Review by toneman887

"THPS3, the best in the series? Perhaps..."

Introduction - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (I'll call it THPS3 from now on in my review) is an extreme skateboarding game where you can grind, wall ride, grab some air, and manual on almost anything in your environment. What makes this game (and the rest of the games in the series) so interesting is that you skate in public places, except for 3 skate parks. This means that people, cars, animals, machinery, water, and other things will be surrounding you while you do that 540 Double Kickflip Madonna off of an ice cream truck and land it into the trailer home area only to grind onto a clothes line and do a 720 Melon into a Revert and land it for 45,000 or some points. The civilians definitely add alot to the game. They will talk to you, pay attention to you and give you extra points if you do good while they watch you. You can also harm them, which adds a touch of replayability to the game and an almost Grand Theft Auto feel to it. You can run some of them over or if they are the kind that jumps away, maneuver them into oncoming traffic. You can also create car crashes with enough cleverness. They should have made better animations for this though because all that happens is they get stuck. Well, with this in mind, on to the review!
Gameplay - As mentioned before, this is a skateboarding game in public places. The controls are good, Y to grind, A to ollie, B and a directional arrow or tilt of control stick to do a Flip trick, X and a directional arrow or tilt of control stick to do a grab trick, R or L to Revert, Control Stick or directional arrow to move. Simple enough. They feel a little bit different at first, if you have played one or two but they are basically the same as C-Down, up, left and right, (in their respected positions) but soon they become perfect. This is an extremely fun game to play. I find no flaws with the gameplay except for the lack of Tag Mode in multiplayer. In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, this was truly a highlight for 2 players. By the way, multiplayer is limited to 2 people but is still amazingly enjoyable. 9/10
Story - N/A You skate, that's it.
Graphics/Sound - Great graphics. Not the best, but they are great. The sound is very good so while you are doing that FS Overcrook Grind on that escalator. It sounds like the real thing. Complete with sparks (another point for the graphics department.) The music is also good choice for this type of game and you will be sucked into the environment just by the graphics and sound. Also, civilians talk in this game. Thoe only bad thing in the graphics/sound area is that there are a few very odd glitches and the collisions are not as good as they could be. 9/10
Play Time/Replayability - Once you are good at this game you can probably 100% it in 3 days with one person. My record for 100% is 2 days by the way. But you will take maybe a month or two for your first time playing through. but the replayability is awesome, with tons of characters, extras, and unlockables. The levels are also very well constructed and there are some secret areas and many gaps. You will spend much time with this one. 10/10
Diffuculty - Medium. I find a couple of goals to be hard after getting 100% well over 10 times. But if you are not interested in getting 100%, you will get to the last level in Career mode with no trouble most of the time. The judges for the competitions can be a little harsh sometimes but it's okay. The diffuculty is perfect: not too hard and not too easy. 10/10
Final Recommendation - Also known as Buy or Rent - buy if you like skateboarding, extreme sports or games of either kind. Rent if you still doubt me. But I bought this for $15 at EB Games.
Also, to answer the question posed in the title of my review: ''THPS3, the best in the series?'' I'd say yes. But keep in mind that I have not played Tony Hawk's Pro skater 4 or Tony Hawk's Under Ground. The only thing missing from the first two is Tag Mode and Bob Burnquist. Tony Hawk's Under Ground looks like it may beat this one though.
Overall - 9/10

Pros:
- Excellent Gameplay
- Good level of difficulty
- Tons of unlockable levels, characters and modes.
- Great Level design.
- Smooth controls
- Good Music (mostly)
- Very, very nice graphics on this one. (not the best though)

Cons:
- No Tag mode
- some glitches
- collisions can create some strange animations
- some of the music gets on my nerves but seems to make some of my friends sing along with it.
- Bob Burnquist is missing.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/09/03


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