[an error occurred while processing this directive]
|Games||Getting Started||Game Trailers||Game Hardware||Find Games||Buy Games|
But neither bloody knees nor financial insecurity daunt Tony Hawk, who became a professional skateboarder at the age of 14, owned two houses by 19, and by the early 1990s found himself divorced and practically broke. Skateboarding crashed into a wall in 1991, leaving Hawk flat on his back but still in love with the sport.
I started skateboarding when it wasnt popular, he recalls, so it was no great shock to once again be an outcast.
Build It and Skate It. Use the editor to create a personalized park.
Back on Top
Another hoary cliché applies to this story: Whats old will be new again. Thanks to the cyclical nature of our culture, skateboarding became cool once more, and by 1996 Hawk was again a rising star. This time, though, he broke beyond the bounds of cult hero and soon enjoyed more fame and fortune than during his first incarnation. With his name gracing everything from his own line of skateboards to a bestselling series of videogames, hes the Michael Jordan of his sport.
Aspyr Media brought the second and third iterations of Hawks game to the Mac, so it was no surprise when they announced that Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 was also headed your way; its actually the first in the series to be available exclusively for Mac OS X. Packed with improvements, THPS 4 offers a revamped career mode, new tricks, online play and a robust park editor. Like THPS 3, it also supports force feedback devices.
We got rid of the two-minute timer [from the previous games], explains Alan Flores, a designer at developer Neversoft, so players are now free to explore the levels and complete career goals at their own pace. They can also skate around and explore new lines or just play mini-games.
Plenty To Do
Each of the nine levels in the game features characters who offer you goals to complete; there are 190 total. For example, a bike messenger in San Francisco needs your help locating five lost packages. When you find all of them, that goal gets checked off your list and you move closer to unlocking the next level. Every map also features cash stashed in hard-to-reach places. Grab it and spend it later on new skate decks and clothes, secret levels and skaters, special tricks, and more.
Hitch a Ride. You can skitch just about anything that moves, including this elephant.
We try hard to make goals that are fun and challenging, but not frustrating, explains Flores. Since I worked on the Zoo and Carnival levels, I got to make fun goals like skitching onto an elephants tail, grinding a roller coaster track, and catching a giant gorilla.
Skitching is one of the new moves in THPS 4. It allows you to grab a moving object, such as a car (or an elephant), and ride behind it. Once you pick up enough speed, let go and continue on your way. The Neversoft team also added the spine transfer, which passes you from the back of one quarter-pipe ramp to the back of one right next to it.
Tony Has His Say
Hawk, who says hes been a Mac advocate since 1993, gets involved in the development of every THPS edition. I play them in every phase of the development process and provide knowledge and reference materials for tricks, locations and skaters, he explains.
Do you have comments for this game article? Send us a note.
Available from Aspyr Media
Tony supplies us with a wealth of information, adds Flores. Were able to get the kind of information we need in order to place new tricks that he and his fellow pros are trying. He also provides constructive criticism and reports bugs, and he was one of the main network testers we had helping us during the development of online play.
The online aspect of THPS 4 allows up to eight players to compete online in such contests as Trick Attack, where the player with the highest score at the end of the time limit wins, and King of the Hill, in which the winner is the player who can find the crown and wear it for the preset time limit without someone else knocking it off.
Man Overboard. Solve the loitering problem with a little grinding.
The House That Hawk Built
Hawk currently rules the skateboarding hill, having retired from professional competition in 1999 after he became the first to ever pull off a trick called the 900 (two-and-a-half mid-air spins) during the ESPN X Games. It was the last trick on a wish list he had compiled a decade earlier, and once he completed it he felt that his time was better spent with his second wife and three sons. Of course, he still skates every day just for fun.
When asked if he wants his boys to grind right behind him someday, he says they should do it only if they truly enjoy it. There must be something in the genes, though, because he adds: My oldest son is already an accomplished skateboarder and my youngest can skate across the driveway at one-and-a-half years old.
If his sons become professionals too, he doesnt expect them to suffer the adversity he went through in the early 90s. He says skateboarding has a much stronger foundation now, and he attributes its resurgence to the growing frustration with traditional sports and their whiny, overpaid professionals.
So Close Try to leap this open bridge, but make sure you dont wind up in the water.
In 2002, Hawk debuted Boom Boom Huck Jam, a 24-city tour that brings professional skateboarders and BMX bike riders together with big-name punk bands for arena shows. It sold out quickly, prompting another tour in 2003. He also puts a lot of time into running his skateboard business, Birdhouse, as well as his non-profit Tony Hawk Foundation, which spends more than $400,000 a year building skate parks in low-income areas.
Not a bad life for a guy reduced to a five-dollars-a-day Taco Bell allowance just a few years ago.