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Have You Played... Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3?

It was great before Jackass took over.

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Why 3? Because I never played 1, and 3 has the airport. Good enough? Yes. KICKFLIP!

The Tony Hawk series may have become a disastrous farce a long while back, but there was a day when Old Man Skatey’s name in the title really meant something. The first few Pro Skater games were properly ace. Not properly ace skateboarding games – that’s precisely why the more recent efforts have become so dreadful. Properly ace platform games.

Levels were huge arenas to roll around, kickflipping to nosebleeds or something, as you glided down poles, leapt onto the lips of giant foundry smelting pots, or the baggage conveyor belts of an airport. Betwixt these were competitions, where you had to string together high scores, but these eschewed realism for awesome jumping and flapping around, manualling between ramps, wowing judges with your button mashing prowess.

And in Pro Skater 3, those levels were just utterly marvellous. The airport especially, and also the wonderful Suburbia complete with its phone wire traversal. Tokyo, the game’s final level, was just enormous! All were exquisitely well put together places, enormous fun to explore, dig out secrets, and complete ridiculous goals like splatting pumpkins or burying bullies.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and general hero of humanity.

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