sports games have received a huge surge in popularity due to the
commercial and critical success of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series.
However, one sport has been neglected for years. For some
inexplicable reason, inline skating has been on the gaming back
burner. There have been BMX, moto-cross, surfing and skateboarding
games, yet no inline skating games have been released in years.
Acclaim’s Aggressive Inline is posed to change all of that.
Inline is a solid inline game. There are 10 real-life skaters in
this game and several hidden fictional skaters. The list of tricks
available is massive. The grinding system is done excellently.
Skaters can switch to different grinds without leaving the rail and
overall the grinding feels more solid than even the system in the
Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. Movements are actually fluid and your
character actually looks like he is really skating.
graphics are great. According to the box, the Xbox version of the
game features "Super hi-res graphics." There is a
noticeable step up from the PS2 version of the game and I found that
it looked better and ran smoother than the PS2 version I had played
over the summer. The stages look equally great and there are no
graphical slowdowns even though there is a lot of activity in some
of the stages.
graphics do not necessarily make a game good, a common question
would be "What else does Aggressive Inline offer?" To sum
it up in a sentence, Aggressive Inline is the messiah to the extreme
sports genera. How can it be that? It takes a massive step away from
almost every other game and changed the rules. The first noticeable
thing is the lack of timed runs in career mode. Gone are the
obnoxious 2 minutes to try and perform one task from the other games
in the extreme sport genera. The lack of a timer does not mean you
have a free ride through the stage. On the contrary, you have to
keep your stamina meter up by either collecting juice boxes or
pulling tricks. If that meter runs out, your game is over unless you
buy an extra try for 100,000 points. Secondly, you do not just
improve skills by finding tokens in the levels. You must earn
advancement. You gain experience points every time you pull a big
trick. When you gain so many experience points in a particular
skill, it levels up. It basically works exactly like the individual
skill level ups in Elder
Scrolls III: Morrowind. This feature adds more play hours into
the game since it takes a lot longer to build up skills than it does
to collect coins.
are massive. They are so massive that every one has a hidden area
that is unlocked when the proper key is found in another level. In
overall size, the stages dwarf even the Oil Rig stage from Tony Hawk
Pro Skater 3 on the Xbox. While they are not as multi-leveled like
the Oil Rig, they contain a massive surface area and tons of
challenges to perform. It takes time and effort to max out a stage.
Unlike Tony Hawk Pro Skater, it takes several hours to max out
stages because there are so many juice boxes and icons to find as
well as the many challenges.
Inline also offers a Create-a-Park option in the game. It is done
slightly differently than the competition. You have to unlock pieces
by completing so many challenges in stages. A few stages also have
challenges that involve creating a park and gaining enough points in
a certain time limit. It makes it interesting.
controls are done fairly well. The analog stick controls direction,
the A button jumps, the B button performs tricks and the Y button
grinds. The black and white buttons perform fakie skates (skating
backwards) or cess-slides to link combination tricks. The only
complaints that I’ve heard from my multiplayer victims have been
the rotation controls. Since the analog stick/D-pad are used to
punch in combos to perform complex tricks, the rotation control was
mapped to the L and R triggers. It feels a little awkward at first,
but it takes all of 5 minutes to get used to.
soundtrack is fairly well. If the extreme sport game standard mix of
rap/rock and punkish beats does not appeal to you, this game
utilizes the custom soundtrack options. You can turn on and off the
various songs you want to hear and add your own tracks from the hard
drive to the mix.
one fault with this game is the lack of a Create-a-Skater. It is not
present in the game. For whatever reason, this feature is not here
and thus the game becomes fairly boring. I always found it more fun
to make my own skater rather than use a pro.
over Tony Hawk, there’s a new king of extreme sports games.
Aggressive Inline does everything almost flawlessly on the first
time out. Since the game is harder than other extreme sports games,
you will find yourself playing stages for hours improving your
skater and finding secret items.