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Neversoft
Activision O2
Sports
1-4
03.05.02

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3


Skateboarding has come to the Xbox once again and this time, and last time, it's from none other than the famous Tony Hawk. Activision has brought many titles to console systems and to people's homes around the country, inspiring kids to just go out, grab a skateboard and have some fun. Tony Hawk 3 brings the fun of skateboarding right into your living room with crystal clear video and awesome sound.

Graphics

The graphics in Tony Hawk 3 are the best I've seen in a skateboarding game. The textures have been enhanced in the Xbox version as opposed to the Playstation 2 version released not so long ago. The graphics look like they have went through the washing machine and were cleaned up to be more smooth, crisp and fresh as ever. The one detail I noticed when I first started playing was the environment detail. The detail for the textures of the ground, the wood and even the railings were excellent. The particle effects for the fire and water were actually very proficient, which was a very nice touch.

Sound

Tony Hawk 3 does support Dolby Surround 5.1. Chances are for this game you are going to want to turn it up. The tracks included with the game are sweet. Some artists included are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Xzibit and Alien Ant Farm. And guess what? You can use custom soundtracks to listen to while playing the game. That was one of the most exciting part of the music in this game.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Tony Hawk 3 is quite similar to Tony Hawk 1 & 2. Pressing up on the left thumbstick makes you go faster and also moves you forward. As for ease of controls, this game gets a handshake. Mainly, the X, Y, A and B buttons are uses for the tricks, while the right thumbstick moves the camera around you. The left and right triggers will switch from goofy to regular foot. The menu choices are quite simple. The game offers different modes of play. Some are Career, Quick play, and System link play. You can also make your own skater and give them their own custom attributes, like jump, switch, hangtime, speed, etc. And you can actually make chicks in this one (whooooaa momma). In-game play is very easy, a child could learn how to play in minutes. When I sat down to play, I didn't even open the manual and I was up and playing in no time. One problem with a game like this is the tricks can become ever more confusing than ever. You have to be quick on the buttons to be able to pull off excellent, yet successful tricks because if you fall, you lose all those points. Thankfully, the controls aren't as loose as they are in Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, so you're less likely to fall in this. You can also play up to 4 of your friends in split screen mode. This is great when you have friends over and want to try another multiplayer game besides Halo. Another Xbox enhancement is the addition of an Xbox exclusive level. Because of Xbox's popularity, the developers decided they would add another level just for us Xbox owners! That brings the level count to a whopping 9, with levels including a steel Foundry to an Airport. And last but not least, Tony Hawk 3 comes with a custom skate park editor, so you can make loops, rails, halfpipes anywhere you want. Isn't it great?

Bottom Line:

Tony Hawk 3 is sure to please skateboarding fans everywhere. Even if you aren't the biggest skateboarding game fan (me), but you like Snowboarding games (me), then I assure you Tony Hawk 3 will be a game you will enjoy. In my opinion, Tony Hawk 3 is an owner and deserves it's place next to the other sports games on your game rack.

-Brian Dappolone




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