Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Preview
Let's face it, the chances of another game taking Tony Hawk's extreme crown are zero to nil. Can it be denied? No. Neversoft literally came out of nowhere to become one of the most prolific videogame developers in the industry. Creating a game engine that can be used for a wider arrange of genres, Neversoft took what they had and rebuilt it into Spiderman. To this day it --Spiderman-- remains to be the best videogame representation of a comic book hero. No doubt about it, we've come a long way since October 1999, when Activision and Neversoft first brought us the "Hawk." Rave reviews poured from every media outlet left and right, and Activision knew they struck gold. So they instantly went back to work on the sequel, and revealed the second Tony Hawk, and everything that came with it. Instead of being a graphical update, the levels were now far more vast than they were prior. In addition, new skaters were added, and on top of that a Create-a-skater and Create-a-park mode. THPS2 was a leap over its predecessor, so was it much of a question on whether or not a third one would be released, let alone on the PSOne? Nope! Earlier in the year Activision announced the return of THPS on the PSOne, in addition to 6 other consoles.
Visually little has changed, if anything it was pretty minor. The skater detail has a few extra polygons, which isn't too noticeable but it is there. The visuals for the most part have remained the same, the texture detail is still nice (for the PSX), the ramps, kickers, rails, walls and etc. look great. The parks seem to be even larger then they were in the second one. While it's not by a large extent, the enormity of the courses in THPS3 are somewhat bigger than the sequel's. The exploration factor, of course is affected by this slight, but nevertheless, welcomed improvement. In addition to the little things, Shaba Games, who many should recall developed Grind Session, has implemented new animations for new tricks such as the 'Cannonball', in addition to new specials like the '1-2-3-4 Flip.' The game plays smooth at a constant 30 frames per second, and the action never scrambles from that frame point, even during the most intense of moments.
What can I tell you to expect from the gameplay? 95% of you reading this have played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater thousands of times before, striving to achieve that million point trick, by linking manuals, to grinds, to board flips, kicker gaps and more. The control, as always, has remained the same for the sake of tradition. But now instead of using your sight to tell when the skater is about to bail from a grind, there's now a meter that sways left to right. THPS3's roster has slightly changed this year; Bob Burnquist is no longer part of the line-up, as he was signed with Konami's ESPN X-Games title for the PS2. So to fill his spot, Activision inserted Bam Margera (MTV's Jackass) into the line-up, because he is apparently an excellent skater. In the career mode, the objectives remain fairly similar to the second ones, as the obvious really need not to be mentioned. Currently, the build we have allowed us to explore three excellent stages, out of the 10 that will be in the final version. The Create-a-skater mode has been improved upon by the development team, as was the park editor. I don't need to say much more. Tony Hawk fans and Playstation owners need to look forward for this wonderful game. It'll easily end up being the best of the bunch, no doubt about it. The two-player modes are as well intact and will indulge party fans into hours of non-stop fun. Look for Tony Hawk 3 in stores on the 31st of October.