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"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4" is everything and more of what you would expect from this next incarnation of the THPS series.
For the first time since the series began, this game is different enough that it doesn't feel like "more of the same". Yes, you are still on a skateboard, yes, you still try for high and pro scores, yes, you still collect S-K-A-T-E, and yes, the button configurations are pretty much the same. However,
the addition of many more goals per level (for a grand total of 190), and doing away with the general 2:00 time limit and allowing you to "free skate" through every level makes a huge difference. Your goals are identified when you speak to people in the level, and from there you'll usually have a time limit, but not necessarily.
The change is enough to make THPS4 feel like an entirely new game...for the first time.
This isn't to say that if you haven't liked the THPS series before, you'll suddenly like it. THPS haters will still hate the game. THPS lovers will want to roll naked through hundreds of the games...it's just that much better. The goals, for the first time, get to be extremely challenging. Performing combos perfectly becomes a necessary skill. The game does a great job of training you
for this skill, and, because the level isn't generally timed, you have all the time in the world to practice your combo skills. Luck doesn't cut it anymore.
Graphics are great. Your skater seems more fluid than ever before. They're not phenomenal, however, as they didn't pass the "the water looks so real I could dive in" test. No biggie. The sound is great, and the soundtrack (with the help of Run DMC, the Sex Pistols, The Cult, System of a Down, Goldfinger, the Offspring, and many more) is the best THPS soundtrack to date (although, having played the Xbox version, I did opt for my own soundtrack). And the camera is very impressive. Extremely fluid and easily adjustable.
This is, by far, the best THPS game. I've only rented the previous ones, but for the first time, I'd consider buying. It will take a lot longer to "finish" and THPS always has some decent replay value.
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