Review by snowcrash
"Incredible and Addictive"
For whatever reason, I never had an interest in Agressive Inline when it first came out. I saw it on the shelves, and I even remember reading the instruction book at Blockbuster, but something kept me from even wanting to try the game. I probably rented THPS4 instead.
But as fate would have it, AI was available used for 11.99 and I just could not pass it up.
It has not been out of my PS2 for the past 3 weeks.....
In my opinion, the most important thing about any game has to be the gameplay, and AI has many, many hours of gameplay. The challenges are numerous (very, very numerous) and the environments have a variety of lines to skate. This is one of those games that you plan to play for 20 minutes, and then find out that an hour has gone by. While parts of the game may be a bit frustrating, overall, the balance of challenges is great. New areas open up at an appropriate rate, but to fully complete an area will take a great deal of exploration and effort. If you are a fan of challenge based extreme sports game, this game will probably appeal to you.
Special mention has to be made about the way that you gain attributes in this game. Instead of finding ''stat points'' hidden in the levels, this game increases your stats based on how much you use a certain skill. For example, with each grind that you perform, you gain grind experience points, which over time will increase your grind skill level. While this may sound strange, it works surprisingly well. While it is easy to increase your stats early in the game, you really have to work to increase your stats as your levels rise.
Special mention also has to be made about the level design. The levels in this game are absolutely HUGE! Much, much bigger than anything I've played before. As the game progresses, you can open up other areas in the levels, which are huge as well. The Boardwalk level is probably the best example. This level features a complete theme park, and is quite possibly the coolest extreme sports level I've ever played......
This game looks great, and it runs at a very smooth framerate. The levels are incredibly detailed and look fantastic.
I'm not a fan of ''skate'' music, so the first thing I did was turn off the music. While the soundtrack is not bad, it is not my cup of tea. The background sound in the levels is adequate, but nothing special. (Although the PA system in the Boardwalk is hysterical - ''Don't eat the brown cotton candy - enjoy your trip.......'')
Overall - Rent/Buy
This game is a great deal of fun and has a ton of secrets to find, so the replay value is high. While I'm a big fan of renting, I'd say that this game is a definite ''buy'', especially if you can find it cheap.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/07/03, Updated 03/07/03
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