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3 Xtreme, like its predecessor 2 Xtreme, is an action sports racing game. Gameplay in 3 Xtreme involves racing against other players, under either AI or human control, while passing through gates and doing tricks to earn points. There are three types of vehicles in the game: skateboards, inline skates, and BMX bikes. These can be chosen at the beginning of the race or season. Grind rails can also be found throughout each course, which you can grind on to earn additional points.
Season mode is made up of three stages (circuits). The first circuit is a 6 race competition, the second circuit is an 8 race competition, and the third circuit is a 10 race competition. Each circuit race will pit 5 other racers against you. As the season progresses, each racer is ranked based on their finishing position. The goal is to come out on top of the rest of the field at the end of the season. During the season the course selection is predetermined and you are unable to change players.
By winning circuits you can unlock new characters, tracks and equipment. Beat all three circuits with each type of player (i.e., inline skates, BMX bikes and skateboards) to unlock everything available.
Exhibition (1 or 2 Players)
You can use Exhibition races to perfect your skills and learn how to play. It is a standard single race game mode. At the end of an Exhibition race you can view the race results and see where you finished.
Time Trials (1 or 2 Players)
Time Trials are slalom-style races. The main objective of a Time Trial is to get the lowest time possible. Try to pass through every gate on the course. If a gate is missed, time will be added to your finishing time.
In a 2 Player Time Trial, each player will have his/her own set of color-coded gates on the course. Gates for Player 1 are red and gates for Player 2 are green. There are also combo gates that are red and green. Both players can pass through these gates, but like regular gates time will be added if you miss them.
Freestyle (1 or 2 Players)
In freestyle, you are given as allotted amount of time to pull off as many stunts as you can. The amount of time given is different for each course. The more tricks you do, the more points you receive.