Hawk's Pro Skater 3
By: Joe Rolfe
face it: up until late 1999, when the original Tony Hawk’s
Pro Skater was released on the PSone, no one gave a hoot
about skate boarding videogames.
difference 2 years makes. After just a short time, an
"extreme" sport that was once just barely getting
into the mainstream media was now one of the hottest gaming
properties on the market. The initial THPS single handedly
took what everyone conceived was a skating game (or just a fun
video game in general) and reinvented it into one of the most
popular and engaging game series that we’ve seen in quite
some time. With this in mind, Hawk developer Neversoft is
going for the hat trick with the next installment in the
series, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. With such a large
popularity, it’d be easy for Neversoft to rest on its
laurels and just rehash every aspect of THPS2 and sell copies
by the truckload, right? Apparently that’s not good enough
for these rising star players in the gaming biz, as the boys
at Neversoft are plugging away once again to create an even
better skating experience with the upcoming THPS3.
obvious change to THPS3 is the new environments and skating
areas. The old, closed in skate parks of the former two games
have evidently left the building, now replaced by huge outside
urban-based areas, stretching the globe from Los Angeles to
Tokyo with many cities in between. A vivid amount of detail
masks these looming surroundings, containing moving cars and
pedestrians that get in your way (and will even try to avoid
your reckless skating).
largest addition to the gameplay is the inclusion of the
revert move. In laymen’s terms, this will allow the gamer to
continue his trick combos out of vert moves by tapping the
revert button at the fall of his trick (a quick 180), then
going into a manual, which will allow you to continue with a
combo string. This will open up the trick length/points
results even more so than the first two games, a large
statement indeed considering the already-rewarding and
addicting combo system of THPS2.
Pro Skater 3
will also include, for the first time in the series, online
play via Sony’s upcoming broadband connection. Up to four
players can skate together online in various competitions,
and, after seeing it in play at E3, the ‘net based action
looks like it’ll come through in flying colors without a
hitch. THPS3 still features a lineup of stars, among them
Bucky Lasek, Steve Caballero, Chad Muska and new to the
series, MTV’s Jackass star himself, Bam Margera.
all, Neversoft has very little chance of screwing this one up.
With the potent Tony Hawk gameplay being refined even more,
and the addition of online play and more interactive
environments, THPS3 will once again redefine how a skating
game is done well. Prepare to lose all your remaining free
social time once this game drops in the fall.