School 3 was a level that was created for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 that was basically a revamp of the original School 2 Level from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. kramerica took this level and ported it into THUGPro. I have chatted with kramerica in Discord on several occasions and I know that he creates most all of the objects in his custom levels from scratch. This is very impressive as I know that a large number of the other Custom Levels take models that have been imported from various places. Not to diminish the work that goes into any of these levels, but to do it all by hand from scratch is VERY impressive in my book!
The review team for this first Custom Level review consisted of myself, Biz.thps, tyler, and letmynutzgo. sk8ace joined us towards the end for some additional input/insight. Most of us playing this level had also played it in THPS5 and we felt like it was a good representation of that level. Most all elements seemed to be present and the layout was very close to the original. We all enjoyed playing the level quite a bit and had some good times playing through all of the games that we could.
The goal in this review format is to take a good cross-section of all possible games that you can play with THUGPro. Keeping that in-mind, we played every single game that we could rapid-fire, one right after the other. All scoring based games: Trick Attack, Score Challenge, Combo Mambo, and Elimiskate play very well on this level. The level flows quite well and there are plenty of elements present to trick off, to rack up those crazy high scores. We could not play graffiti as nothing is taggable in this version of the level. We couldn't play King of the Hill nor Capture the Flag as there are no placements for either of these elements. Players of the level be warned: if you try to play KOTH it will crash THUGPro and you will have to re-load the game. Slap wasn't very fun, as most levels that are spread-out make racking up any sort of big points difficult. Scavenger Hunt was fun- lots of good places to place your items to hunt and good times trying to be the first to get them all. The big surprise best game to play was firefight- probably because of the way this level is lined out it just accommodated this game very well. We all had a great time playing FF on this one! Everyone reviewing did agree that because there is only ONE spawn point for all players, many games were a bit frustrating at the start because we all just landed on top of each other falling from that one single spawn point.
Review scoring breakdown and thoughts:
Gameplay: 6.3/10 - we all had a good time playing each game on this level, but because we couldn't play all of the games possible we had to mark this lower. When fan favorite games of KOTH, CTF, and Graffiti can't even be played, scores have to reflect that. Had those been possible to play this score would be much higher.
Traditional THPS Elements: 8.7/10 - because this level is a port of a regular THPS level it scores very high on this. There are plenty of objects to trick off, all the walls could be wall-ridden, the rails are all grindable, the quarter-pipes and pools all can be tricked on and edges of them are grindable, the building edges can be grinded, it's all there. This score wasn't perfect because a few objects from the level port were missing such as the awning over the gym entrance, but it has everything it needs to be fun to play as a THPS level.
Fun Factor: 7 - everyone really had fun playing the games we did, and I think we all could have played the level for quite a bit longer than we did. The reason this scores lower than that perfect 10 is the games that we couldn't play were all sorely missed. We all agreed that KOTH would have been a blast in this level, same for CTF, same for Graffiti.
Lighting and Textures: 4 - the lighting in this was actually really good all around, even in the gym things seemed very good. The textures, however, seemed less than ideal. Many of the textures were repetitive- so much brick everywhere! Many of the quarter-pipes had no shading or depth between the transitions and decks, they just looked the same no matter what part of them you look at. The red rail behind the two isolated school buildings was just mostly solid color really not much texture. Most regular THPS levels have such a diverse amount of texturing and look so good! This could use a bit more love when it comes to the textures. It doesn't in any way take away from the fun the level offers but, it could use some work.
Stability: 8 - I intentionally encouraged everyone in the room to try and find broken rails, corners that could be fell out of, roofs that would cause you to fall off the top of the level, etc. How solid is everything put together and how glitchy is this level? It's VERY solid. We found one broken rail on the tiled pool in the gym that kicked you off the pool edge instead of allowing you to continue your grind. We found one shadow on one of the building roofs that could be grinded. We also found one corner that someone fell out of one time. That was pretty much it. This thing is really in good shape for collisions with walls, objects, rail, etc. Great job to kramerica for keeping it tight!
Overall this is a great job on a Custom Level. It is a solid port of a level from THPS5. These scores could all go up by quite a bit if a few things are tweaked: make it so that all major THPS games can be played on the level, and a bit more work on the texturing. Otherwise- good times are to be had on this. I, for one, would recommend this be checked out by anyone who plays THUGPro- I think you'll enjoy the ride.