Review - Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (Xbox)

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Nov 3, 2005
  1. teh_raf3
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    Member teh_raf3 Whatever suits you

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    Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

    Surprise surprise, another Tony Hawk game… is this game just another dull sequel or a fresh start for Activision?

    My favourite game on the good old Playstation was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and still is the best game of the series in my opinion. I’ve played every Tony Hawk game since (but also the first Tony Hawk) and I must say that I’m hooked. I’ve become rather good in the game (you can ask some of my friends…) and I was glad when American Wasteland was announced.

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    Story (4/10):

    In the story you play a country-kid that comes to L.A. (the game is set in the 80's) to get famous by skateboarding his/her way to the top. Once arrived in L.A. you get bullied by some punks and eventually they’ll steal your bag (*cough Shenmue II *cough). A bit later you’ll meet Mindy, a girl that has the elegant voice of someone who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. She and her friends have a secret, a big empty skate park for them alone, and with your help they want to fill it up with all kind of objects to have the biggest, craziest skatepark in the world, the American Wasteland.

    So far the story is acceptable… From then on you have to skate through the different cities (New York, Beverly Hills…) and collect pieces to place in the skatepark. The way you have to collect these pieces and how the story continues really reminds me of Tony Hawk Underground 2 (in a negative way). Activision somehow managed to ruin the story while it had potential…

    Gameplay (8/10):


    The traditional gameplay of popping out tricks to complete goals has remained, but some rather small changes have been implemented into the game.

    - Your skills (stats) are low to none in the beginning; you can upgrade your stats by completing the goals that are displayed at the local skateshop.

    - Again you can create your own skaters and parks. Everything is a bit more customizable then in the previous Tony Hawk games and has some cool new stuff in it.

    - When you start the game, you won’t be able to perform all the tricks that the game covers. You have to start talking to certain people and they will teach you new tricks like the Natas Spin or the Front- and Backflip
    You are also able to create your own tricks like in the two previous Tony Hawk games. The newest addition is the stall (you jump with your board onto an object and stand still on it for a while). You can stall on almost any object in the game and it’s great to help you with forming your combos.

    - The levels in which you skate is now one giant streamed city. You can get from one part to another by finding a way through or by driving to it. The best part of this all is that there are no loading times!

    - And last but not least, one of the best extras is with no doubt that you can now ride with a bmx. They’ve managed to give the player a good control over the player and the bmx so it is easy to learn riding it.

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    Graphics (8/10):


    Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland features the same graphics from Tony Hawk Underground 1 & 2. Some things got polished and look better but also a lot of new pieces of scenery got thrown in and really makes the game look fresh.

    The game constantly runs at a normal framerate, although there is something that irritated me a little while playing. If you switch between towns, the game can freeze for a 10th of a second… This could have been worked out a little better maybe, but who am I to judge?

    Sound (8/10):

    Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland features a big list of tracks for hiphop, punk and rock fanatics. From “Black Flag” to “The Casualties” and many more, everyone will find at least one song they like.

    The sound that is used for performing tricks in the game, as well as the sound that is used in the environment is just good, nothing special, but it’s not really required. Everything sounds like it should and nothing more can really be said about it…

    Replay value(8/10):


    The singleplayer part of the game will keep you busy for a while. Next to the story mode you also have classic mode, which features some levels from previous Tony Hawk games (Chicago, The Mall, Santa Cruz). The levels have been updated graphically and contain some new goals to complete.

    Multiplayer can be played traditionally with multiple players sitting next to each other or you can play over the internet with an Xbox or a Playstation 2. On the Xbox, you can even work in co-op to complete some of the goals in classic mode, which can make it a lot easier for certain goals!

    Final conclusion:

    Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland is a must for the people who like the Tony Hawk games. If you have never played a Tony Hawk game before, then I advise you to play some of the previous versions first, before you would consider buying this one. Activision once again fails in bringing a credible story in my opinion (although I found the storyline in Tony Hawk Underground (1) was good).

    Story: 4/10
    Gameplay: 8/10
    Graphics: 8/10
    Sound: 8/10
    Replay value: 8/10


    72%


    Official Website: http://www.th-american-wasteland.com/
    (note: the screenshots in the review are from the Playstation 2 version and do not represent the graphical quality of the Xbox and Gamecube)

    Written by teh_raf3
     
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