The Hawk franchise and Activision 02 line are a license to print money. Consistently strong well presented titles representing all that is good in extreme sports games. Tony Hawk 3 on the GBA is no exception.
Vicarious Visions are once again at the helm of this title and have done a superb job. For fans of the series on other machines, you will be amazed at what this little machine can do with our favourite skater.
For starters, there are 13 skaters to choose from to make your way through the game. Not satisfied? Then make your own with the comprehensive Create-a-Skater option.
Direct comparison can be drawn between the full console version of this title and the GameBoy Advance version. Levels are quite similar in design and the tricks that can be done are identical, including the revert trick which enables you to create huge combos by linking ramp and flatland tricks together. The LA level even boasts the earthquake feature from the console version!
Controls are well laid out and easy to come to grips with, using the L & R buttons to good effect. Possibly the only flaw is needing total control of the D pad, with quick direction changes needed in order to do some of the more complex tricks.
With a variety of skaters to choose from, both flatland and vert enthusiasts should be well looked after.
The graphics are exceptional in this game and even the skaters are recognisable as the real deal. All manner of little detail is included, even blood when the player comes of the skateboard! Environments are well planned and laid out, with almost any surface capable of supporting a trick.
All sorts of treats abound within this title so make sure you trick off as many items as you can as you can activate secret areas that will increase playability. The true beauty of the game is that there is no slowdown even with all the new added detail, thanks to Vicarious' reworking of their Tony Hawk 2 game engine to accommodate the new level of detail.
The fixed camera angle perspective sometimes works against this game making it a bit awkward when looking for pipes and rails to trick off.
For those of you who enjoy skating with friends, THPS3 supports multiplayer with link cable or even on a single system. There are a variety of modes: Tag, King of the Hill and Point Scoring against each other.
In single player mode, the game proceeds in a similar way to its console brethren.