Review by Burtis

"What's Tony Hawk doing on the Gamecube? Starring in one of the best Gamecube titles yet!"

Heh, yeah I know the review title is lame, but I love that commercial.
The sequel to my favorite game on the PSX (THPS 2) comes to the Gamecube, and it is definitely a worthy addition to anyone’s game collection. 9 new levels, a new skater, many unlockable skaters and 3 levels from the previous Tony Hawk games make THPS3 one of the best games currently available for the Gamecube.

The gameplay is basically the same as the other Tony Hawk games. There are 9 goals in each level that you must achieve. High, pro, and sick scores, collect S-K-A-T-E, find the secret tape, and 4 goals that are different in each level. Unlike in the previous games, you have to find new stat points/decks. There are 5 THPS3 icons and 1 deck icon scattered throughout each level. Each THPS3 icon you find lets you add a stat point to your skater and each deck ison you find gives you a new deck in the skateshop. Another new addition is that the S-K-A-T-E icons are in different locations for different skaters.

The environments are extremely interactive. You can trick off almost anything. All edges/rails can be grinded, you can wall ride almost all walls, you can car plant cars, etc. There are civilians walking around that talk to you. You can hit them and they fall over, or sometimes they will punch you and you will fall. Some levels require you to impress certain people by doing tricks in front of them.

Some people say that the biggest flaw in the Gamecube version of THPS3 is the controller. I completely disagree with that. I think the Gamecube controller works very well with the game. The button placement on the Gamecube controller makes it much easier to perform tricks than with the PS2 controller. The only complaint I have is how small the D-Pad is.

You can tell that THPS3 is a port of the PS2 version. I’m not saying that the graphics are bad, but it’s obvious that Neversoft didn’t try to use the Gamecube’s power to enhance the graphics. The graphics are a big step up from the PSX versions of Tony Hawk. Everything is no longer as blocky looking, and the animations are much smoother. There are some slight framerate drops in some areas. There is also a lot of clipping just like in the previous Tony Hawk games. Overall the graphics are good, but not as good as they could have been.

The sound effects and pedestrian voices are very good. All the skateboard sounds are realistic. The pedestrians will either criticize you when you bail or praise you when you do cool tricks near them. The only problem I have with the voices is that they get repetitive and annoying after a while. The soundtrack could have been a lot better. I really liked THPS2’s soundtrack, but THPS3’s isn’t as good. Too many of the songs are VERY annoying. Luckily, there is a play list editor where you can pick what songs get played.

In my opinion THPS3’s reliability is it’s strongest aspect. There are so many things to unlock. There are 9 secret characters, 3 levels from previous THPS games, and lots of cheats that are all unlockable. A secret is unlocked by completing all goals and getting gold medal’s on all competitions with a character. My only complaint about getting the secrets is that after beating the game so many times, it starts to get repetitive. Create-A-Skater and Create-A-Park have returned in THPS3. They both have many more options than they did in THPS2.

If you loved the first two, you’ll love this one. If you hated the first two, you’ll hate this one. If you’ve never played the first two, you will probably love this game. So basically unless you hated the first two, BUY THIS GAME.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/29/01, Updated 12/29/01

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