Review by Funky Junky

"An enjoyable but flawed gaming experience."

The main idea of Aggressive Inline is to hop about the levels collecting items and completing challenges, much like the Tony Hawk games before it. There's no timer though, you have what Z-Axis term a 'juice bar' and by performing tricks and collecting juice cartons you can keep the game going. Let the juice run out however and it's game over. So there's not really anything new in the game, it is just another skate game although with the skates being that they are stuck to your feet you can perform tricks such as vaulting and swinging around poles (á la Airblade) that are otherwise impossible with skateboards.

One thing about this game - it's HUGE! Each of the seven levels has a locked area with the key being picked up on another level, and there are plenty of things to do. I like the idea of the locked areas because it keeps you hopping from level to level, building up your stats and collecting the various power-ups as you go. This introduces variety to the game whereby you aren't simply progressing through the levels, rather completing the challenges in order of difficulty. An example being that on the first level is a very tricky vault and grind combo that you'll only be able to complete once you've worked up your skater's skills through the other levels.

What lets this game down? Bugs. I might even go so far as to say the game is bug-ridden. Poor collision detection and clipping see you jumping through walls and crashing through the ground falling into oblivion until your skater is plopped back somewhere on the level, and not necessarily near to where you slipped 'out of the game'. There are many of these black spots throughout the game, and you'll find them no doubt right in the middle of a huge trick combo. Also, some of the challenges are really tough. I mean extremely difficult - so much so that you'll be tearing your hair out and yelling all sorts of wicked words at whichever skater you happen to be playing with. These challenges require perfect timing and are often only completed by trying them over and over until when you do finally manage it, it's relief you feel and not achievement.

Gameplay: 7/10
Personally, I think the number of frustrating challenges are far outweighed by the number of fun ones, but they're still there and they take some of the enjoyment away.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics of this game are pretty much average for a 21st century video game. There's nothing special here.

Sound Effects: 4/10
Nothing exciting or revolutionary - and the sound is bugged too. Sometimes it drops out so you don't get the 'TA DA' indication that you did get that power up.

Music: 9/10
A quality soundtrack although I've never heard of most of the performers. Music is a personal taste issue but I'd definately buy the soundtrack CD

Replayable? Maybe I'd go through the game three or four times but I wouldn't do all the skaters the way I did with Tony Hawk 3. Plus, once you've got 100% with one character there's no other incentive to do more.

Buy or Rent? Worth a purchase but I'd say only for fans of skate games.

Bottom Line:
An enjoyable game but I don't think Tony Hawk needs flap his wings yet, this game came close to beating it but ultimately the flaws in the game have let it down. I got the impression it was rushed onto the shelves to get some sales in before the Birdman comes in November, and if they'd held on until the game was fully tested and polished they just might have had a Hawk beater.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/25/02, Updated 08/25/02

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