Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 - Xbox

Got packs, screens, info?
Also for: PS2, Power Mac, GameCube, PlayStation
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Sport: Skateboard
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Neversoft Soft. Co.: Neversoft
Publishers: Activision (GB)
Released: 15 Nov 2002 (GB)
28 Oct 2002 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 12+, 11+
Accessories: Memory Unit


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Like an old buddy from the past, the skateboarding series to end them all always causes a virtual glass to be raised in salute - either that or one of those daft devil salutes, dude. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 rolls up to the delight of those of us with negligible balancing ability and the wrong shoes. Let's get gnarly with the guys who never grew up!

So, what can Pro Skater 4 possibly offer that's sufficiently different from what's gone before? The biggest difference is the inclusion of a Career mode - skaters take things seriously too, you know - wherein you take control of a lowly amateur plank-spanker and try to turn him into the raddest rider on the pro circuit. In these days of long-winded talent TV programmes and instant celebrity, Neversoft and Activision have sensibly grabbed the zeitgeist by the scruff of its tattooed neck. Props. Career mode gives this incarnation of Pro Skater even more depth than we thought possible, with none of the vapidity usually associated with this type of game. Witness the awful 'role-playing' element in Toca Race Driver and be thankful that the interaction and cut-scenes in Pro Skater 4 are sensibly kept to a minimum.

Work hard at Pro Skater 4 and your rewards will come in the shape of expansive new environments, fresh gear and accessories to make you a better rider, and some music to get the adrenaline pumping. Pro Skater's soundtracks have always been eclectic, cheesy, or a mixed bag, depending on your tastes. Tony 4's music ranges from the sublime (Sex Pistols, Agent Orange, and the long-lost punk stylings of JFA) to the ridiculous (The Cult - oh dear!).

There's a familiarity, of course, about this latest version of the Hawk-endorsed game that should ensure that it's greeted warmly by Pro Skater veterans, and newcomers to the series too. The superb control system has barely changed from last time out, and the combination moves are all in order providing your fingers are nimble enough. The original Xbox controller can be a handful for all but the shovel-handed, so an S-Controller may be the ideal accompaniment for this game especially.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 on the Xbox, then. Looks good, sounds great, plays like a dream and will give a great deal of pleasure - we'll take one.