Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 - PC

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Also for: PS2, Power Mac, Xbox, GameCube, GBA, PlayStation, N64
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Skateboard
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Neversoft Soft. Co.: Neversoft
Publishers: Empire Interactive (GB)
Activision (GB)
Released: 4 Apr 2003 (GB)
10 May 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 15+
Accessories: Control Pad


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Extreme sports have been given a major image makeover during the past few years, that has seen board sports, especially snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding, thrust into the mainstream.

Apart from wider television coverage of the sports, another fantastic benefit of this phenomenon is the attention publishers and developers are paying to create games based around them.

The best games weíve seen (and weíve seen them all) are undoubtedly Neversoftís Tony Hawk games. They have graced all major platforms and have been brilliantly-received by both the gaming and skating communities alike, mainly for having a balanced and thought-out game engine and a Ďkeeping it realí mentality, a glittering achievement by todayís standards.

Pro Skater 3 for PC is essentially the same game (aside from a few level differences) that has graced the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It also features some enhanced multiplayer aspects via the Internet-savvy hardware.

Tony 3 as a game is quite simply a more polished version of the two games that preceded it. As far as gameplay mechanic goes, it brings nothing new to the series, other than one key feature. Old hands at Tony Hawk games will know that in previous versions, combos must be made from the street sections of the course: the areas where itís possible to perform what amounts to a long string of grind Ďní ground tricks, often finished on a ramp, whereupon the combo must end. Now itís possible to tap a button to revert your board. Then simply tap up and down and roll into a manual. All of a sudden, itís preferable to start your combo on a ramp with a big high-scoring trick, so that your multiplier can grow at maximum efficiency as you carry your combo away into the game world.

If you havenít played a game from the Pro Skater series before, this will mean little to you, but in laymanís terms it simply expands the possibilities of the game and removes some of the constraints from its engine.

The level design in Tony 3 is a somewhat touchy subject amongst its fanbase. Many were expecting hugely expanded levels upon earlier versions, and in expecting this, were sorely disappointed. The levels are bigger, but they arenít that much bigger and more to the point, nowhere near as big as is now possible on the new generation of consoles and game PCís.

This being said, they are beautifully crafted, with objects and obstacles placed in points which mean you must enhance your skaterís ability or stat-points to nail some of the really big combos that are on offer.