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Platform: PlayStation2Change
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on September 4, 2002
The legend continues as Activision brings out it's newest installment in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. Unlike it's predeccessor (don't think I spelled that right), the latest installment has a HUGE gap between #4 and #3. In this version, when you start career mode there is NO time clock what so ever! You are free to roam the level as much as you like, but when you stop and ask or talk to someone, they give you an objective to complete, THEN the time clock starts. The goals varies, sometimes it's to stop a security guard from busting all your skate buddies to copying another skater's tricks to the infamous S-K-A-T-E or C-O-M-B-O goal. And the level design is VERY realistic. no more is there a perfectly smooth sidewalk, now you can see that there are scratches, bumps and even scrapes and openings in the sidewalk. The levels also are very realistic as well. There won't be halfpipes and ramps all in the middle of the road. For example, in the College level, there are no (like I said) halfpipes or ramps or rails right smack in the middle of the street. The game is based on real life. And when you get all level goals for a level with a character, they bring in their own ramp or halfpipe or object to add to the level. And the cheats...well you have to find them out yourself. To sum this game up, a perfect ten, no flaws what so ever. If you want a good sports game this year for Christmas, this is it. Strap on your helmet and pads, it's gonna be a bumpy ride...
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on December 2, 2002
This Winter, two games were released I had been looking forward to; Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (of course), and this, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. After playing Tony Hawk 3 over and over and over again on Free Skate (I had beaten everything on Career), I was getting pretty sick of the same levels. FINALLY, number 4 has come.
The second release of this series for the "new generation" systems, Tony Hawk 4 once again expands itself seemingly as far as it can go; at least until 5 will arrive. A few minor additions have been made; stiching cars, busses, ect, massive, literally massive levels, new secret characters (such as Iron Maiden's Eddie and a "hot chick"), a few new moves, and more. The most noticable change, however, is on Career mode, and I'm sure you've already heard about it. NO MORE TIME LIMITS. You now have to go and find people and they will give you missions to do, and you are usaully timed on just those mission in particular. And another thing: once you have 90 Pro Points, you have a Pro Challenge to complete. I have reached mine with Bam Margera, and on his you have to skate down Alcatraz Island in a shopping cart. Sounds easy? It's not. Hard. Frustrating. Tiring. Good words to describe it. Anyway, moving on...
The game's system is like the second game; you get cash and spend it at the skate shop. You can buy hidden players for 9,000, secret levels for 1,200, boards for 400, movies for 400, and so on. Once you have gotten every piece of cash and completed every single objective, you have enough money to unlock the "hot chick". I'm pretty far from that.
The levels are:
1. College-FUN FACTOR-5/5
2. San Francisco-5/5
3. Alcatraz-3/5
4. Kona-5/5
6. Shipyard-1/5
7. London-5/5
8. Zoo-5/5
9. Chicago*
10. Carnival*
*=You must buy these levels for a great amount of money
Now, to end my review, I will list some of the songs off the soundtrack, as I am always curious to hear the new songs off games like these:
1. Iron maiden: "The Number of the Beast"
2. The Offspring: "Blackball"
3. Sex Pistols: "Anarchy in the UK"
4. Run DMC: "My ADIDAS"
5. NWA: "Express Yourself"
6. AC/DC: "TNT"
...and there's A LOT more, more than 30. But I don't want to waste room. Hope I was helpful. Later.
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on January 1, 2003
I haven't played very many video games, and frankly the sports games are not my style. So when I picked this one up I figured it'd be fun to watch for a day, and then my fiance would be on his own. Well...that didn't happen. I've played it more than he has! The graphics are amazing, the skating is awesome and easy to learn if you read about the controls, and I love that I can create my own skater (although the only options for the women's body controls are stick thin or anorexic, and large ... or VERY large ... My fiance says it's due to the commercialism of the video game industry, but if you can make a fat male skater, you should be able to make a female skater who looks like she weighs more than 98 pounds).
There are so many great features to this game. Everything is totally customizable, from being able to make your own skate park, to changing the preset controls for tricks (I'm picking up skate language too!), to altering your characters looks and abilities. And when I say customizable I mean the smallest detail.
There is blood in the game, although you can turn it off. And I like that when the skaters fall, you can tell it hurts (REALLY hurts. Even if the blood is turned off and doesn't splatter when the skater fals, he or she will yell and grab whatever appendage was hurt and usually stay on the ground for a moment). I think it discourages kids from running out and trying whatever they thought looked cool when the video game character did it. And, like any beginner, you do fall A LOT in the beginning. I've just gotten to the point where I can judge my landings and land on my board most of the time.
There's no limit to what you can do in this game. That's part of the fun. In real life, no one can skate on grass or grating or wallride all the way up a huge 20 foot wall. And you won't have to chase down pink elephants for a hallucinating drunk (you have to meet certain goals to open up new levels. This happens to be one that opens up in the first level after you've met a few goals already). But the fantasy of it is fun. The places you get to skate and the stuff you can skate on is great. Nothing slows you down surface-wise. And you can grind on anything and everything. The people walking around are funny too. They get quite angry if you skate too close.
All in all, this is a great game. I'm a book person. Give me a book and I'll have my nose in it for as long as it takes to finish. But I haven't cracked any of the books I got for Christmas because I've been too busy playing this game! I love the fantasy of it, and the challenge. Plus the goals are fun, and so is making your own character. I'd say it might be tough for kids, but I watched my fiance's neice and nephew play and they picked it up right away. So if you're even thinking about it, it's definitely a worthwhile purchase. And hey, if you hate it (and I seriously doubt you will) you can always sell it to the kid down the block. I guarentee there'll be one who's dying to buy it from you.
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on February 6, 2003
I'll admit it right here and now; throughout my college career, and on into my first several years in the workplace, I was a Tony Hawk NUT. In my mind, Neversoft could do no wrong as long as they kept pumping out new stages, new challenges and new hidden characters. The series never grew old for me, so the thought of revamping it never really entered my head. If it ain't broke, don't spend the time and energy fixing it, right?

Well, Neversoft gave it a try anyway. And, in the process of reinventing the wheel, they've managed to lose a little bit of the magic that so captivated me during the first three games in the series. It's not a bad game, but it's not really up to the level I've come to expect from a game bearing Tony Hawk's name.

The heart and soul of Tony Hawk IV is now found in its "free skate" career mode. Where previous incarnations would allow skaters to choose between free skate (in which you weren't given the opportunity to complete any goals) or the timed challenge mode, here they're merged into a single system. It's only when you initiate a conversation with one of the game's many non-playable characters that you're granted your goals, one piece at a time. Say goodbye to those days of nailing a high score, pro score and sick score all in one run.. in THPS4, you've got to hit them each with a completely separate run and launch point. Where the series once thrived on its cool, inventive and excitingly fresh goals, the objectives in the newest update often leave a player scratching his or her head. Because I'm not 100% fluent in skate-lingo, I often found myself relying on online guides, just to figure out what the game was asking me to do. In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, goals are no longer a pleasant surprise. They're a chore.

Veterans will be pleased to note the magnificent control system has remained intact through yet another game. There isn't a more efficient way to control a virtual skateboard than this. Grinding, ollying, lipping, grabbing, kicking.. it's all become almost a second language to me by now. And, with the seamless integration of several new abilities, the system just keeps growing. Players can now transfer from one side of a lip to the other by pressing the "R2" button, an addition which aids midair maneuvering immeasurably. It's also now possible to continue a combo out of a big grab trick, which is a big help in obtaining those sick scores. There's a reason the controls THPS1 established have been imitated with such regularity by the competition; they're impossible to top.

The music for this collection is one of the greatest in the series. You'll hear cuts from GoldFinger, Biz Markie, Avail, AC/DC, The Cult, Run DMC, The Bouncing Souls, Flogging Molly, Less Than Jake and more, all in crystal clear cd-quality. They even continued the old school trend established with the Ramones in THPS3, including "Anarchy in the UK" by the Sex Pistols. A couple of the hardcore rap tracks really aren't my cup of tea, but thanks some expert coding in the options screen, I'm given the opportunity to remove any track I desire from the active rotation. I don't think words can describe the amount of agony that option has saved me.

Ever since the third game of their run proved it was possible, gamers had been chomping at the bit to get Tony Hawk 4 onto the internet for competitive online play. And, while it's not the online-friendly kind of game that Unreal Tournament or NBA 2k3 is, Tony Hawk still holds his own as a multiplayer entity in design. In function, unfortunately... well, let's just say a few rotten apples ruined the bunch. I picked up my copy of Tony Hawk 4 a few weeks after its release, plugged in and went immediately to the online option. It took me about fifteen minutes to run into my first opponent using a GameShark or other unspecified hack to beat the system. Put simply, the spirit of online competition has been rendered almost null and void. If you're no good, there's no fun in playing online, as even the "newbie" rooms are filled with players using the 'perfect balance' or 'perfect manual' hack. If you're honestly good, there's no fun in playing online, as you'll be constantly accused of being a cheat. It's a stupid way to watch the community swirl around the toilet bowl, but it's happening all the same.

Possibly the most notable new feature in the series is the addition of a unique "pro challenge" for each non-hidden character. What really makes this section stand out, in my opinion, is the fact that these wildly imaginative challenges all relate directly to the real skater behind the pixelized representation. For instance, Bam Margera's pro challenge involves reliving a few moments from his work on the MTV program "Jackass." Eric Koston asks you to grind a ridiculous distance. It's a really cool idea, and helps each skater to emerge as an individual, complete with unique strengths and weaknesses. Even cooler, once you've actually completed the challenge, you unlock a video extra of your skater actually landing the trick you just performed. All in all, it's a great way to wrap up the game.

What it all boils down to is this; when I reached 100% completion in Tony Hawk 4, I put the game in its case and filed it away into my library of games. Chances are, I won't touch it again for years. I'd much rather throw in any of the first three games, despite the improvements made in many areas of THPS4, just because the goals are so unfulfilling. Neversoft tried to give us something revolutionary, and in so doing left their classic formula partially behind. In the end it's undeserving of the legendary name which adorns its case.
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on January 18, 2003
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 is awesome. The gameplay is cool. The graphics are realistic. It's extremely challanging and very addictive. It features plenty of neat stuff such as cheats, tricks, hidden skaters, different levels, and more. Unfortunatly, as good as this game is, it does have its cons. For one thing, the music soundtrack is awful. Also, some of the goals are extremely difficult, even if you have all the cheats in the game. The time is a real thorn in the side. Infact, speaking of time, there are some goals in the game that must be completed in a matter of 10 to 20 seconds, or else you'll fail it. That stinks! But most of the time they give you 2 minutes. Plus, this game should've had more levels and cheats than it did. Where's the Level Select code? And where in the heck are the special 2 player challanges?
Anyway, this is not a bad game. It's very hard at times, but is still cool. I recommend this game for experts only. It does require a lot of patience and intellegence. Instead of collecting tapes you're having to collect money. You use the money to buy your way through the game. That's the object, and it can be exhausting.
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on November 19, 2002
I've been playing TH since the first one. I liked parts 1 and 2 the best because they forced you to improve in the game in order to beat it. Part three for PS2 I did not like because it was way to easy to anyone that played the first two games. Part four is what I've been waiting for. Once again this game forces you to improve your skills in order to beat it. If you've been there since the beginning this is the complete package. If you are a beginner you may want to start with part three, then move on to four.
-When you earn a stat point for the character you are playing with, all other characters get a stat point.
-They have expanded on the manuals (flatland tricks). You can switch manuals without jumping, and not only that but you can swith to about 15 different manual tricks.
-Trick system overall has been greatly improved upon. Each trick command has a secondary, more intermediate trick attached to it, which you can execute by pressing the button twice. This goes for grinds, lip tricks, manuals, air and flip tricks.
-Levels are now massive, easily three times the size of the biggest levels in previous games.
-Skating environment is now much more realistic. You skate around the town or area you are in, in free skate mode basically, until you decide to start a mission by talking to someone with an arrow over their head.
-Online play
-Twice as many goals as were in previous games
-Once you complete enough of the regular goals you unlock five harder goals for each level.
-There is now a Pro Goal for each character that has something to do with their skating in real life, which can be unlocked by completing enough regular goals with any character.
-Secrets/Unlockables section is yours to choose what you want at any time, by buying something with money you've earned in the game.
-Different missions teach you new things about the game, and different and fun ways to try different tricks together in different ways.
-First-time TH players might have difficulty completing all the goals in the game.
-No unlockable Marvel characters
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on October 22, 2002
this has to be the best game this year. i played the demo on Kelly Slaters Pro Surfer, and this game is awesome. its so different from thps3. now you can skitch on cars, bust new tricks, and even talk to people. when you talk to certain people, they will give you an objective. you have a time limit, but it goes away when you finish the challenge. so career mode is like a free skate, but career mode all the same. there is also a pro challenge mode, where you start off as an amateur and as you do more things you become more popular. like i said before, this is going to be the best game ever.
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on July 16, 2004
This is the newest Tony hawk Pro Skater game (Not counting Tony Hawks Underground)
In this game you get to play as one of the following: Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Kareem Campbell, Rune Glifburg, Eric Koston, Bucky Lasek, Bam Margera, Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska, Andrew Reynolds, Geoff Rowley, Elissa Steamer, and they even brought back Bob Burnquist! You can also play as a custom player. (My personal favorite is Rodney Mullen)
Unlike the first 3 THPS games, in this one you don't have a time limit to do the objectives! Instead, you just skate up to people and press circle around them and they will ask you to do something. If you don't complete the objective you just press start and choose "Retry Last Goal" and you can try it again, saving time and not having to restart the level.
I really like the levels in this game. they are challenging and fun. I love the music in this game too, in fact, one of the songs is by my favorite band!
There's not much they could do to make it better. It's got great replay value, because you'll want to beat the game with each player! And you could just go for a free ride if you dont feel like doing objectives. I think this is the best THPS game so far.
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on October 25, 2002
I like Tony Hawk games, I`ve played all of them:1,2 and 3. But when I found Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, it was a must play game. This game is sweet, but it wouldn`t be the best. Definetly not the best. I enjoy 3 the most, and I`ll tell you why Tony Hawk 4 isn`t going to be as big as THPS3, my opinion.
Music: I enjoyed THPS 2 and 3`s music. But I checked out 4`s and it wasn`t too enjoyable. Hey, I can`t say it sucked, but it wasn`t bad. It was okay. I rate the music for THPS4 a 3 out of 5.
Tricks: I didn`t see that many new tricks here, cause I don`t really go for them. But you gotta try the moves, and see if they are any high scorers. I give the tricks a 4 out of 5.
Graphics: I like the graphics, but I don`t realize the difference between Tony Hawk 3. I give the graphics a 5 out of 5.
Locations: You only get one location when you start: Collage. It`s much better then the other Tony Hawk games, cause I discovered some sweet secret areas, like a Parking Lot, the top of a Collage Building, and a secret balocony. The other locations include San Fransisco and the Zoo. Gotta check out the locations. I give them a 5 out of 5.
Cheats: I couldn`t find any. But the secrets in the game are nice. You might be able to unlock characthers by doing that point thing, but remember how you could buy tricks and skateboard decks? Now you can buy Secret Characthers! I give the cheats a 3 and a half out of 5.
Gameplay: I love the gameplay. The tricks are great and was really I found amazing was the characthers. I walked up to a guy and pressed O. They gave me a quest to do. Like in Collage, when you talk to one guy, you have to drop a banner, and you can try to warn a guy about something. I give the gameplay a 5+ out of 5.
I give this game a 4 out of 5.
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on October 26, 2002
When I bought Tony Hawk 4, all I was expecting was more of the same exciting formula I had loved with 1, 2, & 3, which would have been fine. To my surprise, this sequel turns oiut to be as innovative as the original one was.
The new Hawk features a much greater quantity and variety in the way of level goals to keep things interesting. Plus, now there are different types of competitions included in every level instead of a couple of levels dedicated to competition. Best of all, this one has a fully fleshed-out online mode (as opposed to THPS3's prototypical one).
Hilarious characters and in-game gags are all over the place, and there is even the addition of the "skitching" move, pioneered by Michael J. "McFly" Fox in Back to the Future (latching on to a moving car). Top it all off with better graphics and level design, and THPS4 is a definite winner and a must-buy.
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