Review by IamTheWhiteGuy
"Anyone remotely interested in the series or in Skateboarding should endeavour to own this game as soon as possible!"
I can remember hearing about how good Tony Hawks Pro Skater was. A skateboard game always seemed like a stupid idea to me. Then I finally swallowed my pride and bought the third when it came out. It was pure bliss. But, after having played eight hours straight on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, I wondered how on earth I could've ever enjoyed the third. In addition to taking Career mode in a whole new (and promising) direction, the general gameplay has been steeped up.
The gameplay is nothing short of stupefying, with a much easier and more streamlined trick system (which allows for some intense combos). Instead of hopping up to change your Noseslide to a BS Crook you can simply tap Square Square, or Square Circle, or Triangle Triangle, or any combination of those three buttons. This works for manuals and lip tricks too, allowing for simple yet incredible combos. The special tricks are back and better than ever, with a good mix between the absurd (think Chad Muska's Ghetto Blastin from THPS3) and the downright stupefying (bow down to the Indy 900). In career mode, instead of being thrust in to a level with a set of goals and a time limit, you are dropped in to a huge sprawling urban area with no time limit and you must skate around till you arrive at a person who can give you a goal. Tap the grab button and you're all set to accomplish this goal (from a slalom down a pipe while lying down on your board, to skitching a ride with a getaway car). There are 190 such goals, shared between all the riders (as are stat points), but when you hit 90 you can attempt the pro challenges, which are difficult tasks individual to each skater. Generally the levels are much more realistic than in THPS3, but still allow for as much (or more) fun and there are still two satisfying over the top levels: a carnival and a zoo to liven things up.
The sound is better than ever, with well done voice clips appearing frequently and another awesome soundtrack. It would have been perfect except for the sheer lousiness of some songs, fortunately, the playlist is 100% tweakable.
The graphics are generally much more realistic in THPS4 than ever before. Levels are nicely colored and people are even more properly proportioned. People walk around in the background while you bust out your Misty Flips and Darkslides.
The extent of multiplayer modes is really impressive. When factoring in 8 player network matches (a real joy to take part in) you realize why you bought the game. Surprisingly enough, even the capture the flag game option induces brief states of Euphoria. So if you don't have network play yet, here is your reason.
Tony Hawks 4 is everything a Skateboarding game should strive to be. With hours of single player content, and the most online potential of almost any console game to date, this is an absolute must buy. I'm sure that there are very few people who would argue with anyone who had said that this game is stunning.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/28/02, Updated 10/28/02
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