Aggressive Inline
Game Info
Platform(s)
PS2, GC, Xbox
Publisher
Acclaim
Developer
Z-Axis, Ltd.
Genre
Extreme Sports
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Strong Language, Blood, Suggestive Themes
 
Grade
The Good

• Large areas
• Experience system and Juice Bar add variety to game
• Lots to unlock

The Bad

• Occasional glitches
• Cars and NPCs look plain/simple

 
Grade
A-

Aggressive Inline follows the tradition set by the popular Tony Hawk franchise of bringing a popular extreme sport to the consoles. Gameplay revolves around performing tricks in large environments for points or performing certain requirements to unlock new levels. Aggressive Inline is the first inline skating game for the consoles and features pro inline skaters such as Jaren Grob, Shane Yost, Chris Edwards, Tag Khris and Franky Morales.

Gameplay elements basically are your standard fare: you have a Career mode (perform tricks to unlock new areas and skaters), freeskate (free run of the unlocked areas) and a park editor to create your own parks to skate on. The main part of the game will be spent in Career, where you will have to perform a variety of goals, including specific trick stings, trick point totals, time challenges and other objectives, some of which will be given to you by people or locations in the levels. You have to complete a certain amount of these goals (dependent on point value) to unlock new levels, and while new levels are unlocked, you can also try to get 100% on previous levels or unlock new areas in available levels by finding keys. For those used to extreme sports games, the controls and tricks are easy to pick up and feel very familiar. One of the nicer features is the inclusion of a Experience system, in which successfully performing techniques gains you experience towards leveling up your skills. While this rewards you by enhancing your techniques, it also forces you to use a wider variety of skills, which, in turn will make you a better player.

One of the big pluses for this game is the fact that you don't have a time limit by which to finish the level. Certain goals, yes, but the level is open to you, but only on one condition: your Juice Meter can't run out. Kind of like a health meter, the Juice Meter fills when you do tricks but empties when you wreck or if you spend too much time NOT doing tricks. You can also find juice boxes around that will fill your meter for you, or even make your meter larger. For those used to Tony Hawk, this game is fairly easy to pick up, but note that it has a lot more focus on grinding and doing manuals. You won't get as much air to do vert tricks, or not until later in the game when you've improved those skills.

Visually, the game is built on a solid engine. Levels are large with a fair degree of detail and texture mapping. The level design is also really good, allowing for lots of tricks and hidden areas. The characters are built soundly and look good and the animations are fairly fluid. Little things like hair and clothes may look blocky, but for the most part everything looks pretty good. Outside of the characters and level design, though, most everything else, like cars and NPCs look rather underdeveloped. But, considering the amount of things moving around, it's more than fine. Don't mistake that the locations are intended to look realistic. There are a lack of fine details that leave some locations looking a little flat, but considering that each area is intended as a fictional "park" to do tricks, this is just fine.

The audio portion of the game is well realized and adds a wonderful depth and flavor to the game, amplifying the experience. Sound effects and voice acting parts season the game, aiding in creating the experience. The soundtrack is a wonderful variety of acts, ranging from P.O.D., Saliva and Hoobastank to Sublime and Pharcyde. Also, the ability to edit out which tracks you don't care to hear helps. Now, if you don't care for most of the music, you might just want to turn it's volume down, but for the most part, the soundtrack is varied enough to be effective.

On the downside, Aggressive Inline tends to suffer from a variety of glitches. In fact, don't be surprised to that on occasion, you might wreck or pull a trick too close to a wall and "fall" behind or below it. Most times, the game rights itself, but other times you can even end up in secret locations or have the game crash all together.

For extreme sports fans, Aggressive Inline is a wonderful addition to your collection. It borrows the basic concepts the Tony Hawk managed to perfect and adds more than enough to carve it's own place in the genre. If you aren't a fan of the genre, this game makes a great rental. If Aggressive Inline is successful, I fully expect to see a number of inline skating clones that copy this game.

- - Vane

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