Review by dannyaq
"THPS3 arguably the best launch game, but not better than PS2 version"
I'm going to assume you already played tony hawk in one version or another, and if you haven't go play it right now.
Controls; 7-9 (see why below): The gameplay is the same as THPS2 with one big addition, the revert. For those of you who don't know how the old one went, controls are pretty simple. You can do tricks by using flip ticks, grinds, or grabs. Just press a direction and the apropiate button, easy enough. The new thing here is the revert, and does to tony 3 what the manual did for tony 2. Now you can link everykind of trick for some crazy combos. To do a revert you just press L or R right when you land from a vert and do a manual so you can keep going. The contorls are great except for one major problem (which is more nintendo's fault than the developer's.) THE D-PAD IS WAY TOO SMALL!!! I swear the d-pad is smaller the the one on a gameboy. It is a little uncomfortable too. You have no idea hoe agravating it is getting a 150,000 then as your about to finish it mess up because you pree the wrong direction on the tiny little d-pad. The game does use the analog stick, but it is even harder to get the diagonal directions, and it is harder to press directions fast. If you can find an unofficial control with a better d-pad then the controls have no major problems. For once you and your friends might actually be fight for the unofficial control intead of trying not to be stuck with it.
Gameplay; 9.5: I know some people might complain it is the same as before, but I saw if it ain't broke don't fix it. Carreer maode is the same as last time, you pick one one of the skaters or make your own and do objectives to get to the next level. There is still the spell skate, get high score, do a certain trick on a certain gap, etc... Nothing ground breaking there. The levels are a lot more packed than the other games. There arn't many big open spaces you have to manual across, so it is very easy to link tricks. There are also some events that can change the environment. The Los Angeles board has an earthquake you can set off which opens up new ares. The create a skater and park editor are pretty much like last time with more pieces to chose from. The 2 player mode has couple new additions from last time. You have trick attack, horse and free skate again. New is king of the hill, which is pretty much the opposite of tag, you want to be the king (it) and other people chase you instead of you chasing them. Slap is like tag, except with no arrows, you spend most of the time just trying to find to other person. Unfortunatly the gamecube version doesn't have an internet option like the PS2 version.
Graphics; 8.5: Well, they arn't great, but they arn't bad. You can obviosly tell who the skater is by just looking at their faces. The animation is signifigantly better than the last. It is really smooth. Even if the tricks arn't realistic, they look great. The bail animations are exelent. Unlike before you don't always fall flat on your face when you screw up. Sometime you land, just not on the board. But the best is when you see them strugling to stay up they they just don't make it. I love the animation where you catch yourself and take a couple steps backwards before the momentum gets to you and you fall on your back. The environments are good, the tokyo level is bright with neon lights, like the benton (I think) level from jet grind radio. The framrate is usually at 60 fps on one player with a couple exceptions like after the earthquake in LA. On two players the framerate goes from 60-30fps, but it isn't bad.
Sound; 9: The music is exelent. It has punk, rap, hip-hop, metal, just like the last one. Some of the best songs are from motorhead, the ramones (who thought a song from the 70's would be cool), alien ant farm, Del the Funky Homosapien (the rapper from the gorillaz clint eastwood song). I like all the songs, except for the ones from redman and xibit, but I'm not a big rap fan, so you might like them. I would saw the soundtrack is about as good as THPS2. The sound effects are good but nothing new, same with the voices of the skaters. The voice of the captain on the secret level is really funny, you have to turn the music off for that level.
Lasting appeal; 10: If you have ever played tony hawk, you know how addicting it is. You can find so many different paths to take for combos in one level, and even if you manage to play so much the normal levels they get boring you have the create a park feature. It comes with at least 25 premade parks made from the editor, and you can make your own. If you have the patience, you can try to earn all the cheats by beating the career mode with everybody which will at least a week, but I know most of you will just put in a password for the cheats. Months from now you will probably still be happy with this game.
Overall rating; 9.6: If for some reason you didn't like the othe tony hawk's, then you won't like this one. But if you liked the others, you will love this game. The only major flaw is the d-pad, but you can get used to that, or better yet get an unofficial control with a d-pad (just so you know the interact d-pad is worse unfortunatly I learned from experience, so I gotta buy another control). It also lacks the online play the PS2 version has, but you can't expect a launch game to have an online mode. I have to recommend the PS2 version, because of the online and controler problems, but if you don't have a PS2, go buy this now. What are you waiting for? GO BUY IT!!!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/25/01, Updated 11/25/01
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