The ever-popular extreme sports category is growing in leaps and bounds on the PS2. Up until recently, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was considered to be the king of next-generation skaters, and I thought it was going to be a long time before we saw any challengers make a serious bid at stealing the virtual skating crown. But after playing Aggressive Inline for the better part of five days, Tony Hawk may have to ollie on down off the throne sooner than expected. Offering a mix of compelling game play, gorgeous graphics, and tight control, Aggressive Inline skates home with a complete package that's hard to match, and even harder to beat.
Among other things, Aggressive Inline features ten professional inline skaters, nine massive (and I do mean massive) and highly interact levels, a two-player split-screen mode, a freeskate mode, a career mode, and a really cool park editor. The Career Mode is the meat and potatoes of the game and it features a unique progression system that allows you to advance from level to level by earning a specific number of points. What's interesting about this system is that you don't necessarily have to finish each level before you move on to the next. It's an interesting concept, and dare I say, one that minimizes frustration and maximizes enjoyment. The game also features a bevy of familiar moves and some new ones like vaulting, pole spins and skitching. Thankfully, the developers have created a control scheme that's easy to get into whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned veteran. Response time of your virtual skaters is fast and fluid, and once you've mastered the moves, you'll come to appreciate the tight controls without ever feeling like you've been cheated.
For those of you who thought Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 pushed the PS2 to its limit, you won't believe your eyes when you see this puppy in action. The graphics are crisp and clean with a never-before-seen level of texture detail in both player models and environments. The 60 fps animations are as smooth as glass whether you're pulling off a miracle move or wipin' out. And all this comes to you without the dreaded polygon clipping and slowdown that's usually accompanies a game of this sort. The sound effects are equally impressive and the musical soundtrack that ranges from hip hop to hard rock will pump you up for the task at hand.
With killer graphics and animation, an awesome soundtrack, and gripping game play, Aggressive Inline sucks you in and never lets go. I usually recommend a game of this nature to extreme sports fans only. But after my week-long venture with this game, you 'baseball and football only'? gamers need to take a good long look at this game and you need to do it now. The way I see it, we have a new king of next-gen skaters.
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Aggressive Inline, the new extreme sports game from Acclaim, gives players a chance to get a little crazy as one of 10 pro inline skaters straight out of the ESPN X-games. The game provides some interesting gameplay but for those of us who play the genre a lot, it will feel very familiar.
Like every other extreme sports game, Aggressive Inline is viewed from the 3rd person, fixed camera view. The game boasts a couple of different modes including free skate and career with the usual accoutrements to follow. Of significant note however, I found the game's tutorial quite' thorough. The game is incredibly involved, so with that being said, as I played through the tutorial I found myself becoming overwhelmed with the sheer number of stunts you must learn to execute in order to play the game. There is a fine line between accurate and obsessive and this game is blurring towards the latter.
Fine. Well, that kind of thing is exactly why this game is a 'fans only'? game. And that is why it takes a serious gamer to be able to master, unlock and complete this disc. Graphically, the game never bogs down with lag and features the ever popular gushing blood option that engages even on the most minor of wrecks. An impressive use of lines and horizons also give the game a good sense of depth. The game's architecture feels natural and unforced, perfect for a game where you need to grind and jump off of objects.
The seven environments provide a varied experience that will have purists grinning ear to ear. The very first level is the movie studio lot, and I will admit, I found the concept of racing through a movie set to be an exciting romp. I did find the idea of using juice boxes as health a little silly. Why not a sports drink? Why not a soda pop? Sometimes I just don't understand these titles.
The game is nothing new per se. I felt like it borrowed too heavily from some of the other extreme sports games (, ), but for those who haven't played those other titles, yet love extreme games, then this could very well be the title for you and your new GameCube.
Take all your preconceived notions of Aggressive Inline and toss 'em out the window, especially if you have played Aggressive Inline on one of the major console systems.
This game could have been called any number of other titles and why they called it Aggressive Inline is beyond me. Other than the fact you play on roller blades, it has nothing to do with the original game that you've seen on the major console systems.
My first impression when I started up was that I was playing a strange version of the 80's arcade game, Paperboy. Is that really such a bad thing? Not at all. As it is, Aggressive Inline is a slick little title that tries to be something it isn't and darn near succeeds. Pretty decent controls coupled with a snappy A? view gives the player a certain experience that can be taken in doses of no more then 30 minutes. Much longer than that and the game starts to feel a bit repetitive and trite (so play sparingly). Instead of being a free-roaming, trick-infested, find-hidden-areas, go-for-gonzo-fun game, Aggressive Inline utilizes a timer and is much more linear. The original game's greatest strength was in its exploratory nature and sadly, the GBA version was left devoid of this aspect. Also unlike the original, the levels are much smaller and only require that you find some rather dull items to move along. With the cool formula the original had, it makes playing this game that much harder. Now this isn't to say that Aggressive Inline is a complete dud. Surprisingly, there is an audio song complete with lyrics that play through its entirety on the first level, an almost unheard of feature for a GBA title. Also, some gamers will find this to be quite a bit of fun what with the surprising amount of tricks you can perform.
In the end, if you never played any of the console versions, then you really don't have anything to compare it to and will probably enjoy this title. It's a hard sell to the gamers expecting similar gameplay from the original but Aggressive Inline is entertaining enough to keep extreme sports fans happy.
Now that I've played Aggressive Inline, I don't think there's a competition freestyle sport that I havent tried as a console game. Dirt bikes, BMX, skateboarding, surfing, theyre all out there. This one just happens to offer inline roller-skating action, and some of the more entertaining graphics I've seen yet.
Aggressive Inline offers the same somewhat stale gameplay that's been seen in every other extreme sports title to come out recently. The levels have a series of challenges that can be completed to advance your characters career, or you can freestyle to your hearts content on any unlocked level. Having played a lot of these titles, I wasn't expecting the most excellent and well-constructed tutorial. A level dedicated to teaching you the ropes, this was a great help in learning how to play. Thus armed, I was able to progress through the game pretty easily, and I'd even bet that I didn't have to restart the first couple of levels as many times as other games, probably thanks to that tutorial. On a bad note, the tricks can be a bit hard to pull off, and getting used to using a manual or a cess-slide to construct a combo can be frustrating.
Like most games in this genre, you'll get the requisite skaterpunk-style soundtrack and unique sound effects, but I think where this game excels is in its graphic design. Strangely well made, I was happy to see a few unusual graphics when pulling off certain stunts, like the contrails that you get from flipping around a pole, or vaulting over an obstacle.
While these games are enjoyable for everyone, they aren't what I'd call a good all-around purchase, just because the single and multiplayer play can be somewhat limited. However, if that's your cup of tea, this should fit nicely betweenand .