Review: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3

Review: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3

Once again, Tony Hawk returns, and he’s better than ever! For most people, anyway…

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Year: 2001, 2002

Played on: Gamecube, PS2

Also on: PS1, N64, PC, Xbox

Developer: Neversoft

Publisher: Activision

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Gambling’s for fools, but that’s just the way I like it baby

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Date posted: February 3, 2018

Game_Cover_THPS3_PS2

PREMISE

Good news! Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 sold gangbusters! Guess what else? A new console generation is ahead! That only means one thing! That’s right- terrible launch titles, I mean a new Tony Hawk game for “next-gen”! (And by next-gen, I mean 2 or three generations ago) In 2001, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 came out for f@#king nearly everything- including the N64- in fact, it was the last game released for the system! THPS 3 really did take to heart the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” from THPS 2’s soundtrack. Maybe a bit too well…

You see, THPS 3 had about 678,000 versions made for it, as it came out on nearly everything at the time- PC, GBA, GBC, Xbox, PS1, Gamecube- the list goes on and on! This review will be based on the “next-gen” versions, particularly the PS2 and Gamecube versions. You can look at all the drastic changes to each version in the Portlandia section down below.

Of course, THPS 3 switched up the formula once again, adding a slew of new features (i’ll explain in the PROS section below) most notably revert, which let the player pull off more insane combos.

Needless to say, THPS 3 was released to pretty much universal acclaim, most still consider it one of the best games in the series. For me though…. yeah… I’m just going to say it.

I really don’t like THPS 3 as much as the other games in the series. Now before you decide to come to my house and leave a burning copy of THPS 5 on my doorstep, let me explain- or at least try to. Actually, I’ll try to explain down below. I just can’t put my finger on why I don’t like THPS 3 as much as everyone else seems to…

PROS

Well, the good news is that there is actually a lot to like about Tony Hawk’s outing into the sixth gen of consoles! First thing, of course, is the graphics, which have improved dramatically over THPS 1 and 2. Everything looks smooth and is an overall improvement! Levels are also now teeming with life- no more eerily empty skateparks like in previous game! Levels are full of pedestrians, who actual give you a point bonus for landing tricks in front of them, among other things, including different types of goals.

grinding
The game still looks good, to this day. Nice going, Neversoft!

Of course, the biggest change overall is the addition of the Revert, which, like I said early, makes pulling off huge combos even easier. Add to this the fact that the game is, yet again, even smoother then before, then you have the best playing TH game until the next one comes out. (Yes, THPS 4. That’s the one I was talking about.)

There’s some good variety here- I think. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of THPS 3’s level selection. Can’t put my finger on it… You start in a foundry, full of mechanical parts, and yes, pits of lava. You then go to Canada, offering one of the few snow levels in the series’s history. Next you have Rio De Janeiro, which is a nice skatepark located in the middle of a city. My favorite levels are the next three- Suburbia, Airport, and Los Angeles. You also have Skate Island, which is yet another indoor park. Alright I guess- it actually has a cool secret area with a pirate ship, so that’s cool. The last competition level this time is Tokyo, and once again- it’s alright. You also have an extra level, the Cruise ship, that has good challenges, and is another level I like. Yeah, not a big fan of THPS 3’s levels… but overall, their not too bad.

3063M.png
Surburbia is- you know, this joke has run it’s course. I’m not using it from here on out.

Once again, there is a metric ton of s@#t to unlock- every character, once again (I probably need to stop using that phrase) has an unlockable video, and now, all you have to do to unlock secret characters, levels, and cheats, is to do all 54 goals with each character- each playthough unlocking something new. No more collecting those stupid money collectibles- both stat points and boards are completely optional as far as completion goes! This gives you a good incentive to play the game over and over again. That’s a good thing, because THPS3 is the easiest for me to play, for whatever reason. Hey, I think I know why I don’t like THPS 3 that much now…

And yes, THPS 3 does have some cool unlockable characters! You can unlock Darth Maul (Yes, the spiky red guy from Star Wars: Episode 1), Wolverine, A surfer, a demon chick, and the two series main stays, Officer Dick and Private Carrera. Pretty cool stuff!

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Doing everything I can, because- wait. That joke doesn’t work. What in the hell was I thinking, bub?

Oh, and the Soundtrack is pretty good, as always. Now, however, you got some bigger names on the ST, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Ramones, Xzibit, and of course, Motorhead. ACE OF SPADES! ACE OF SPADES! And yes, everyone still remembers that song about washing your ass. Don’t ask me how, but if fits!

Oh, and Create-a-skater and Create-a-park are back. They have some more customizable options and such, and you can create female characters, because they can skate too, apprently. Huh. Didn’t know that… (that was sarcasm.)

CONS

Before I explain why I don’t like THPS 3 (as much as the other games, mind you. THPS 3 is still a good game in it’s own right- I just think that there’re better TH games to play instead) let’s talk about it’s admittedly small amount of problems.

THPS 3 feels short. Like, really short. You can do all 54 goals in under an hour, if your good enough. There’s about 20 or so different characters, so replayabilty is not a problem. It just feels like there should be a least one or two more levels, or something…

Some of the goals can be annoying- most notably the “Trick over this gap” ones. I remember being stuck on Cruise Ship’s trick goals, because I had no idea how to do said trick. Yeah, I had to look some of this s@#t up. A bit annoying…

Now to talk about personal taste. Why do I not like this game, as much as say, THPS4 and THUG, two TH games I prefer over this one? Maybe it’s the level selection. Maybe I don’t like the ST as much. I think it’s simple though… It’s because I played THPS3 AFTER I played THPS4 and THUG 2, which was probably a huge mistake. This is why you should defiantly play the series in order, as it could mess up how you enjoy them. Or maybe THPS 3 has a suppressed memory attached to it. Oh god, the clowns. THE CLOWNS! AHHHHH!

That, or I simply have no taste. It’s probably just that. I am the man with no taste…

-Portlandia-

Holy crap, does this game have a lot of different ports! There is a lot to go over, so I should just head right into it!

PS2, Gamecube- Pretty much the same game. I think the PS2 might have some framerate drops and not as smooth, but still playable. And yes, the Gamecube version is intact! I guess Nintendo finally figured it out! Fun fact: The Japanese PS2 version has three extra Japanese skaters. Banzai, motherf@#ker!

Xbox- Same as above. However, this version has a new secret level, the oil rig, and a new secret character- a f@#king skeleton! Don’t know why the Xbox got extra stuff, but hey, that’s cool if you have one!

PC- I hear good things about this port, even though it’s lacking things like instant replay for whatever reason. However, it has MOTHER F@#KING DOOMGUY as a playable character. That alone might make it worth it.

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Probably the best version, just because of this. What? No, I’m totally not into Doom! What are you talking about? 

PS1- Uses the THPS 2 engine. Levels are barren and out of order! Only two unlockable characters- Officer Dick, and Wolverine. Cruise ship and all the unlockable THPS1 levels are omitted, and replaced with a level called downhill. Only get if curious and like THPS 2- not the best version, but at least they tried.

N64- Same as PS1, mostly, but no FMVs and ST took a hit. For the last game released for the N64, it was eh… Still somewhat playable- I guess…

GBC- I played this a bit on an emulator, and thought it was the worst thing ever. Don’t know if it actually good… Didn’t play enough to find out!

GBA- Once again, a surprisingly competent port! Has to be played to be believed. Don’t knock THPS on the GBA until you try it!

I think that’s all of them- or the one’s most care about. Here’s what I think-

Clear Winner(s)– Gamecube, PS2, Xbox, PC

Alright– PS1, N64, GBA

WTF?/Bad– GBC

FINAL VERDICT

I may not personally like THPS 3 as much as other games in the series, but it’s still miles ahead most other skateboarding games. I personally think it deserves a 5, but I’m going to give it a 6, mostly so I don’t killed by some angry THPS 3 fanboy. Yeah, let’s just go with that.

6score

Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!

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