Review by Dave 008 Bond

"The game really needs serious innovation."

The mainstream extreme sport for most people since the 80s has been skateboarding, and since the Tony Hawk seris of games has came out, it will probably stay that way. However, I'm starting to get sick of the seris, as each game is pretty much the same except for certain touches such as manuals. It's really getting old to have to get SKATE in every level, having to bust out some ungodly combo just to get one more goal down, and finally inflicting pain opon people for no real reason. As much as the game is likeable, the seris sorely needs renovation and not more people to hurt and more things to vandalize. Hopefully the seris gets exactly what it needs and becomes a truly innovating seris again.

Graphics 8.4/10
I don't know about you, but I think its great that Tony and everyone else isn't a decomposing sponge of a skater anymore. The skater's look more like real people, and move more like real people. All the small things make the game look much better than the other games. 50-50s look like the kind my semi-poser friends do, and not that silly tightrope balancing act. All the inhuman variations of this grind look good, such as t he handstand 50-50, and that cartwheel 50-50 (I don't remember what it was really called). The game runs at a much higher framerate, putting each second more like a real skating session. Non-skaters look pretty much the same, that is beard, jeans and t shirt. That gets kinda weird after awhile to be surrounded by a communist group.

Sound 710
Decent, but needs renovating. The music is ok, nothing is really great except the ''If you must'' song. Unfortunitly, the programmers just had to put in a popular band in the game for no reason except to sell more copies. Sadly, the put Alien Ant Farm in the game, and I prayed and prayed they wouldn't EVER put them in the game. At least ''smooth criminal'' wasn't in the game.

The sounds are regurgitated from previous games, most notably the ''special trick'' sound. Deciding to beat the old horse one more time, they couldn't resist the temptation of less programming. How many times must a Tony Hawk game be made where I hear the same sound effects? Finally though diffrent grinds have diffrent sounds, so a 5-0 does not have the same sound effect as a blunt.

Gameplay 7/10
Same old, same old. I wish I could finally not have to find SKATE in every level, I don't know what relevance this has to do with becoming a pro skater. Not that these people would have any trouble being pro, they can do some extremely inhumanly impossible tricks such as kickflip backflips, handstand flips, handstand grinds, and switchup handplants. Ok... The physics are completely messed up, you gain speed on grinds, and don't really gain much speed when you push. Actually, you go faster when you just hold down A all the time, and never push. Manuals gain immense speed,and when aren't moving and ollie into a grind, you go like 30mph. It is just a really weird game to play.

The irrevelvant level goals return, so you can increase your skateboarding status by knocking into pumpkins, helping thin men, and inflicting pain upon random people. I don't understand why people don't see the idiocy in these goals, it's like the developers didn't even bother making relevant goals after a certain point in development.

The park editor is both a step up and a step down from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. you have more options for stuff, such as loops and boxes. You can edit the height of the floor in diffrent areas, so you can make partially underground parks. But, you have only three theme settings, and they are all retty lazily done, especially the indoor one. I personally prefer THPS2's create a park.

The movies are a large step up from THPS2, they are far less choppy and longer, and most have skater commentary. It's a lot better to see a 3 minute video with skater commentary than a half minute choppy video showing some poser grind a 3 foot handrail (although, sadly, Muska is still in the game, so i still get to that in his video).

One thing that was extremely stressed during development was skater interaction with people. It really isn't as cool as it seems, all they say is ''what you got?'' And they while they have a dopey grin on thier face you bust out some 1000 point combo until they gleefully cheer.

However, there are cars, which are a lot of fun cuz you plant them or become roadkill. You can hit one car and richochade off the other. Not that it really matters, but its really funny.

Blood in this game is added for really no reason, and is done extremely poorly. When your skater falls, as they get up BANG blood appears on the ground. It looks really weird.

Abandoming the cash system from THPS2, instead you have ''goals'', you need certain goals to unlock new stages. Sorta like the tape system.

For such a high caliber game, it is both encouraging and maddening to play this game. It is a step in the right direction, but it not at all what it may sound to be.

Buy or Rent?

Overall 6.8/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 04/09/02, Updated 04/09/02

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