Gamecube: Tony Hawk: American Wasteland
Published by Activsion
Developed by Neversoft Entertainment
Rated T for Teens
Reviewed by: Agriath | Contributing Writer Gamer’s Perspective
Neversoft is at it again. American Wasteland is the seventh entry into the Tony Hawk series, and after more than 6 years the series is still going strong.
American Wasteland starts you off as a young skater aspiring to compete in the Tony Hawk AmJam, but encounter some local thugs upon arriving to Los Angeles, who decide you’re not good enough to compete and take all your belongings. It’s at this point you run into Mandy, a helpful skater girl who will serve as your guide throughout the game. After meeting her, you go out into the world to prove you’re able to compete in AmJam and get your stuff back.
The game play in American Wasteland is barely different than in the other 6 games. There are some minor tweaks to make sure the hardcore fans are not doing the same thing over. As usual, Tony Hawk sports an amazing combo system that is easy to use and provides great rewards. Throughout the story mode, you’ll be asked to complete several takes using various tricks. Upon completion, these tricks will be added to a list of tricks that you can view any time. This comes in handy for the various mini tasks scattered around in all the levels.
As well as a having great game play, American Wasteland sports some great graphics too. Most textures are crisp and clean, character models look good from normal view. Environments are detailed and look good as well. They look very nice in every skateable area. Now, although the graphics are splendid, they are not without flaws. There are the usual flaws, like blurred textures in some places etc. Yet my main complaint is the frame rate in ‘oil rig’. The graphics teeter on the line of disruptive and is somewhat noticeable. It is when you go take a high jump in the air that the frame rate really gets choppy. There is one mission in particular on that level where doing the required jump slams the frame rate down to a slide show.
American Wasteland does well in the sound department. It comes with a large library of tracks that is sure to have something for everyone’s tastes, not just skateboarding teenagers. The music ranges from punk to hip-hop/rap. As for the in-game sounds, they are nothing special but they do their job well. The voice acting is not great, but it is understandable and not broken. A find the worst problem to be that the dialogue is rather ridiculousa times and many characters voices are loud and annoying. Thankfully, if you’re someone that’s bothered by this, the cut scenes can all be skipped.
Overall, Tony Hawks American Wasteland is a solid entry into the series and delivers to hardcore fans and casuals alike. Despite some minor bugs and glitches, this game looks and plays great.