Reviewed on Playstation 2


Reviewed By: Scott MacDowall

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2
Produced by: Activision & Neversoft
Price Range: $50
Learning curve time: 20 min.
Age level: 15+
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Sports
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Screenshot from 'Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3' for PlayStation 2 The original "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" game seemed like a breath of fresh air when it jumped onto the PSone over 2 years ago. Bringing the sport safely into your home back in 1999, and producing a fine sequel in the meantime, the series became the benchmark by which skateboarding games are judged. Finally, with the PlayStation 2 at their disposal, creators Neversoft have the chance to make another groundbreaking update.

It won't take long to see they haven't. The game structure is identical to the previous incarnations. You still need to choose one of the skateboarding's most famous competitors and help them complete a range of tasks across 9 levels. Objectives range from simply earning high scores to more creative missions such as stopping a gang of pickpockets armed only with a skateboard. Now many of the challenges involve helping people, which is a very welcome change. The Los Angeles level, for example, will see you helping the police stop a robbery, whereas previous games had you vandalizing squad cars.

Unsurprisingly the biggest update is the graphics. Comfortably using the might of the PS2, expect to skate around beautiful, large and detailed levels. For the first time you won't be alone either. Pedestrians and the occasional angry security guard wander the streets, generally getting in your way and causing one of the horribly realistic crash animations. You'll be wincing every time your character’s head makes contact with the digitized concrete!

"THPS3's" main accomplishment is still how playable it is. The controls are intuitive and easy to master whilst the short, snappy missions mean you're always making progress. Completing the game with a single character won't take the average gamer long but thanks to some brilliant rewards including secret characters, bonus levels, and mini-documentaries, you're assured to be playing this game over and over again.

Wary Christians should look out as the characters do have an unnecessary tendency to leak blood whenever you crash, and some of the real-world skateboarders display very worldly tendencies. Secret characters such as an almost naked female demon push the bounds of what's acceptable. The worst factor may be the soundtrack that contains many unchristian songs. (But those bothered by this feature can turn the music off on the options screen.)

Naturally fans will fall in love with this latest skateboarding masterpiece, but its relaxed learning curve means those unfamiliar with the series should not be put off either. “THPS3” oozes care and attention to detail, and for that reason alone consider it highly recommended.

Year of Release—2001

Comments from Young People…

Neutral—This game is awesome! Very good graphics! Some of the songs in this game are offensive. But you can turn the music off. I recommend this game highly. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Hannah, age 13

Positive—This game is amazing. Jamie Thomas spreads the gospel in am amazing way. Like his deck reciting the verse John 3:15-17. its a good game. the only objectionable matter is the music-some slightly offensive lyrics but not very noticible. I recommend this game to anybody, any age!! My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Scotty Houston, age 15

Negative—I admire Jamie Thomas for what he does, but some of the game's element cause me to not recommend it. For example, one cheat code will let you get several bonus characters, one of which is a “demoness.” Grip tape with “ladies” is also available. The gameplay is ok, but cleaning up the objectionable elements and the steep price tag would make the game more worthwhile. My Ratings: [3/3]
   —Garrett O'Hara, age 17

Neutral—I didn't like the blood (when the skaters fell on their heads) and the bad words in the background music. I think the next time Nintendo makes this game, they should not add these things. My Ratings: [4]
   —Ryan Galleher, age 9

Positive—I agree with most of what would said, however you did not mention how some skaters show their Faith in the game. My favorite skater, Jamie Thomas is a Christian and he shows this in his game. If you look at his grip tape there is a cross on it with light beaming out of it, also they have his white cross board with John 15-17 written in the back. By the way I'm 16 and I skate and I can't think of a better way to spread the word of Christ then how Jamie Thomas is doing it. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Andrew Nannenga, age 16

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

Christian Spotlight Guide2Games is part of Christian Answers. Copyright © Films for Christ. • “Christian Spotlight’s Guide to Games” and “Guide2Games” are service marks of Films for Christ.

Go to Christian Spotlight on Entertainment HOME