Review by Swiftshark
Reviewed: 01/02/03 | Updated: 01/02/03
Time to pull off the tricks you could only dream of
Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer is the most refined surf game made to date. Over the years we've been subjected to a multitude of surfing games that promised a realistic feeling comparable to the real experience only to have that dream come crashing down on us like a 25 foot Waimea rogue set. Fortunately for us this game has finally delivered that which we all were hoping for.....a true surfing simulator.
The controls in Kelly Slater's Pro surfer are very easy to get used to. There are no complicated configurations that bring about early arthritis and the character responds to your commands in a very fluid and graceful way unlike most surfing titles out there. Besides the obvious turns and rail-grabs, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer includes an unbelievable amount of special tricks including Barrel moves, Face moves, Lip tricks and unreal arial maneuvers as well as duck diving. Waves vary meaning you can actually sit and wait for a better one to come in before you paddle for it. Several of these tricks are fantastical in the sense that you could never even attempt many of them in real life however they do add a nice element of ingenuity and imagination. The designer(s) must have been at least knowledgable of the impossible. There are many different characters to choose from, most of which include real life counterparts like Tom Carrol, Rob Kalani, Kelly Slater and many more. In terms on beaches there are fictional as well as actual surf spots around the globe including Jaws, Teahpoo, J-Bay, G-Land and total about 20 in total. As you progress through the game you will need to complete several challenges at each location which will in turn unlock additional boards, characters, cheats and tricks to make the game fun and challenging at the same time.
The camera angles are very well thought out in this game and you have the added luxury of being able to change and or modify the point of view as you see fit. There is also a very nice ''replay'' feature available that will allow you to relive those perfect rides again and again. All in all the camera allows you total immersion into the gameplay without those recurring reminders of bad programming like most other surf games have been born out of.
FMV's, MUSIC and SFX 9/10
The cutscenes aren't out of this world however they are beautifully rendered and fine attention has been paid to detail and it will impress even the pickier gamers. The music is very well chosen to fit the surfing lifestyle and includes a host of genres including punk, rock, reggae and mystical mood music and overall adds to the background in a very subtle yet enjoyable way. The Special Effects are also very well done and will not disappoint you either. There are also a host of extra movies available that will show you the actual surf spots as well as Surfer Bio's.
REPLAY VALUE 9/10
Replay value in this game is very high considering that you have the option of free surfing any beach that you have unlocked and especially due to the fact that you have the ability of selecting the waves you wish to catch. That fact alone makes it a game that you can always pop back in for a little surf session. I think that I will still play this game from time to time no matter how many other games come my way in the future. Also since there are so many characters to beat the game with you could literally spend 20 - 30 hours simply trying to conquer the entire game.
All in all I think Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer is a most worthy title for any surf lover and anyone else who likes the Tony Hawk style of gameplay. I will never regret having spent hard earned money on this title since the enjoyment derived from it is priceless in comparison. If you love surfing and you crave waves then grab a board and paddle into one of the best games ever made for this conscious sport of wave riding!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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