Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Online Breakdown Part Two

Check out two of Tony Hawk 3's online modes: trick attack and graffiti.

Yesterday we showed you two of the four online modes in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3--slap! and king of the hill. Today we'll be taking a look at two classic modes that have been with the series since it began. But while trick attack and graffiti aren't as brand new as the game's other two modes, the classic modes definitely shine, especially now that up to four players can play them.

Trick Attack

The trick attack mode is a simple score competition that puts up to four players in one level and lets them skate until time expires. At the end, the player with the highest score wins. With the addition of tricks like the revert and the ability to combo grinds into other grinds and lip tricks into other lip tricks, high scoring is easier than ever. Within two days of play on the foundry level, we were landing trick combos in the 300,000-500,000 range. Within four days, those scores were up around the 1.3 million mark. As in the other Tony Hawk games, the key to high scoring is your multiplier, which raises every time you slap a new trick onto the end of a combo. The revert makes working vert tricks into the middle of your combos possible and really opens up the scoring a great deal. Comboing one lip trick into another is also an easy way to increase your multiplier, as is comboing one grind into another.

Working those mad skills.

Of course, as your combo gets longer and longer, keeping your balance on lip tricks, manuals, and grinds becomes more and more difficult, so the key to landing big combos is not only being able to string together a huge line, but knowing when to quit. Also a huge factor in trick attack games is the slap element. If you're in the middle of a huge trick and another player knocks you off your board, you get nothing. So while it's tempting to go for those gigantic trick lines for millions of points, that can be far riskier than going for shorter, easier combos.

Graffiti

Graffiti is also a popular online mode from the previous Tony Hawk games. In it, you mark your territory by doing tricks on the various objects in a level. Doing a trick on an unclaimed surface turns it your color. Other players can steal that surface from you by doing a higher-scoring trick on that surface, which paints the whole surface their color. With up to four players, graffiti can be a very hectic game. Like in trick attack, the increased combo potential enabled by the revert and manuals is absolutely key to doing well, because you can move from object to object in the course of one combo. The score you eventually get for that combo is applied to every object you used in the string, making it extremely difficult to steal objects if you use, say, 10 or 12 objects and end up with a combo in the million-point range. Of course, knowing when to quit is also a factor here, because you can still be knocked off your board by other players, rendering your combo attempt useless and preventing you from marking any territory.

Yo, check me out!

Like in Tony Hawk 2, if you're in the middle of a combo when time expires, the game lets you finish that combo before tallying the final score. This makes for some extremely tense moments, as you watch the scoreboard and the static "waiting for other players to finish their combos" message, knowing that one of the other skaters is out there trying to make a last-second steal of as much property as possible.

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Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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