It's widely accepted that Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series is the way to go if you're interested in playing a skateboarding game on the Game Boy Advance. After three successful releases, and with a fourth on the way, the series shows no signs of slowing down. It makes perfect sense, then, that Activision would employ Vicarious Visions, the development house responsible for the handheld versions of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, to develop its Disney-themed skateboarding game: Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure. The look and feel of the game suggest that it's just Tony Hawk's Pro Skater with Disney characters and locations. Upon closer inspection, however, the simplifications that have been made to the formula ultimately make the game best suited for novice players.
The characters put their own styles into tricks.
All of the characters and locations in Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure have been taken from three wildly popular Disney franchises: The Lion King, Tarzan, and Toy Story. There are seven different characters from which to choose, including Nala and Simba from The Lion King; Tarzan and Terk from Tarzan; and Buzz, Woody, and Jessie from Toy Story. Like in the recent Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, the main goal in Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure is to perform favors for the bystanders in each level. As you hunt down their lost items and complete the challenges they assign, you'll unlock new levels, tougher runs, and more tricks for the character you've chosen.
For better or worse, Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure plays like a light version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. The most obvious change concerns the control system. In the Tony Hawk games, there are separate buttons for flips, grabs, and transitions, like manuals and reverts. In Extreme Skate Adventure, every major trick, grind, and transition is performed with the B button. That makes combinations easier to chain together, but it sharply limits the number of unique tricks each character can perform. Likewise, the objectives in Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure aren't as difficult as those you'd find in traditional extreme sports games. You can use combo tricks and wall rides to reach higher spots in each area, but none of the challenges actually require you to perform any of these advanced techniques.