Review by DarkAngel13

"A downgrade from THPS3..."

The supposed next great skateboarding game to enter the Tony Hawk series was to me, a downgrade from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. Yes THPS4 does have more goals and Bob Burnquist back, but some of the stuff just made it less fun than THPS3.

STORY:
You skate with one of your fourteen skaters in career mode to unlock videos. The career mode tasks are much more different this time around, you have to skate up to people, talk to them, and then you get your objective. It's basically free-skate with tasks. To me I thought this was really horrible because it took some of the fun out of the tasks. No more trying to pull off every task in one run, now you just concentrate at the task that you are supposed to do. Also, some of the tasks are really really dumb. Like one in Alcatraz, you have to pick up a bunch of items for a prisoner and meet him down at the dock so he can get away. Really hard task, plus you only get 30 seconds. At least you can go past the time limit if you are in the middle of a combo on some levels. Some of the tasks though are fun, like most of Bam Margera's ones (He's the guy from Jackass in case people didn't know) so you have to do some dumb, but fun tasks.

SOUND: 10
This one of the few parts of Tony 4 that makes Tony 3 look bad. There is some VERY good music contained on Tony 4, and the soundtrack is simply great. You have bands like System of a Down, The Offspring, and Goldfinger. The main annoyance about the music is that most of it is from the early 90's and 80s, whereas Tony 3 had more modern music. AC/DC? Ick, stay with the more popular modern stuff Neversoft, please.

Another good thing about Tony Hawk 4 is now all of the characters have voices in the career mode. When you go up to a skater, they'll have their real voices. I thought that was a nice addition. Some of the voices though, UGH! The old lady in the 4th level's voice gets annoying really fast...

GRAPHICS: 8
The graphics on Tony Hawk 4 were in some ways better than Tony Hawk 3's. There were more boards and the skaters looked better when you were skating with them. Also the surrounding environment looked better too. The main gripe about the graphics is when you go up to somebody in career mode and talk to them, the person looks horrible! I expect Elissa Steamer to look like a girl somewhat. I also expect to be able to tell the difference between Andrew Reynolds and Tony Hawk from a short distance away. Bam Margera also looks weird too, It looks like hes trying to grow out a full beard.

CONTROLS: 10
No complaints here, they're the same as last years. X is to ollie, Circle is grab tricks, Square is flip tricks, Triangle is to grind, L1 and R1 are to do spins while in the air (Or just hold left/right on the left analog stick or the D-Pad), L2 is to switch between doing a normal ollie and a nollie/fakie, R2 is to revert, and the right stick is used for looking around.

CHALLENGE LEVEL:
Tony Hawk 4 can be incredibly challenging and incredibly simple. For the most part it is a very easy game, but when it gets hard, it goes overboard. Some of the missions are just crazy on how hard they are, and some you'll be surprised at how simple they were. Overall, pretty easy.

REPLAY VALUE: 7
This is where Tony Hawk 4 really shoots itself in the foot. In career mode, you cannot beat it with a different skater. You beat it with one, and you can't go through on that save file and beat it with a different character. It really takes some of the replay out of it because that was one of the fun things to do, go through it with all of the different characters. There is online play, which is a plus, but I haven't played online yet so I can't critique it. Multiplayer is fun though. There's 8 different modes of multiplayer on it, so that could keep you and a friend entertained for a while...

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 was overall a disappointment to me. I expected it to have a longer career mode with more tasks and stuff, but instead they totally redid it and made it seem like a different game. Online play could turn out to make it really good, but until you can play online, the career mode won't seem to keep you occupied very long. You can go and create your own skate parks like in THPS2 and 3, but that shouldn't warrant a buy of THPS4. I say give it a rent, and if you like it, buy it.

FINAL SCORE: 8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/11/02, Updated 11/11/02


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