A stagnant series has finally found the light of day in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
. The new and completely refreshing presentation of the game is so welcoming, that fans of the series (and those that have felt it has hit a brick wall) will be clamoring for more when it's all said and done. Instead of the same old, tired level objectives that were seen in the past games, THPS4
builds upon its predecessors tenfold.
This year, you are not simply given a set of goals as you enter each area. Instead, you are free to roam, explore, or do what you will before you ever get confronted with a challenge. As you skate, you'll come across certain people you can talk to. Once you do, they will offer up a challenge, but you don't have to complete it to move on, so there's never a point in the game where you will run into true difficulties unlocking the next playable area.
The goals in Tony Hawk 4 also build upon previous versions of the game. Along with your typical goals of getting a high score and collecting the S-K-A-T-E letters scattered around, you will also see many new features, including challenges given from Tony Hawk himself. One of my favorite new moves you will learn during a challenge is when you 'skitch' behind a vehicle (or a pooping elephant, if that's your pleasure!). To go skitching, you simple press up on the pad while behind a car. This is a great way to get a quick ride around the area for as long as you can hang on. It gets pretty crazy sometimes, but more fun than not.
In the end, you will have to perfect your skills and accomplish an average of half of the sixteen goals in each area to unlock the next. TH4 then lets you have a choice of which area to unlock, giving you a bit more control over your route of passage to completing the game. The good news is that even players that can't surpass every goal should be able to eventually unlock all areas in the game, but only those with the most skilz will have a shot at finishing every single goal.