The most popular skateboarding series ever to grace the realm of video games returns with Activation’s yearly installment of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Tony Hawk 4 continues to improve upon last year’s incarnation, tweaking in-game elements, changing the career mode and adding a new multiplayer mode.
Tony Hawk 4 provides graphics slightly above last year’s game, but why mess with a good thing? Levels are realistic looking and provide very good texture and solid colors. Skaters look ex…ellent with great shaping and good detail. The only negative in terms of graphics are the non-player characters; they tend to look inferior when compared to skaters.
As per usual, the soundtrack to Tony Hawk is stellar and diverse. The game offers 35 musical choices. Artists range from classic rock darlings AC/DC’s “TNT”, classic punk bad boys The Sex Pistol’s “Anarchy in the UK”, metal rockers Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast”, Run DMC’s “My Adidas” to modern punks Less Than Jake’s “All My Friends are Metalheads”.
The in-game sound effects are fantastic! Effects are very realistic and authentic; you can tell when you are skating on different surfaces (such as normal pavement or cobblestone) just by listening to the way your board sounds. When you wipeout it sounds like it really hurts and I often found myself cringing from the “thump” I endured from a bad landing.
Anyone who has played any of the previous Tony Hawk games will have very few problems skating into this game, but in saying that, even the most veteran Tony Hawk player will still be challenged with some of the goals.
The biggest change to game play in Tony Hawk 4 is the omitting of the two-minute time limit that previous games endured. Skaters begin each level in a “free skate” mode that allows you to familiarize yourself with the level prior to beginning any objectives. Goals are spread throughout each level by finding characters highlighted by green arrow. Each character will then describe your goal and your time limit begins. Complete enough of these goals and the next level is unlocked. Once you have completed enough goals, you will be presented with a “Pro Challenge” for each of the 14 skaters. Complete your pro challenge and you unlock additional goals throughout all the levels (a total of 190 goals!).
Tony Hawk 4 offers a 2-player mode that allows many different 2-player games. There are eight games, including; Trick Attack (highest score wins), Score Challenge (no time limit, hit the score and you win), and Graffiti (outscore your opponent by tagging objects with completed tricks)!
The only element lacking from Tony Hawk 4 is the absence of online support that is available for the PS2 version of the game. This will hopefully be added for future Tony Hawk games.
Simply put Tony Hawk 4 is made to be played again and again! The game offers extra levels, clothes, decks, movies, cheats and skaters that can all be purchased by completing enough goals.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 is one of the best (if not the best) skateboarding games available to date. With career mode, 2 player mode, create a park, create a skater there’s enough going on to satisfy the most diehard video game fan and make Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 a recommended purchase.