excellent game on the PS2 and it’s even better on Xbox thanks to those small but very noticeable changes. Playability, style, appearance and sounds make THPS3 one of the top games on Xbox so far. It may not be a huge leap forward from the PS2 version but considering that the two were released only a few months apart that’s nothing to worry about at all. Tony Hawk’s Xbox debut is a success and an essential purchase – a great all-rounder and a lot more entertaining than ‘Amped’. MR.COATES