Aggressive Inline Review

In relation to other GBA extreme sports games, it stacks up quite favorably.

Aggressive Inline for the Game Boy Advance is only vaguely comparable to the console game it's based on. The basic feel is identical, right down to the controls, trick system, and soundtrack, but there are a multitude of changes in other areas that make this game less like the game you've been playing on your PS2, GameCube, or Xbox, and more like the typical extreme sports games you'd find in the GBA section at your local store.

The grind is the most important skill.
The grind is the most important skill.

For starters, the open-ended levels that offered so much freedom in the console game have been replaced with slalom courses and timers that put huge pressure on your ability to perform efficient tricks and grinds. Grinds are very important in the handheld version of Aggressive Inline, so much so that the juice meter from the console game has been replaced with a grind meter that fills when you perform grab and flip tricks. This grind meter empties as you perform grinds and bar spins. If the grind meter is exhausted, you can't grind.

Like most extreme sports games, Aggressive Inline is mission-based. Each course has three or four tasks that you need to complete before the time limit expires. The tasks vary in complexity, from things as simple as token collecting and vandalizing property to more difficult maneuvers such as gap transfers and multiple bar transfers. Overall, the kinds of tasks you'll perform in Aggressive Inline are comparable to those found in other handheld sports games, but they are a far cry from the missions in the console version, the completion of which often resulted in a total reconfiguration of the course environment.

As far as tricks go, however, this miniaturized adaptation of Aggressive Inline is almost as flashy and fast-paced as the console version. The feeling of speed is intense, and there are hundreds of different tricks to perform. The A and B buttons perform jumps, grabs, grinds, and bar spins, while the shoulder buttons allow you to execute spins and flips and let you bail when you fly off a ramp. There are items within each level that can improve your speed, air, spin, hang time, and grab capabilities, which further adds to the overall pace and style of each run.

Unfortunately, not all the features of the console version's trick system made it into the handheld port. The most notable difference is the complete lack of manuals, vaults, and cess slides. Although the absence of these moves doesn't really affect your ability to perform a lot of tricks quickly, it does prevent you from linking together massive chains and abusing the scoring system to the same extent that you could in the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox versions of the game.

In addition to being challenging, Aggressive Inline also offers a good amount of variety for the dedicated player. Initially, there are four courses and 10 skaters to choose from, but you'll unlock another 10 courses and eight more skaters as you progress through the arcade mode. A freeskate mode allows you to practice and play without a time limit, while a two-player link mode lets you challenge a friend in score, trick, or combo challenges.

Graphically, the game keeps pace with the majority of GBA sports titles. The courses are isometric and full of three-dimensional buildings, ramps, and rails, and the skater models are made from shaded polygons. There isn't much activity in the environment itself, but the use of polygons gives the skaters a vast array of lifelike movements that are executed both quickly and smoothly.

The wall ride comes to a handheld near you.
The wall ride comes to a handheld near you.

Above all, the game's soundtrack is its best feature. Full Fat, the developer, took the same music tracks from the console versions and digitized and looped them into the GBA cartridge. None of the songs are full length, but they're lengthy and clear enough to impress regardless. As a result, Aggressive Inline is among the first handheld extreme sports game to carry a licensed soundtrack, and it includes hits from Black Sheep, Student Rick, Saliva, and others.

If you compare it solely with its console namesake, Aggressive Inline isn't nearly as compelling on the Game Boy Advance. In relation to other GBA extreme sports games, however, it stacks up quite favorably.

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Aggressive Inline More Info

  • First Released May 28, 2002
    • Game Boy Advance
    • GameCube
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 2
    • Xbox
    Fans of the Tony Hawk or Dave Mirra games will surely find a lot to like in Aggressive Inline.
    Average Rating1156 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Full Fat, Z-Axis, Ltd.
    Published by:
    Sports, Skateboarding/Skating
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Blood, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes