Just in case you didn't know, the Tony Hawk's series is the best skateboarding sim ever--and now, with the release of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, it's even more so. Skateboarding is taken far more seriously nowadays, with legions of baggy trousered youths now able to refer to moves such as a bluntside or overcrook with a perfectly straight face. Indeed, the list of silly names for ridiculously dangerous stunts has been increased for this latest sequel and you now have the added ability to skitch (hold onto the back of a moving car) and grind through traffic. The big new change, though, is the career mode, which now has specific goals and milestones for all the different skaters and really adds to the replayability. Curiously, the graphics are still not particularly good, with the same slightly muddy, undefined look to them that the developers presumably now think is all part of the fun. They have however thankfully realised that having time limits for the levels was an unnecessary limitation and, except for a few specific missions, you've now got all the time in the world to graze your knees and cave in your skull. Add in a new and improved online mode and you've got everything the discerning extreme sportsman could desire. --David Jenkins This review refers to the PS2 version of the game.
- Completely new, non-linear career mode lets skaters choose the level and goals they want. Challenge pros head-to-head to beat their best tricks, take off to a competition, or just skate solo to conquer a gap.
- Evolving levels change depending on the specific skater's goals and accomplishments. Toggle different skate elements on and off (quarterpipes, benches, kickers) to change up lines. Randomize events in multiplayer mode for ever-changing elements.
- Go Pro! Play through 9 levels as an amateur, then conquer your pro's special challenge to unlock the more difficult professional world.
- New, upgraded Ultimate Skatepark editor allows user-set objectives like high scores, hidden tapes, and combo completion. Create a dreampark and give it to a friend to session. Even place lights, insert gaps and modify ground type throughout the park.