Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 - PlayStation

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Also for: PS2, Power Mac, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Sport: Skateboard
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Neversoft Soft. Co.: Neversoft
Publishers: Activision (GB)
Released: 15 Nov 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 15+
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Vibration Compatible


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Game after game, the Activision Pro Skater series has continued its evolution into something better, more fun and more challenging than anything that came before it. As ever, the same is true of instalment number four. Although making less of a leap over its predecessors than Pro Skater 3 did, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 delivers everything good about the series, gets rid of the so-so features, and adds a few neat extras too.

The long-avoided career mode has finally squeezed itself into the impeccable format of the earlier games. This pits you as an amateur skater trying to break into the world of the pro, as is the dream of riders the world over. The process involves taking a skater with low skill-points and building him up to gain sponsorship, thus entering the professional circuits. It's perhaps frustrating for veteran Pro Skater players, but a valuable addition to newcomers to the world of grinds, ollies, nollies and the like.

The size of the environments in the fourth game is unrivalled by any previous release in the series, both deep and varied, and surprisingly interactive. This is especially good for PlayStation. Sony's near decade-old console is surely on its way out, and although it can't compete with next-gen consoles on a visual level, it's still capable of reproducing the smooth play mechanics of its counterparts, and Neversoft and Activision should be applauded.

The unlimited combo technique also remains intact for the latest release, much to the delight of Pro Skater vets, but achieving those 80,000,000 records set by players of Pro Skater 3 will take some time.

Even if you've already forked out for every game released in the series, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 is still a must-buy title, simply because it's the best, period.