Ohh yeah baby! Activision has done it again. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 for the Gamecube is just awesome. For anyone who has played the previous games in the series, the controls are about the same, but the game itself has been improved and it's the best looking THPS thus far.
THPS 4 easily has the best graphics as compared to the other games. From smooth character animations to the cars, buses, and bums roaming the levels. Everything, at least as far as I could tell, was clean and crisp. For the five days I have been playing, I haven't encountered even the tiniest graphical error. On occasion you can even see a birds eye! Even when you are bustin' out killer combos around a lot of buildings and people, the game doesn't miss a beat. You could almost read what the bottom of your board says when you do a flip trick.
THPS 4 completely rocks. Literally! The in game music is great. There is a variety of different music, it even has an older AC/DC track, which is great for us older gamers. Then again some of the older gamers might want to turn down the music volume. The games ambient sound is just as impressive. When you grind different material such as metal or concrete, it sounds just like if you were doing it out on the street. Birds chirping, people yelling at you, and cars screeching to a halt as you pass in front of them, all make the game seem that much more real.
For the veterans of the THPS series, there are some things that haven't changed that much and then there are things that might just surprise you. Once you start up the game and get past the nice opening FMV, you will find yourself at the main menu. This is where you choose career, free skate, practice, multiplayer, and build your own park. Once you click career mode, it is time to pick a skater. You can choose a pro or you can make your own. After that you're off to the level. This where you will find one of the big differences from previous versions. There is no time limit! You are free to skate around and explore the level before you take on a goal. As you skate around the level, you will notice some people with arrows above their heads that are yelling at you to "come here" These people have your goals. Some of the goals are: high score, beat the cops in a race, hang on to a stolen car, and knock over frat boys. This is only a few. There are so many, it would take a page to name them all. After you complete a goal you are rewarded with money, an attribute point, and some pro points. Pro points are what unlocks new levels.
On occasion you will get new tricks from your skater buddies, always a plus. There are a few new tricks and the most notable ones are skitching and the tricks when you're not moving (can't remember the actual name for those) Skitching is holding on to the back of a moving vehicle, not only do you receive points for this, it also boosts your speed considerably. The standing still tricks are done while you're doing a manual (on two wheels) The one that comes to mind is the pogo, which is just what it sounds like. the board goes between your legs vertically and ya hop up and down (make sure to watch your balance bar while attempting those) And as usual the levels increase in difficulty as you advance. The money you earn can be used for different things, her are a few: new boards, new clothes, cheats, movies, and two new levels. Of course they come at a price, a whopping $15,000 a piece! In my book that is a great reason to save money!
I could almost cry about the multi-player, as I forgot to grab the other controller, so unfortunately I can not review this part of the game. However, if it is anything like the rest of the game, I'm positive it's spiffy in its own right.
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 is totally awesome dude! There's nothing bad I can really say about the game. It is just an overall fun game that will keep you entranced well into the future. If you have even the slightest interest in skateboarding, this is one game you will definitely want to pick up. What are you waiting for?? The review is over, don't bother getting dressed, just go get it!