Compared: August 22, 2002
AKA Aggressive Inline is the hottest new addition to the extreme-sports genre. This time we take to the streets as any of over a dozen of the hottest inline skaters in the sport. This game features some of the largest levels ever seen in a sports game – yes, even larger than Dave Mirra Freestyle. Not only are these levels totally interactive, but each features 10-15 scripted events that can alter these levels creating new challenges and revealing new locations.
Originally released on the PS2, and more recently on the Xbox and GameCube, all three versions are nearly identical in both features and quality. As shown by the scores, you really can’t go wrong with any version you decide to buy, but if you have multiple systems then picking the “best” version can be as challenging as the game itself.
Round 1: Control
The PS2 wins this hands down. The controller is simply more comfortable for the extended periods of time you will be glued to this game. The button layout is more intuitive and the analog sticks offer supreme control.
The GameCube comes in second, if only for the reason that the Cess-Slide is mapped to the Z button. The stick was equally as responsive, but changing the view with that tiny yellow stick was not as easy as the full-size right sticks on the other controllers.
The Xbox loses this round. The placement of the Cess-Slide on the black/white buttons often caused frequent mishaps where this command would be inadvertently hit instead of the grind (Y) action button or vice versa.
Round 2: Visuals
The Xbox shows its power with some super high-res graphics that puts this version at the top of the pack. While the textures might not be any better than the other versions, the higher resolution just makes everything look sharp and crisp with no loss in frame rate.
The PS2 is the runner-up with excellent visuals at a silky smooth frame rate. There are plenty of special effects and excellent animation including the “dynamic cloth technology” for clothing and “boob technology” for…well, the female characters.
The GameCube is pretty much in a dead tie with the PS2. There are a few give and takes with Nintendo’s graphics. The textures look a bit better than the PS2 but the levels aren’t as crisp. It all averages out to be just about the same.
Round 3: Music & Sound
The Xbox takes this round with no argument. If the Dolby Digital surround isn’t enough to sway you then just consider the possibilities of ripping all your favorite music CD’s and grinding through this game to your own custom soundtrack.
The PS2 and GameCube versions both tie again with identical soundtracks and no perceivable difference in audio quality.
Round 4: Other Deciding Factors
The Xbox hard drive allows for much greater storage capacity when it comes to saving those custom skate parks. While you may never create enough parks to fill a PS2 or GC memory card, it’s still nice to know that you would probably never fill the hard drive. The Xbox also featured faster load times for the levels and the in-game cutscenes.
This is a tough call and deciding which version is best for you is going to rely on which system(s) you own. You can’t go wrong with any version, but if you desire custom music, slightly better graphics, and plan on designing megabytes of custom skate parks then you will want to go with the Xbox version. If precise control outweighs your need for hi-res visuals then go with the PS2. And if your only gaming platform is a GameCube, then get that version. But whatever you do – get this game!