The TONY HAWK franchise is easily the fastest growing franchise in the videogame industry. The updates to this franchise are matched only by the sporting games that have a year in the title. What is surprising though is that this series has become more and more innovative with each passing game.
TONY HAWK itself was revolutionary and one of the freshest games to come out during the last generation. Hailed as the best skateboarding game since SKATE OR DIE, it was a huge success. TONY HAWK 2 introduced the manual, a trick that allowed you to chain together massive grind combos. In HAWK 3, the environments were enlarged, and the revert allowed you to include vert tricks with manuals. HAWK 4 continues the revolution.
In TONY HAWK 4, you enter each level, but this time there is no laundry list of goals to complete. Instead, you enter without a timer and can skate around as you please. People populate the level and certain persons with arrows above their head can be talked to for a mission. The typical missions are in each level, three varying high scores (each of increasing difficulty), collect S-K-A-T-E, and C-O-M-B-O (must collect all the letters in one trick combo). Other goals are level specific and include spine transfers and the new skitching move (grabbing onto the back of a moving vehicle).
The first thing gamers will notice is that the levels are huge, the goals are plentiful, and basically its everything you know and love about TONY HAWK, except bigger. As you finish goals, you'll collect more points to increase stats, more money to unlock stuff and points to open new levels. The goals in the game are bigger and a lot cooler than before.
The other major expansion for this game is its move through the wide web. TONY HAWK 4 is online compatible and it's pretty awesome to go online and get into a big game of graffiti. As if this series didn't have enough replay value, you can now get online and play with a bunch of people. It's the best addition to the series yet.
On the graphics side you'll see the most impressive PRO SKATER yet. The levels are huge and have tons of detail and life. The skaters are all wonderfully animated and each character model is well crafted. The game looks fantastic, and is only as a few minor graphical hiccups from time to time.
The sound is the same as usual. You'll hear the rolling of skateboard wheels a lot, and depending on how good you are, the sound of your skater's body flopping along the ground. The music selection is the largest yet in TONY HAWK, and you'll listen to the full songs this time thanks to the lack of a level timer.
TONY HAWK'S PRO SKATER 4 is again the most complete version of the game on the market. If you enjoyed any of the previous games, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.