Who would have thought that the Pro Skater games would have gotten so popular? I mean, I really liked the first game as I thought it brought something new, like it had brought skateboarding games to a new level which was something that probably a lot of people would have hoped it had happened earlier. The sequel is still the best in my opinion as it gave us a lot more to do and really gave us a deep combo system which made me and lots of people stay up late at nights trying to do manuals and link moves to get millions of points just to then fall and lose them all and have to restart all over again! Believe me though that this didn’t stop me from tryin again and again as there was no end to all of this. These games are highly addictive and, don’t ask me how, they still find some new stuff to add all the time! This third game might not have as much improvements as the second game had, but it still offers a lot new content that will satisfy most of us.
Something new to Nintendo fanboys are full motion videos and you will be seeing one as soon as you insert your little GC disc in your console. I think it really added to the presentation of past games and was missed in the N64 versions. This time though we’ve got the whole package and we won’t be missing anything. I’m not the biggest skateboarding fan out there but watching those guys pulling tricks is kind of amazing and it’s very impressive at times.
The game works exactly like past pro skater games except that instead of having the standard menus we were used to you are in a skateboarding shop fully rendered in 3D. It would have been cool though if the camera would have moved around depending on what you had chosen in the menu like when choosing your level the camera could have zoomed on a TV and little videos of the levels would have played on screen. Still, everything works well the way it is and it would just have made things prettier.
For those of you who are new to this game then there is a tutorial mode where you can learn all about how to play. I only used this mode later when I had completed the game and I still learned new stuff. One thing that is new to THPS3 is that you can pull off landing tricks and link combos even when being in a halfpipe for example. This adds a lot as you can link combos even more than you used to. The rest of the tutorial just shows you the basic stuff but doesn’t really go into too much detail so if you want to really get good at this game you’ll have to figure some things out for yourself by practicing. It might have been a good idea to add different difficulty levels to each tutorial and give some rewards when completing those.
Like in past games the mode you’ll be playing the most is the Carreer mode. You pick one of the available skaters and complete all of the 9 levels. When you start only one of the levels is available and by completing goals you unlock new ones. There are 3 competition levels where you have to get the best scores in 2 of 3 runs to win the gold. The others levels are in various parts of the world and you have ot complete certain goals, some being more funny than others. Like in Canada for example you’ll have to help a guy unstick his tongue from a metal pole or burry a guy under a ton of snow. In another stage you’ll be smashing pumpkins or causing earthquakes. There is a lot more variety than before and it is one of the best additions to this game. You also get to add more points to your character or get new moves and update his tricks with new ones that you prefer. The difficulty is well balanced and you still have goals where you have to get insane amounts of points. If you are a THPS veteran then it might be easy to do it but for others it will offer a certain challenge that will keep you busy for some time. In earlier games I could just head into a halfpipe and pull off tricks until time was out and I would complete the biggest point challenge but now you really need to use manuals and link tricks. It is still possible to finish carreer mode with one character in a single day but you’ll probably want to play through it again will all of the characters to see all of the videos.