Aggressive Inline

Quick Take - another look at Z-Axis impressive skater, this time on the Cube

Xbox wins

04b

They bounce, don't you know?

Microsoft tells us that most ported games look best and offer the best extras on Xbox, and as far as Acclaim's Aggressive Inline goes, they're right on the money. AI on Xbox offered us an extra level and a custom soundtrack, but the Cube outing is the same old game as its PS2 sibling. However, that's not bad news for Cube owners. AI is, after all, a game we described as our vision of Tony Hawk 4, and the reasoning behind our argument was quite simple: no skater past or present has offered as much variety, progression or entertainment for your money. Building on the success of Tony Hawk, AI takes everyday locations (like streets and skate parks) and throws in more exotic options (like a movie set and a fairground), fits you with skates and a laundry list of tasks and sets you to work, borrowing most of Tony Hawk's control system in the process. Graphics are at about the same level as the PS2 version, where they were as good as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, but also offered improved model animation and in particular, clothing animation, with a very clever physics engine which ludicrously also applies to the enormous breasts of the two female skaters. Fortunately for Z-Axis, it works to a large extent - it's very playable, easy to get into and easier than Tony Hawk to get good at. You'll be chaining tricks and grinds together with comparative ease, and the lack of a time limit is a blessing here also. AI introduces an adrenaline bar arrangement, and it's if you run out of juice that the party ends. Another boon is experience points, so you're always levelling up your trick capabilities. In fact, the only problem with the game is the Cube pad's shortcomings - a fiddly directional pad is almost unusable, and the analogue stick is too sensitive.

Conclusion

Aggressive Inline and I know one another inside out now, and I'm still enjoying it despite playing the same bits over and over. There's plenty of longevity in this one, and if you simply can't wait for the fourth Tony Hawk game, this is your best option. However, if you own a PS2 in addition to your Cube, I would recommend your seek out that version instead.

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