Monday, March 20, 2006

Game Review (Tony Hawk's American Wasteland - PS2)

First off; I can tell you this game was rushed, but anyways I can't tell you whether I liked more aspects to this game or disliked more. i got the game yesterday, and beat the story mode on easy yesterday as well, and it was for the most part really easy ( except two missions on Santa Monica ) and it lasted quite awhile; longer than other story modes on other Tony Hawk games. Anyways here we go with my Pros, Cons, and other notes from me to you on my opinion about THAW. Here we go. You start as a low class skater who needs to get his rep up ( yeah yeah you've heard it before. ) And you make a friend, Mindy, who soon takes you to her friend's skate ranch. ( Iggy,Murphy,Boone..etc. ) After proving yourself, you get to skate in the park and you go all around california looking for pieces to get for the park; that's basically it. The game is actually fairly repetetive because you'll feel yourself doing similar things over and over again... doing combos on rails, doing tricks shouted out to you, and so forth. Almost every mission you do in this game after you get to the skate ranch is collect pieces that you destroy from buildings and so on. The level design is once again very well done. THAW has ( 8 levels I believe? ) That are all in some way a little different, and you expand the level each time you play by destroying something to get for your ranch, or to get to the next city. The 'No-Load' times thing was probably a big thing for a lot of people, and there are basically no load times. None between levels, but you can tell when the game actually does load betweem each city. When you are in a 'tunnel' to the next city, you will notice a huge graphical change ( bad bad graphics ) the game will pause for a split second when you are in there, and you can hear your disc moving awkwardly like it normally does when a game loads. The little 'tunnels' are really bland, but hey I'd rather skate down it then sit through a load time. This game is generally easy (I'm only on easy, though but I can't imagine it getting too much harder; it didn't in past games.) And the story in story mode is pretty lame at times, but it has its moments as well. Another thing a lot of people may of heard of was the fact that there would be BMX bikes in THAW. There certainly is; and although many people that have played THAW may have said the BMX addition was a waste of time. It was NOT. The BMX controls make you feel like you are actually riding a bike somewhat and you use both analog sticks. You may think there are only a few tricks you can do on the bike, but actually you can do quite a bit. The only downfall about the bikes it how you can't trick it out or anything. Pro's and con's: PROS: Big levels, No load times, Good soundtrack, BMX BIKES!, Better customization, Better online. CONS: No load times, but you can tell when it's loading, relatively short story mode, lame story mode for the most part, strange graphical errors, a lot of glitches. The Stack:

Graphics: 7.5/10. The graphics at first when I was looking at the game I though "What the hell is this? These graphics are horrible!" But after awhile of playing, they seemed to get a bit better it seemed to me. There are a lot of graphical errors, such as strange blurs, a lot of glitches, and awkward movements. They could definitely be tweaked. In one mission where you are in the skate ranch and there's that crane, if you climb up the ladder all the way to the top and look down on your park, it looks absolutely amazing.

Controls: 8/10. The controls in this game and camera angles at sometimes are extremely frustrating. If you try to get off your skateboard, you may find yourself doing a bert slide or something like that, and when time counts, it gets annoying. Other than that they aren't bad.

Sound: 9/10. A pretty boomin' soundtrack for sure; Fallout Boy, Dead Kennedies, My Chemical Romance, Greenday, and other great bands make for an excellent soundtrack. The voice acting is great as well. The sound is probably one of the higher points of the game.

Fun: 8/10. Classic Mode is not nearly as good as before for some reason, and the game doesn't last long, but while it lasts it's fantastic, and if you have a friend; there is now Classic Co-Op, and since THPS 4, online play that is better than ever. If you're a THPS/THUG fan, definitely buy this, it won't dissapoint, even if it won't last as long as you had hoped.


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