SONY PLAYSTATION 2 - TONY HAWKS PRO SKATER 4 VIDEO GAME FOR SALE.
"A game with Tony Hawk and Lions? I'm all over it."
deny the influence of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise. The original
release re-invigorated the once stale action sports genre, single
handily brought the sport back into the lime light, and in the process
has birthed a new generation of skaters.
The question is; coming into this fourth installment does the hawk still reign supreme?
a clue from Aggressive Inline, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 ditches the
confining time structure of previous installments, and instead embraces a
approach, with the only timer intrusion being when you
go to complete a goal. Also, the handy goal checklist allows you to
complete whichever goal you want, whenever
you want. The trick
engine is just as addictive as before, and performing flatland maneuvers
is an far easier affair then in Tony 3. However, the biggest
improvement by far is in the goal variety. Sure, eternal standbys such
as spelling S-K-A-T-E, nailing high scores, and competing
competitions is still present, but they are in turn joined by a host of
ingenious goals that not only test your noodle, but often tickle your
funny bone as well. These new additions include: Collecting the letters
C-O-M-B-O in a single combo, nailing called out tricks
(with a time
limit no less), as well as amusing tests such as being bait for some
very hungry lions, saving a painter from a deadly shark, or recovering a
professors stolen car. Point is, ingenuity, and ultimately
entertainment abounds. Upping the ante, all goals given to you by pro
skaters include authentic recordings by their namesakes!
Hawk 3 was the first online capable PS2 title. Sadly, since Sony dropped
the ball on releasing the network adaptor, that facet didn't nearly
receive the attention it deserved. However, now that Sony has finally
launched it's online program, Tony 4 looks primed to make up for lost
time. Tony 4 supports eight skaters at once (opposed to 4 in Tony 3), a
''Homie List'' so you can easily track down your friends, and even
throws in team-play for good measure. Besides last years modes
(Trick-Attack, Graffiti, King of the Hill, Slap), Tony 4 throws in a
heaping helping of brand spanking new challenges for good measure. You
have Goal Attack, which uses Career mode goals to test teamwork skills,
Combo Mambo, which rewards highest trick strings, and of course Capture
the Flag. Park Editor gets serious attention this time around, since you
can send created parks to Neversoft. If it's good enough it will be
made for both download and play soon after. (Talk about a serious ego
boost for all you park fanatics.)
Standard multi-player is also
present and accounted for fun(sans a few online only modes), and
features a rock steady frame-rate. Sadly, it only allows two-players,
but it's still as great fun as always.
Utilizing a brand new engine, Tony spits out much more graphical goodness then before.
one character models are all that much closer to their namesakes
(except for those ugly NPC versions. Yuck!), clothing and boards
deteriorate, and bail blood has been reduced to minimal (and realistic)
proportions. The levels are much larger then those in Tony 3, and
surprisingly no draw-in and little pop-up is present to mar this
outstanding visual package. Other niceties such as realistic
lighting/shadowing, plenty of NPC action, nicer textures, and subtle
touches as fluttering birds further draw you into the game. This is by
far the most fully realized world in an action sports game to date.
If rock is your thing, Tony 4 delivers in a big way. Even better, if
you don't like a particular song, feel free to turn it off with the new
custom play list feature.
As I stated earlier, Neversoft went all
out and recorded a large variety off audio from all the pro skaters. The
quality is outstanding, and certain skaters (namely Tony, Bam, Rodney,
and Bucky) seemed to
really show their personality through their
contributions. All other sound effects gut their due as well; cars,
animals, the subtly of different surfaces; you name it, Neversoft has it
covered. Heck, pro NPC's even call you out by name! (Unless you are
using a created skater)
Not one to mess
with perfection, Neversoft set out to iron out the minor quibbles some
players may have had with the control interface. For one flatland moves
are easier then ever to bust out. Furthermore, Neversoft has added a
handy spine transfer maneuver that extends combos all the more.
Otherwise, it's exactly the same you've come to expect/love.
get this straight: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was a wonderful piece of
software. However, if Tony 4 followed in it's footsteps, the series fans
most likely would have moved on. Thankfully, the ever diligent folks at
Neversoft spotted this accident waiting to happen, and took ever
measure of prevention needed. The series may eventually lose it's
luster, but it will have to wait for at least another year.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10
This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 17 July, 2011.