Tony Hawk's Pro
System: Playstation 2
Released: November 2001
Genre: Skateboarding (Extreme Sports)
Capabilities: Memory Card, Dual Shock 2 Controller's Analog & Vibration, Hard Drive, Network Adapter, Keyboard
Review Written: December 9, 2001
Tony Hawk is back with the third installment of his popular skateboarding series of games by Activision. This version is on a stronger platform than before, and it boasts better graphics, sound, and much more features like online play. Most sequels usually dont get as better as the original, but Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 proved that theory wrong, will Pro Skater 3 do the same? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Wow! That was my first thoughts as I played through my first run in this game. The visuals are much improved over the ones in Tony Hawk 2. The skate parks and environments you skate in are very realistic with very little jagged graphics. You actually have people standing and walking through all these environments also and you can interact with them by running into them and watching them duck out of the way is just hilarious. The skaters and environments look much like the ones in PSX version, but with a 128-bit overhaul with much more detail to them so they look as real as it gets. The tricks and other maneuvering of the skaters is animated great and looks just like the real thing. The bloodstains you get from wiping out just look so wicked after seeing them. Load times are really fast so youll be hopping into a game just like that, and the menus are way easier to use than the radial one from the last game.
The games sound effects are pretty dead on for the most part. All the grinds, wipe outs, and everything else sounds the way it should in real life. I also like how when you run into pedestrians they yell at you. But what most people will talk about in this game is the awesome soundtrack this game features. Most of the games songs featured in here are pretty new with songs from many different types of genres in here like heavy metal, rap, alternative, and even a few hip hop songs even manage to sneak there way in here. And if you dont like some songs dont worry about it, you can customize the soundtrack and decide which songs should and shouldnt be played, much like the way in Gran Turismo 3. But I listened through the whole soundtrack, which features songs by bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Ramones, but there is not one song by Everclear in here, the king of all bands. I told Tony Hawk himself last time that Everclear better have a track in the third game, and he told me hed make sure Neversoft would squeeze one in there, but he lied to me. Sorry Everclear fans, I tried my best.
The game controls exactly like Tony Hawk 2. You grind, do manuals, and perform other tricks the exact same way you did in THPS2. In this years game you can perform even longer combos of tricks, which results in really huge point totals. And also just like last year, combining grinds and manuals in your combos result in huge point payoffs. Lots of new tricks are introduced in this edition, Ill leave it up to you to out all of them.
The game has plenty of modes of play for you. You have your free skate mode where you practice your tricks and get use to new levels you unlock through career mode. The Park Editor is back from last years game where you can create your own skate park using a variety of half pipes, rails, and other parts at your disposal. You can still create your own skater, and while the depth of it is nowhere in the likes of the other create-a-players found in games like WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It, it still manages to hold its own by having a wide array of shirts, pants, and boards for you to customize your own skater with. The career mode is much like the one in last years game where you have several goals to complete in a level like achieving three different point totals, collecting certain tokens throughout the environment, and doing certain obstacles like grinding or doing a specific trick over an object. The game has several multi player modes for two players with returning modes like Trick Attack, Tag, H-O-R-S-E, and Graffiti at your choosing.
Another new mode of play for this years game is Network mode where up to four players can compete at once in the multi player modes of play listed above. As of this writing in December 2001, Sonys gaming network was not yet operational so I really cant give any details out about how well it plays. But I can tell you that you can compete either over 56K modem connections or fast DSL connections, and that you'll need the PS2 network adapter and hard drive to be enable to play online.
Itll take a while to complete career mode for you, and youll need to beat it a few times so you can unlock all the hidden skaters and levels. Once you get that done you can always have fun creating your own skaters and skate parks and showing them off to everyone. Multi player will also add to the replay value so a friend can tag along for the fun, and add the total of players up to 4 once Network play is available. But I dont know how many people will want to shell out the extra $200 for accessories to play online.
+: Much improved graphics, One of the first PS2 games to be played online, Great original game engine
-: No Everclear in the soundtrack, Network Play not available at games release, Only two players max offline
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 9.2
Replay Value: 9.0
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
Another great skateboarding game by Neversoft. If you loved any of the first two games, I recommend you get this one just because the improved graphics make it a whole new experience. There really isnt much wrong with this game at all, with the exception of no Everclear songs in the soundtrack, but never to fear Everclear fans, I just got done speaking to Tony Hawk himself, and he assured me that hell make sure that Neversoft will put a track by them in Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4, due out by Christmas 2002.
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