Sometimes during a console life cycle, you can expect to see dead cert games come to the format, especially if the franchise originator sells well enough to warrant a sequel, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was in it’s infancy back in 1999 and the Dreamcast was host to not only the first game, but also THPS2 – this particular port was absolutely brilliant and is really only rivaled by the Xbox classic version (Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X) as the definitive way to play that game. naturally as 2001 started, Neversoft began work on the third entry in the series, now I know what you’re thinking; 2001 was the last year the DC was seen as viable for publishers to release their work and most pulled away to release their games on other formats, surely Activision would not risk releasing this game for the console?
Well, let’s look at this logically Tony Hawk 3 was released in October of 2001, across most formats from PSone, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance and lastly, Nintendo 64 -that’s a whole load of ports, yet no Dreamcast? The first two games sold well, certainly in the USA at the very least. The game engine already playing ball with the hardware, it wouldn’t surprise me if all other ‘next gen’ versions were based on the DC build of the previous game anyway. Could it be that it was too late in the day? No, because Matt Hoffman BMX would release by Activision in September 2001, wouldn’t it have made more sense to pull that game and release something that would sell more units? Also, the Nintendo 64 of all things got a port of the third game….. in August 2002! I can’t fathom why this game never released for the Dreamcast, it seems like a natural fit since all the key ingredients were there already, all the ground work laid down, the hard work done. What a waste, the fact the game was never confirmed (or even mentioned I think…) for Dreamcast says a lot about how 3rd parties treated Sega during the time.
So where can you play THPS3 today? Well, you don’t have to look hard, it’s available on every format of the time, and it’s cheap since it sold so well. Avoid the PSone and N64 versions as they are cutback and not really a true representation of the game, the PS2 version is the most likely candidate of what we would have played on our machine, although there isn’t much difference between this and the GC/XB versions. If you really, really need to play THPS 3 on the Dreamcast, you can Bleem the PSone version to see what it may have been like, just keep in mind that it won’t save – here’s hoping one day that Dreamcast build that I’m sure was created and stashed away makes it’s way into public domain.