Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Review
The GameCube version may be less jaggy than the original PS2 release, but its lack of online multiplayer and somewhat sketchy frame rate keep it from living up to its full potential.
Players who held off on getting the PlayStation 2 version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 in hopes of receiving a better version for the GameCube need not wait any longer. The GameCube version of the insanely popular skateboarding game is here, and it retains almost everything that made the PS2 version so incredible. If you don't own a PS2, getting this version of the game is a no-brainer--it's easily one of the GameCube's strongest launch games. But if you own both a GameCube and a PlayStation 2, the choice isn't so clear. The GameCube version may be less jaggy than the original PS2 release, but its lack of online multiplayer and somewhat sketchy frame rate keep it from living up to its full potential.
For those of you new to the series, the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games put you on a skateboard and in a level with goals to accomplish. As you accomplish these goals, which range from simple score targets to more difficult skateboard trickery of the "how the heck am I supposed to get all the way up there" variety, more levels are opened up. The game isn't exactly the most accurate simulation of skateboarding in the world, as it has some pretty outrageous physics and lets you get away with things that make Tony Hawk's much lauded 900-degree spin look commonplace by comparison. As the series has progressed, it has gotten more and more combo-friendly, conceivably allowing you to continually do one string of tricks around the entire level, lasting the entire length of your two-minute run.
Like the previous Tony Hawk game, THPS3 features a collection of professional skaters. The roster hasn't changed much this time around--still on board are Steve Caballero, Kareen Campbell, Rune Glifberg, Eric Koston, Bucky Lasek, Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska, Andrew Reynolds, Geoff Rowley, Elissa Steamer, Jamie Thomas, and of course, Tony Hawk. Bob Burnquist, who was in the first two games, is not in Tony Hawk 3, as he has jumped ship over to Konami's PS2 skateboarding game. Replacing Bob is Bam Margera, perhaps most famous for his dad-beating antics on MTV's "Jackass" and his self-produced CKY videos. The create-a-skater and create-a-skate park modes have also been expanded quite a bit this time around. In create-a-skater, you can select different faces, skin tones, hairstyles, heights, and weights. Once you've got the base down, you can decorate your skater with different shirts, pants, shorts, shoes, socks, helmets, pads, glasses, hats, tattoos, watches, bracelets, and more. The pro skaters can be edited to a certain extent, so you can add hats and remove or change shirts if you so desire. You can also create female skaters. Rounding out the skater lineup is a collection of wild and, in some cases, completely unexpected hidden skaters, each of whom has a few new special tricks. While the skaters may look different and start with different stats and tricks, you can configure their tricks (both normal and special) and stat points in any way you see fit.
In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, you can combine grinds and other street-style tricks by manualing (in essence, popping a wheelie on your board) just as you touch ground. But there is no way to work vert ramps into the middle of a combo, only the end. As a result, the game is a little one-dimensional, as everyone simply looks for the longest grind lines and ignores ramps almost entirely. Tony Hawk 3 remedies this imbalance by adding a trick called the revert. The revert is a quick 180-degree spin that is done just as your skateboard touches the ramp when you're coming down from vert or lip tricks. Doing the revert lets you pop up into a manual, after which you can roll over to something else to do more tricks. Reverting properly will take time to master, especially given the learning curve involved in using Nintendo's squishy analog triggers to perform a move that requires fairly precise timing on your button presses. Just as the manual revolutionized the Tony Hawk world back in Tony Hawk 2, the revert does here in Tony Hawk 3. The combo potential of other moves has also been increased. You can now move from one grind to another without actually leaving the rail. Lip tricks also work the same way. Some kick tricks can be doubled or tripled by quickly doing the trick two or three times--holding left and tapping the kick trick button three times, for example, does a triple kickflip. Other less noticeable combos are also included. Doing a kickflip and immediately hitting right and the grab trick button afterward gives you--in the eyes of scoring, anyway--a new trick called "kickflip to indy."
- Player Reviews: 35
- Game Universe:
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (DC, N64, PS, GBC, NGE),
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (PS, PC, DC, GBC, N64, GBA, MAC, IP),
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (XBOX, PS2, GC, PS, GBC, PC, GBA, N64, MAC),
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (MAC, PS2, GC, XBOX, GBA, PS, PC, ZOD, MOBILE),
- Tony Hawk's Underground (PS2, XBOX, GC, GBA, MOBILE, PC),
- Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (MOBILE, PS2, XBOX, GC, PC, PSP, GBA),
- Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (XBOX, GC, PS2, X360, PC),
- Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (DS, GBA),
- Tony Hawk's Project 8 (X360, PS3, PSP, XBOX, PS2),
- Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (PS2, WII, DS, GBA)