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Skater Reviews – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Still Good After 15 Years?

Skater Reviews – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Still Good After 15 Years?


Pro Skater 4 is one of the more popular Tony
Hawk games. It got amazing reviews at the time, but does
it still hold up? Depends how much you like bad acting. Let’s take a look. Welcome to Rad Rat Video. Here, I talk about different skateboard topics
– including game reviews, trick history and other interesting videos from every corner
of the skateboard world. If that sounds good to you, hit the subscribe
button. Today we’re talking about Tony Hawk 4, which
I’ll be playing on the Xbox. I always prefer the Xbox versions of these
games because the graphics are a lot better. In this case, it’s actually 720p wide-screen
with surround sound. This game was a huge step in the series. The timer is gone, and it’s all about big
open levels that you have to find challenges in. The controls have been changed a bit in this
entry. You can do spine transfers now, which is pretty
cool. It doesn’t work so well on Xbox though. Since there are only the 2 triggers, you hit
them both to do it, and you might spin a little bit if your timing isn’t exact. Reverts are the same way. You can hit the black button to do reverts
to avoid that, but that’s hard to get to. The PS2 plays a little bit better because
of that, but I think the graphics upgrade of the Xbox is still worth it. Getting off your board isn’t a thing until
Underground, but I can see why they decided to add that in. In some of these levels, like the shipyard,
they’re just so dense with stuff – like little ankle-high rails and walls – that you
find yourself getting stuck and wishing you could just walk over it. So on top of spine transfers, now the full
double tap stuff is in place. Hit flip twice on a varial flip and it turns
into a 360 flip, and it’s the same with hardflips, inward heelflips and varial heelflips. I never really liked how it felt and I don’t
particularly like the sound effect either. And although on paper it’s better to have
more tricks, at this point, you can just literally hit any combination of buttons and you’ll
do SOMETHING. They aren’t always animated right either:
if you do a nollie double impossible, it switches directions in the air. And we should take a second to talk about
the hardflips. I know most of you have seen my video about
how Tony Hawk ruined hardflips. But if you haven’t, the basic idea is that
the Tony Hawk games animated hardflips wrong – regular hardflips, special tricks, all that
stuff. A lot of kids learned tricks from these games,
and got the wrong impression. I always thought they finally fixed them in
4, but apparently I was wrong. Let me show you. So it’s a little tough to tell because of
the double tap animation thing. It will start the regular animation and jump
to the double version. Let’s watch it real slow. As it comes around, the heel side comes up,
finishing like a heelflip. The same as a laser flip does. But it’s weird, the two tricks are animated
separately, even though it’s the same motion. I don’t know why this was so hard for them
to get right. But the fact that there are SO MANY tricks
really changes the gameplay from this point forward. It’s more about getting somewhere or collecting
something instead of doing skateboard tricks. Compare that to Pro Skater 1. To get a high score, you would have to mix
things up and use all of your tricks, and they acted differently too, so you’d have
to plan for the different amounts of air time you’d need. Sure, it was never a sim, but at least it
felt more like skateboarding. And speaking of tricks, Pro Skater 4 is the
beginning of the really weird special tricks too. Kareem Campbell will dribble a basketball
in a grind, Chad Muska teaches you a spray paint graffiti grind in the game. I know they just wanted a bunch of specials
to brag about, but they kind of reached the limits of creativity here. Cash makes a comeback, after being missing
in Pro Skater 3. They changed all the unlockables again. You collect cash, but stat points and special
trick slots are unlocked as you finish goals. So what do you buy? You can buy decks and special clothing items
and stuff, but don’t overdo it. You actually have to buy the last 2 levels,
and that’s going to cost you a few bucks. You can also buy videos, like clips of the
Neversoft team skating. I always liked watching these. It seemed like such a cool place to work,
and I can respect that so much of the team at least tried to learn how to skate. I also used to love these because it was more
relatable to me. I had only been skating a few years at this
point, and seeing these guys struggle with more basic stuff was pretty cool. Before, you would have to play through the
game a bunch of times to unlock that kind of stuff. Now, probably because of the time it takes
to get through the career, the focus is more on playing through the game once thoroughly. That said, they did include some perks for
multiple playthroughs. Each pro has a special challenge, based off
of their career. As Kareem Campbell, I had to do tricks over
a roof gap… for some reason. It plays just like the other trick matching
challenges, but it’s harder, and it starts throwing out combos too. It took a couple tries to get a strategy down,
and it felt good to finally beat it. When you beat it, you get the pro video, then
the extra pro challenges. It’s the same kind of stuff, like the SKATE
letters, but harder, and designed with full stats in mind. So let’s talk about the regular challenges. Pro Skater 4 adds in some story elements,
which became a lot more important when Underground came around a year later. The downside to having this story stuff is
the cutscenes and the acting. Sometimes you’ll have to restart a challenge
if you didn’t see the locations of the stuff you have to collect, and you have to sit through
a stupid cutscene. It’s annoying because there always has to
be an excuse for everything. You have to collect stuff, but it’ll be because
something happened. There was a storm and everything blew away. Someone needs you to test something out for
them. And the big downside is that you can only
do one thing at a time. In earlier games, you could collect the spray
cans, and find the magic bum and VB transfers all at once. It was easier to explore and try to figure
things out as you go. But in the new game, you get 2 minutes PER
random thing you have to collect. You have to Ollie the magic bum again in Kona,
and also find the loose pads and the waivers and all kinds of other stuff. And you get a new timer for EACH ONE. So the levels take forever. Look at the high scores. In the older games, you could work on collecting
SKATE, and just try to do a lot of tricks while you were at it. If you were good, you could get the high score,
pro score and sick score WHILE you were getting the letters. But in Tony Hawk 4, you have to find the person
to challenge you do get a high score, then finish that. Then, you have to find them again somewhere
else in the level to get the pro score. Then repeat the whole process for the sick
score. Suddenly, something you could do in the background
in older games takes an extra ten minutes. Another game from around that same time that
handled this better is Aggressive Inline. It’s set up the same way – no level timers,
big areas, characters who give you challenges. But the big difference is that this game very
rarely uses timers at all. If you have to find or collect something,
you just go do it. That means that you’re more free to explore
the level and find stuff on your own instead of specifically looking for it. I liked Pro Skater 4 a lot more until I played
this and realized how it could have been. Now, there are 16 goals, and it goes up to
21 after you unlock the pro challenges. I wish you were able to pick them from the
menu and jump to them, but that only works after you’ve manually found the person and
talked to them. So you’ll waste some time riding around
the levels looking for stuff to do. And you’re going to end up doing the same
stuff for a long time. Like doing tricks that pop up on screen. Tricks are called out by kids, or ghosts in
Alcatraz, or even birds at the zoo. But it doesn’t make any difference in how
it plays. It’s a fun enough challenge the first couple
times but you’ll come to dread seeing it come up again. Some of the other goals are pretty lame too. Like the luge racing. It just seems like they made a physics engine
and then decided to do everything they could possibly do with it to pad the play time. Back when I paid full price to get this game,
I was happy for all this extra content. Now, it just feels a little tedious. There are a bunch of challenges where you
have to hold lip tricks. It’s cool that they finally tried to give
lip tricks a purpose in the series, but I wouldn’t say it’s any fun. They aren’t all bad though. They added in COMBO letters, which you have
to collect while doing a combo. They don’t overuse it either, so it’s pretty
cool. Some of the other stuff can be fun too. I like the way they handled the contests. They’re just part of the normal level, but
when you start one, you see that they set up ramps and stuff for the event. So it actually changes the level, which is
cool. It makes more sense than having a special
contest level in this new system. This stuff happens a lot for other events
too. You’ll open up a new area in the zoo, or
a new ramp will appear for a certain event. It makes the world feel a lot more alive. There are also little hidden challenges in
the levels, like hitting baseballs in the Alcatraz level. You can also try to grind around the flagpole
and set a record. I like these little things. They didn’t need to put those things in and
they aren’t part of the career mode, they’re just little bonus things that you can mess
around with. Another great thing is the inclusion of a
freestyle trick system. Tony Hawk 3 had a few freestyle tricks, but
this is the first one that really lets you make combos and actually compete in a freestyle
competition with Rodney Mullen.This had a huge effect on me and lots of other new freestylers
at the time. There wasn’t much info on the internet and
magazines and videos didn’t cover freestyle, so if you wanted to learn about different
tricks and learn their names, this was the only way to do it. One weird thing though is this trick. It used to be called a no-handed 50/50. But the game calls it a truckstand. I don’t know if Mullen came up with that
new name or if the developers did. Maybe they thought it would be confused with
50-50 grinds. And a truckstand flip should be called a no-handed
fanflip. Aside from that, it’s all pretty accurate. They even use rail instead of primo. Pro Skater 4 also did one more important thing. It made a huge difference to skateboarders
everywhere around the world. It introduced millions to… Muskabeatz by my man Chad Musssska. I wish I could play more, but I don’t want
to get sued. Do a search for Muskabeatz and listen to some
of this stuff. I don’t know why, but I always really liked
his songs, even though I’ll admit they probably aren’t actually GOOD. The whole soundtrack in this game is good. Pro Skater 2 has a famously great soundtrack,
and I don’t think 4 is better, but it’s huge and there’s no doubt you’ll find some new
favorites in there. We should also talk about the Playstation
1 version. When I reviewed Pro Skater 3, I checked out
the PS1 version of it, and was surprised by how great it was. It’s an excellent way to play the game,
and is worth checking out even now. So I was hoping that Pro Skater 4 would also
be good… but it doesn’t really survive the transition to the new format really well. For starters, all the people and cars and
stuff are gone. Of course, I didn’t really like the bad
acting and stuff in the first place, but it’s almost worse just having floating icons. At this point I would rather it just be like
the old games and have all the challenges at the same time with one timer. There are a lot of technical limitations here,
or maybe just laziness. For example, when you start a challenge, you
might have triggered it from the wrong direction, and so you’ll be facing the wrong way every
time you restart. So if you have to collect COMBO letters or
hit a certain gap, you’ll have to turn around right from the starting line. It can make some of this stuff a lot more
annoying than it needs to be. Plus, trying to find stuff is a lot less fun
on an original Playstation. Trying to collect flyers and trash cans and
stuff isn’t so bad in 720p widescreen where you can move the camera around, but in low
resolution on the PS1, it’s just a chore. The camera is a lot closer to you (and you
can’t freely move it), there’s draw distance to worry about, and it’s just tough to make
out what stuff is. Another downgrade is the contests. When you start one, you just keep on rolling
from wherever you were. There are no special ramps that go up or anything. It might as well be another high score challenge. There are a couple more differences too. Instead of collecting cash, you collect stat
points and songs for the soundtrack. They made Kona a night level, and mixed around
some of the other levels too. All in all, I would definitely skip this one. So what’s the verdict on Pro Skater 4? Going into it, I was expecting to love the
game, I haven’t played it since it was new, but I had such good memories with it that
I was sure it was going to be a classic. But playing it now, it really doesn’t hold
up. There’s nothing glaringly wrong with it, but
it’s clearly suffering from growing pains in the transition from 3 to the later story
based games. The new types of events are all pretty weak
and need to be refined, and the new timers for everything make for some slow progress. To be fair though, it’s only a couple of bucks. If you have good memories with this one, it
wouldn’t hurt to pick it up. I’ve asked before what your favorite Tony
hawk games are, and very few people said 4. Maybe only one person. But Underground got a ton of votes, so if
you’re looking for the best game of this Era, maybe check that one out. I’ll be reviewing it soon, so look out for
that. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it. Until then, here are some more of my recent
videos that you might like. I do a lot more than just review games, I
also cover a lot of other skateboard topics, like who invented the casper flip, and getting
to the bottom of if Alan Gelfand actually stole the Ollie. You can check those videos out right here. And join the Focus Group to support the channel
and help decide what I’ll work on next. Thanks for watching.

100 comments

easily the best followed by thps2

and yes, i think thsp3 kinda sucked shit, the maps aren't fun bar like 2 of them orso and it just doens't feel right with the endless balance you had in grinds

Hey rad rat really late but I was playing this last night and am having trouble finding a specific halfpipe. At the main menu / video player there's NPC characters skating a halfpipe with cash icons above, pretty sure it's at kona but I can't find it

I have a problem with this game on my 360, I saved my progress through the first level and made it into the second, saved it as I went along, turned the game off for a while and when I came back on the game my save said it wasn't the hard disk but I checked my storage and the save is there but the game says it isn't, help?

In THPS 1 and THPS 2, you could beat all the challenges in one round… I used to be able to do that in all the levels on THPS 1 and on most levels in THPS 2.

I remember having fun completing THPS 4 100% through, but never really went back to it. I think THPS 2 was my favorite. Never played 3… THUG1 was pretty good and I really, really like American Wasteland. THUG 2 was okay but a little corny.

pro skater 4 is miles ahead of the first 3 which are all outdated garbage nowadays. the "2 and 3 are the pinnacle of the series" circlejerks are really just nostalgia. THPS4 has the best maps, really good gameplay, the cleanest graphics and interface of the original series, and is the funniest and the one with the most character. its just the most full game in the ps1-ps2 days.

my Tony Hawk history goes as follows: THPS2 on pc, THPS 3&4 on xbox, Thug on Ps2, Thug 2 on ps2, Thaw on ps2, Project 8 on ps3 or xbox 360 i can't remember, proving ground on ps3. Thug is my favorite game overall, but thaw had my favorite gameplay mechanics and added tricks.

I didn't even know this came out for ps1. I feel bad for any kid at that time that had to play this on a ps1. I felt bad for my friend who got the ps1 version of thps3 lmfao. Thps3 looked so good on Ps2, and the Ps1's graphics are just unable to do straight lines.

Who gives a crap about the accuracy of the hardflip or the bad acting? Its meant to be fun goofy arcade, not a sim. I feel like youre doing a lot of unnecessary complaining. This was an epic game. Prob the best in the series imo

Some of the best experiences I have ever had gaming were playing THPS4 Online. I learned so much and had a great time with the different games available. There was also a chat that was displayed right on the screen. Ahead of its time really

I remember never being able to beat the save the seals secret challenge/minigame in the 2nd level ( San Francisco? ).

Good review. THPS 4 has many flaws like bad level design ( especially dull docks), weird tricks, high-speed skating, lame story mode etc. They tried something new, but I think they pushed series in a wrong way. Simplicity was the strongest point of the series, because it cought the spirit of skateboarding (easy to approach, hard to master). Hope that they will come back to it someday.

What’s good about THPS4:
-How goofy, ridiculous and funny it is, I had no issues with the voice acting, as a kid, I just thought all of it was like that because it was purposely goofy and dumb.
-the variety of challenges
-the unlockable characters
-a bunch of cool fuckin levels
-the soundtrack (duh)
-THE CHEAT CODES (disco mode was the fuckin best)

What I didn’t like:
-How stupidly hard it can get. (The Koston Pro Challenge is JUST FUCKING ABSURD, and so are most of the pro challenges)
-some of the level design feels clustered and ugly
-the engine for the game felt a little worse than THPS3, the thps3 engine felt super polished and smooth to play

Even when this guys doing a positive review he always manages to find negatives in the most trivial of things

these are VIDEO GAMES. they're not meant to be realistic or true to skateboarding, although some in the series are more realistic. They're meant to be fun and have fun with.

Man, this game is amazing, you're just complaining about everything, enjoy this masterpiece that has a lot to offer 😉

Lol, don’t fuck with my childhood. Yes, it has bad graphics, and yes, challanges were a little bit ridiculous, and yes, it isn’t a skating simulator, but it has more personality than any tony hawk game ever.

THPS4 was my first Tony Hawk game and i played the living shit out of It and still do. I remember buying THPS3 like a year after and i just never got into It. The game just never grabbed me at all and I’ve put more hours into tony hawk games than probably any other series

My favorite was American Wasteland. Mostly due to the new trick animations, Create-A-Grind/Manual and a better-written story. The levels were interesting despite all being in L.A., with the Classic levels being my favorites. I liked all the new touches they gave to them, such as Downtown Minneapolis looking like it just got through a rainstorm.

in my opinion my favorite game in the series is thps2 but I feel that pro skater 4 is underrated since not too many people mention it when referring to their top 3-5 games in the series. Most of the fan favorites in the series when brought up are THUG, Thps2, and Thps3

While I played pretty much all the games in the series (except the horrible ones) THPS4 was my favorite. I had the most fun with exploring and didn't care about the flaws as much. while THPS2 is probably the best arcade skating game IMO, I still had the most fun with 4. THUG and THUG2 were also good fun, but continually went farther away from what made THPS so good.

for clarification, I played 1-4, THUG 1&2, American Wasteland and about 30 minutes of project 8. thanks for the vid!

3, 4, and THUG are all atop my list of Tony Hawk games, but it's tough to compare them due to their extreme variance in formats. That's why I consider all of them the best of that category (classic 2-min runs // open world // story). Yeah, 4 may the only game in that middle category, but I enjoyed it so much that it deserves mentioning.

THPS4 on PS1 was my first tony hawk game, and to this day is in my top 3 of the series. LOT of memories from it, too. Bloodstains just might have been my first punk song, too😐

been replaying these in order, i kinda prefer 3 over this now. 4 was cool because the open levels but its kinda annoying now and there are too many goofy fetch goals

Just picked up this game for $2.99 at Goodwill for the PS2. I played the original on Xbox, but this is still going to be nostalgic.

The best "Pro Skater" series.. I played like hundred of hours in this game.. Wish that I can wipe up my memory just so I can play this game freshly..

Honestly if you have a gripe with the challenge briefings and their voice acting, you might be a bit of a hard-ass

you dont like specials in THP4?
And you prefer xbox version because of graphics over ps2 version which has better gameplay ?
bill gates be trippin

If they removed the end of goal spam where they would tell you that you unlocked a new stat point or trick or ask if you want to save your game, then this would be my favorite Tony Hawk game. With this it makes the game feel a lot slower.

Yeah, maybe I just got sick of it from playing it too much and the major lack of replay value didn't help, but 4 gets so tedious and boring, at least compared to 3, the Underground games, and so on. In a vacuum that I once was in 4 is pretty good to great, even after I played what has recently been to me the better one in Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure. But after discovering the Undergrounds, that really dampened 4 for me. 4 is so inconvenient, drawn out, spread thin, and repetitive like he describes, the colors are so muted, bland, lifeless, and grey unlike most games b4 or after (Proving Grounds and even 8). It just feels and plays like a worse version of 3 or Underground. I mean it's decent, a way better bet than the abominations to come years later, but compared to a few other Tony Hawk's, it's nearly obsolete. NOW, the PS1 version seems promising, but I haven't played it so that'll have to wait for now.

2&4 have the best soundtracks definitely. 2 being my favorite, but 4 has so many songs, hard to go against it. Underground had a horrible soundtrack, and 3 probably has the 3rd best.

In my opinion I thought this game was alright. I think it was cool to be able to do multiple challenges at once. Underground did with having no time limit much better and with a much better story. But this is still one of the better games in the series.

You're normally right, but I think you were a wee bit too hard on THPS4. It's still a classic, very lovable game. I probably spent more time playing it than any other.

I like the stupid cut scenes. They made no sense and the bad acting was funny and in purpose…that’s what gave the games their charm.

@4:15 is my local skatepark, or at least when i first started going back in 2000. unfortunately theyre closing shop end of the month. #skatelab

Simple YES. I still love this game, and in my opinion it is the best part of THPS.
Good gameplay, maps are quite big and interesting, music is awesome.

I used to play this on my PowerPC Macintosh back then. I like it better than 3 but I still like 2 better than both. 1 I have never played because it wasn't released for PC or Mac.

THPS 4 was definitely my favourite regarding gameplay, maps and music…hell i discovered so many good hip hop artists through the thps games…nostalgia :]

The reason that I find Tony Hawk Underground 2 the best Tony Hawk game ever, is not just because of the dump humor, good gameplay, good controls, amazing/a lot of conten and awesome destruction… But also because this game is fast paced as hell!

What you said about this game that you have to talk to everyone to start a mission is indeed freaking annoying! I never really liked that. Thats also the reason that I don't really like American Waste land. What Tony Hawk Underground 2 does is not only giving the player a classic mode, but also a story mode without the unnecessary mission dialog. You just need to score points while you can just explore with no time limit. Every challenge gives you a few points and you can just keep going and going! Man I really love that game!

4 was my favorite. And until like last week I had no clue how to unlock the aquarium in the zoo and that kept me from 100% the game back in the day

4:07 this clip triggers so many memories for me. Thps4 has to be my favorite game of all time, hands down. I probably logged like 1200 hours in this game growing up.

This was my shit!!! Spent so many hours on this game!!! Prob a good 3-4 months of my life wher spent w this. I love the silliness of this game. It not 100% realistic but that's what kinda makes it fun and more of a game than a simulation

WHO THE F CARES ABOUT THAN THE TRICKS. THAT IS YOUR CHANNEL. YOU JUST SAY WHAT IS BAD AND PICK THE LITTLE TINGS LIKE HARD FLIPS BEING KICK FLIPS BUT WHO CARES> THE GAMES ARE FUN (NOT THPS5) JUST STOP

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2x is still my favorite. Has enough from the first game, including levels, decent original Xbox graphics and mostly because I never liked the more open world structure or the revert thing.

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