|Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3|
December 12, 2002 | Eddie Park
The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series is probably one of the most popular game series in recent years. Spawning sequel after sequel within a short amount of time (thanks largely in part to the impeccably-tweaked engine used in all four titles), this series somehow manages to keep its concept fresh, even though it could be argued that each title is simply more of the same with extra goodies. Whether this success is due to its fine-tuned control scheme, addictive gameplay, or overall cool factor is anybody’s guess.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (THPS3), on its way to the Mac thanks to the prolific Aspyr Media and Beenox, continues the trend of insane skateboarding action brought last year with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and, like its predecessor, adds bigger levels, a few new tricks, and a veritable new host of options for players to enjoy.
Given the popularity of the series, I’m going to forsake the usual discourse, glossing over things that haven’t changed in favor of the new stuff, which is no doubt what most readers are interested in anyway.
Goal #8 - Wreck the MuseumLike the titles before it, THPS3 contains the usual modes, including Career Mode, Free Skate, Single Session, and Multiplayer. Career Mode is the meat of the game, where players can guide the skater of their choice through a series of courses, completing goals and raising the stats of their skater along the way. Single Session is basically Career Mode confined to one level, best used for setting trick/score records. Free Skate allows players to shred at will in any unlocked course without the impediments of time or score looming over them. Multiplayer is as it reads – play against friends either online or on a LAN.
One of the revamped things about Career Mode are the goals. While the usual get the score, find the secret tape, and spell S-K-A-T-E goals are firmly intact, the miscellaneous goals added to each level are even more creative. The best ones usually involve a chain reaction of sorts that usually opens some new portion of the level associated with it. For example, trashing the museum on the Cruise Ship level not only completes a goal, but causes a large propeller to come loose and go crashing through the deck, which in turn causes a sailor to go flying off the boat. This in turn raises the cry of “man overboard,” prompting the deployment of safety nets and the opening of emergency doors throughout the ship, in effect changing the makeup of the level. And if you think that sounds insane, wait until you trigger the earthquake in the Los Angeles level – not only an awe-inspiring event in its own right, it also triggers several other possible goals and secrets for players with the skills to handle it.
Unfortunately, those looking forward to the multiplayer aspect are going to be a little disappointed at the following blurb contained within the readme file:
The multiplayer component of the game is not included in the retail release. Aspyr Media, Inc. plans to release an update to add this component, check our website (http://www.aspyr.com) for more details on when this will be available.This is a little disappointing, as I was looking forward to at least getting a feel for the new team-based multiplayer games that were supposed to be included. Hopefully, Aspyr will be able to kick out the update soon after THPS3 sees retail release.