CGRundertow TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER 3 for Game Boy Advance Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 16.12.2011

Coming off my review of the skateboard gaming classic Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, I've decided
to continue with the genre, and how the franchise attempted to put the Game Boy Advance on the
map. After the highly successful Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 managed to show handheld owners
what the Advance was capable of, the third installment of the series had a tough act
to follow in the form of isometric levels and smaller perspectives of them. So, Vicarious
Visions and Activision got together again and had to make an important decision, and
what they decided on was exactly what fans wanted: to change nothing. At the most, very
little. The attitude of skateboarding culture returns in the lip grinding, kick-flipping
good time known as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. On my review of the first Pro Skater, I
made it a point to mention how the trick system is simple and fun to use, sort of like special
moves in fighting games, with the directional buttons coming first, followed by the button
command to railgrind, grab, or flip. This is continued through the second Pro Skater,
and carries over into the third with the Advance's button system. However, instead of the A and
B buttons being your flip and grab, you will have to use the shoulder buttons, and the
A button activates your railgrinds and liptricks. A few creative twists from the original iteration
of Pro Skater now include manuals and the tricks you can perform during a manual, and
also variations on grabs and flips able to be activated by tapping the trick buttons
twice. With all these new methods of trickery, expect to build much higher scores than before.
Also expect to have more responsibility in terms of high score missions, of which the
newest one, Sick Score, is the toughest to complete, although that's not saying much
when you can now string together trick combinations with manuals, previously unattainable in the
first two Pro Skaters. The evolution of the Pro Skater series, however, is best described
by the new tricks you can perform and the variety of levels that put Player One on the
spot in terms of places to skate. Much like the indoor skatepark environments like Warehouse
in the first Pro Skater or the Hangar in the second, the third starts you off in the Foundry,
which now comes with deadly obstacles like the Magma Wall which you must wallride for
a tape. Other new levels include Rio, Suburbia, LA, and Tokyo, and the developers did well
to work within the limits of the GBA to make colorful and exciting level design. Unfortunately
for console Pro Skater fans who are used to a behind-the-back third-person view of your
skater like myself, the isometric design of the GBA Pro Skaters can be disorienting, making
it difficult to determine your skater's position relative to the next rail you want to grind
or the next letter you need to pick up to spell SKATE. Also frustrating is the lack
of a command to straighten out if you hit that quarterpipe too hard and are heading
towards a trip to the hospital. Unlike console versions where you can hold a shoulder button
to land on your wheels in mid-air, you can only helplessly watch as your skater crashes
into the earth. Ain't gravity a cold bitch? Still, with enough practice, THPS3 for the
GBA can become manageable. So strap on that grip tape and head for the skatepark in Tony
Hawk's Pro Skater 3, a fine addition to the big, happy Pro Skater family.