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Aggressive Inline

Review By:  Nick Arvites

Developer:   Z-Axis
Publisher:   AKA Acclaim 
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Extreme Sports
ESRB:   Teen
Online:   No
Accessories:   Memory Unit
Date Posted:  

9-26-02

Extreme 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.

Aggressive 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.

The 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.

Since 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.

Stages 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.

Aggressive 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Highs:

  • Huge levels
  • No timed runs
  • Innovative

Lows:

  • No create-a-skater

Final Verdict: 

Move 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.

Overall Score: 9.5

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