Rolling - Xbox

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Also for: PS2, GameCube, GBA
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Indy Games Soft. Co.: Microsoft
Publishers: SCi (GB)
Released: 24 Oct 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


With Rage now dead and buried, the publisher’s Rolling title seemed destined never to make it to retail. SCi thankfully picked up the option and decided for publish Rolling for itself. It’s finally been released on Xbox, and it’s a fine extreme sports game with all of the makings of a Neversoft Pro Skater game.

And that’s just the thing. Rolling IS Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, only with blades instead of a more challenging skateboard. Indy Games’ inspiration for Rolling is so obvious in fact, that it would have been easier to just ask Neversoft to do the development for them.

But it’s not just the game engine: the style, presentation and even the game options are virtually identical to Neversoft’s offering. After a gnarly video introduction soundtracked by the wonderful garage stomp of 'It Came From Japan' by The Von Bondies, gamers are quickly introduced to the game’s options and modes of play. There are some 21 skaters to choose from, as well as a series of familiar game options such as career mode and practice mode. There are 14 environments available to skate in, many of which are locked, and each of them are littered with kerbs, park benches, ramps and rails to perform tricks on.

But there’s more. The game engine and play mechanics are also identical to Neversoft’s outing. Skating on wheels, players must use ramps and rails to gain speed and execute tricks via a combination of d-pad and single-button presses. There are more than 250 tricks to learn and master, categorised by grinds, air tricks and manual tricks, and Xbox’s revised controller-S makes the experience a little more polished and fluid.

Each of the skating locales even offers a number of mission-based objectives that range from collecting pieces of logos to breaking preset high scores. And it’s all time-based, so in some cases you need to almost plan your route to progress through certain stages.

So there you have it. We're loathe to compare two games so closely, but the reality is Pro Skater and Rolling are very, very similar. The Pro Skater games are massively popular, and if there's a god who's into extreme sports, Rolling should be too. It’s obviously not as established as the Pro Skater games, and many real-life skaters tend to dislike the inline skating sport, but it’s a good old game - the kind that keeps you coming back for another - and that’s recommendation enough.