[an error occurred while processing this directive]
|Games||Getting Started||Game Trailers||Game Hardware||Find Games||Buy Games|
By Brad Cook
Every surfer would love to start their day with a phone call from Kelly Slater saying Hey, man, the waves are huge at Pipeline. Get down here!
Waves never crash toward the beach the same way twice, which gives the action in Aspyr Medias Kelly Slaters Pro Surfer almost unlimited replay potential. Featuring nine real surfers and 30 levels of action that takes place at 15 of the best surfing spots in the world (complete with true-to-life backgrounds), the game challenges you to earn your surf cred as you take on challenges and choose your own path to fame and fortune. We wanted to make the game feel like the mother of all surf trips, explains Nick Doran, executive producer of the project for developer Treyarch.
Sit Right Back. Take the ultimate surfing trip with
So youre on an extended boat trip in which you get to select the beaches you want to hit from sunny southern California to frigid Antarctica for some surfing action. Each one features a variety of challenges, such as pulling off the right tricks just as a photographer snaps a shot (photo coverage in surfer magazines is vital to any surfers livelihood). Success not only furthers your career but also unlocks new beaches, surfboards, surfers and tricks.
Slater and Hawk
Kelly frequently visited us and helped hand-shape the various waves, recalls lead designer Jeremiah Maza. Since he had surfed all the real waves that we have in the game, his first-hand knowledge of their shape, size and color was a tremendous help.
Many of the pro surfers also came in and discussed what tricks they can do, what they specialize in and what special tricks they would like their characters to have.
Even if youve never surfed before, the games tutorials, which take place in an indoor wave house, help you master the basics before you begin your career. When youre set to go, you work your way up from basic challenges to more advanced ones.
If all this sounds a bit like the Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games, it should: Maza notes that we definitely looked at the Tony Hawk games for inspiration during development. But we also wanted to make Pro Surfer its own game with a surfing feel.
A True Test. Earn big points pulling off tricks in the tube.
(In homage to their inspiration, the development team included Hawk as a hidden surfer in the game; in turn, Slater shows up in the Tony Hawk games as a hidden skater.)
No Two Are Alike
Of course, surfing isnt simply skateboarding on water. For one thing, the ground doesnt undulate beneath you as you ride a skateboard. In Pro Surfer, though, you have to watch the waves while pulling off your tricks, or you could easily land the wrong way and wipe out.
And there really isnt a skateboarding equivalent to surfing through a waves tube, trying to keep your balance as water arcs over your head and threatens to knock you off the board. Because of that, the development team took the ocean very seriously. We custom-developed the water, says lead programmer David Cook. The oceans surface is drawn in four to five passes to achieve visual effects like reflectiveness, sparkle, foam and the appearance of depth. Each wave, in turn, has six different actions, including second breaks, surges and collapses. These actions occur in random sequence, making each wave different from the previous one.
Dee Brown of Beenox, which ported the game to the Mac, notes that this is the first Mac game to use vertex and pixel shaders to enhance the visuals. He adds that the best way to experience this effect is to make sure your Mac has an ATI Radeon 9700 or 9800 or an NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti video card or better.
Gnarly Angles. Dont worry if your balance isnt very good; these digital surfers have plenty to spare.
Twice the Fun
Once youve gotten the hang of surfing, invite a friend over for some two-player wave carving. Pro Surfer offers three such modes: push (the screen is split in half, but the player who pulls off more tricks collapses the other players side until shes pushed out of view and loses); head-to-head (compete against the other player in split-screen and try to attain a higher score by the end of the run); and time attack (take turns trying to post the highest score possible when the clock runs out).
Kelly and Co. Surf as any of Kellys buddies.
So whether you want to battle it out with a friend for surf bragging rights, become one of the top surfers in the world, or just surf for fun in unlimited time mode, Kelly Slaters Pro Surfer lets you feel what its like to carve a wave before sliding through its 20-foot tube. Best of all, you can take a trip around the world while doing so, something even avid surfers dont normally get to do. When are you ever going to get the chance to surf among icebergs?
If you liked this game, check out:
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4
Do you have comments for this game article? Send us a note.