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Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 Review - Gamecube

81%
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Tony Hawk and co. return in the fourth instalment of this hugely popular series. Pick your favourite character, choose a level and skate your way to the top. Bust an array of flip, grab and lip moves to score huge combos - that's what the Tony Hawks games are known for.

Most people will know the premise of the THPS games by now. Basically you have to choose a level and complete a number of certain tasks. They range from getting a certain score to doing moves as a bunch of kids yell them out. There is plenty of variety to test your skills.

Graphics:

Nothing special here. You can see it is a PS2 port straight away. Infact, some parts of the game are nothing a Nintendo 64 couldn't do. The character models for the skaters are pretty good. All other characters are mediocre. Definitely not GCN material. The levels are huge in the game and they come with a decent amount of detail as well as good textures. There is unfortunately, occasional slowdown, but it is rare and not too severe.

If you were to put THPS4 next to a N64 version of THPS2 you wouldn't see much difference. I mean, you could see which one was the next-gen game, but you wouldn't go 'wow', look at the difference a new console makes. On the same note, there isn't much in the THPS games that would allow or need graphical feats. There are just large worlds and people. Not much water, no fur effect needed. All in all, I was not disappointed but not in awe either.

Sound:

If you are a fan of punk/ska/rap music you will be in heaven. But, if you are like me and can't stand this music, well, your going to have to put up with it. Besides one or two tracks I was bitterly disappointed with the soundtrack found in THPS4. Still, it does work. You don't focus on the music much. As long as it isn't a loud track, you can enjoy skating and the music is merely there to create sound in the background. You can even turn of the tracks that annoy you.

The sound effects are good. There are plenty of small sound effects to be found; bones crunching, screams, grinds, flips. They all sound great and work a treat. If it wasn't for the disappointing songs selected the game would do quite well in the sound department. But like all other Tony Hawk games, they had to select punk/ska and rap music. Yuck.

Gameplay:

I'm sure you have played at least one THPS game. If not then what you do is select a mode, skater and level and play. There is plenty of stuff in each level to do tricks on. In fact, you can do a trick on everything. There is the standard half pipes and bowls but plenty of obscure things such ... (continued next page)