Yeah, yeah, I know why so many THPS3 reviews? Well, thats what
happens when games get released on all platforms and each one rocks. Rocks hard. Like Tony
Hawks Pro Skater 3, which is possibly the hardest rocking of all the THPS titles so
far. As I mentioned in my review for the PS2 version, this game is just as addictive and
satisfying as previous installments. In fact, its better.
At this point in time, you should have a good idea of how the gameplay works.
If not, check out reviews of the PC, PS2 or GBA
versions, or even reviews of THPS2x, THPS2, or the original THPS,
all of which have been reviewed on our site in the past. In short, the game is all about
skating around different levels, completing goals and pulling off tricks. If that
doesnt sound fun to you, then youre probably one of the few who dont
love THPS (Jeff, Im looking at you
). At this point in time, after three years
of cooing and harping about how great THPS and all things Pro Skater are, those skeptics
are getting pretty fed up with us avid fans.
Once, THPS pulled in gamers from across the spectrum. The
original title was incredibly fun and offered a whole new level of control and playability
for these burgeoning "extreme sports games." As number two came out, a few of
those mainstream people said, "What do I want to manual for? I just want to fly high
and get new boards." And as number three has come out, even more of the non-fans have
wondered, "What do I need a revert for? And is it as much fun to play THPS online as
Quake or Unreal?" These types of skeptical responses to the third in the series are
understandable. The THPS series gets a lot of its appeal from providing a complex control
system that is finely textured and infinitely variable. If you arent
"into" getting good at controls like these, then you probably wont enjoy
the game. And although THPS3 supports online multiplayer in nearly all of its
incarnations, you dont kill anyone or blow anything up. That eliminates many online
gamers who thrive on death and destruction. Im not saying that thriving on death and
destruction is a bad thing, and Im not saying its a good thing. I am saying
that Ive heard people say, "I dont want to just beat my friend at
skateboarding. I want to blow him up!"
So if youve ever been skeptical about the THPS series, then
youll probably be skeptical about THPS3. Thats OK, we dont want you in
our skatepark anyway. On the other hand, if your love of the series has not been
diminished, then THPS3 has a whole buttload of great things to offer. The most significant
addition is the revert move, which makes it possible to link entire runs together. THPS3
afficianados no longer talk in hundreds of thousands of points per level, they say things
like, "Have you got two?" "Yeah, man, Ive gotten three and a
half." Thats millions of points being discussed in the example. How can you get
millions of points? Spend a minute and a half completing your 80 trick combo.
The Xbox version of the game is basically like every other
version. It sports the same modes and features. The graphics dont look any better
than the PS2 version, which was disappointing, but they are less glitchy. While the PS2
version sports some minor glitches that caused me to twitch, the Xbox runs silky smooth.
The Xbox version also supports online multiplayer, using the GameSpy Tunnel and Arcade
programs, as well as custom soundtracks. You can now play THPS to your own music (because
we can only handle so much Motorhead in our lives), which makes the game even more
In the Xbox version you unlock a slightly different, but mostly
the same, array of extra characters and levels as you complete the game with different
skaters. Darth Maul, Wolverine, Ollie the Magic Bum, and the Demoness are some of the
extra characters. Secret levels, playable in multiplayer or free skate modes, include the
Oil Rig as well as the Warehouse and Roswell from THPS1.
In every other way, THPS3 is consistent across all of the
platforms it inhabits. It is a brilliant game that exhibits the highest quality of design,
control, interface, and gameplay. This is undoubtedly one of the best game series of all
time, and is the only game that will always suck me into a session longer than I planned.
I have no idea how some people can look at THPS3 and not feel the need to pick it up. Tony
Hawks Pro Skater 3 is another title that should be in every videogame collection.