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Review: Tony Hawk's 'Pro Skater 3'


By Dan Elektro

(IDG) -- For Tony Hawk's "Pro Skater 3" ("THPS3"), Neversoft revisits the past, enhances the present, and leads console gamers ever closer to their inevitable online future.

Gamers can play as one of 13 professional boarders or create their own male or female skater to tackle the eight levels -- from Tokyo to a suburban microcosm. New techniques like "the revert" help extend combos to incredible lengths, and more clever (and character-specific) career goals join online play as the game's key innovations.

Even if you can't yet enjoy the four-player networked games of "King of the Hill," "THPS3"'s single-player career mode is still extremely satisfying, more than worthy of the Hawk legacy.

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At a glance: Tony Hawk's 'Pro Skater 3'

Graphics: 4.5 (out of five) -- Rebuilt models, tons of new animations and dense, detailed levels give "THPS3" a gorgeous look. And kiss that old draw-in problem goodbye -- you're in PlayStation 2 territory now.

Sound: 4.0 -- A diverse musical roster -- Motorhead, Xzibit, Rollins Band, KRS One and more -- set an aggressive pace, and the new streaming system means that restarting a run won't interrupt the song. Funny voices add character to the game as well.

Controls: 5.0 -- This has always been a series strength, and "THPS3"'s responsive, sharp controls further cement its reputation. New techniques like the revert and pivot are easily incorporated, too.

Fun factor: 5.0 -- Apply everything you learned from the previous games, be ready to learn some new techniques, polish your skills for online play and sharpen your mind for the new level goals -- this is "THPS3" at its best. More fun? Can't have it.


• Neversoft Entertainment

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