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Friday, December 30, 2005

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Xbox 360 Review

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Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Xbox 360 Review

"With a new system of course comes a new version of Tony Hawk. Its par for the course, after all, this is the Birdman's seventh edition of his franchise. I had already reviewed the Xbox version and while I enjoyed the game I also thought it was a little easier. The new tricks included and the BMX tricks were enough to keep me happy.

Of course, the price for an Xbox game is ten bucks cheaper than the 360 titles so is American Wasteland worth playing on the Xbox 360? Read my review of Tony Hawk's American Wasteland for the Xbox 360 and see.


If you have the Xbox version and were hoping for some new levels or new additions to the 360 version, I have some bad news. There are no additional goodies added. Sure, it's got the High Definition graphics and a few tweaks on the color changes of the characters' hair and clothes, but the game is the same, just ported over. While this may seem bad for fans, the game plays better overall on the 360 thanks to the added shoulder buttons. Long time fans will notice it's easier to pull off tricks and that's great. The bad part is the Wasteland's whole new angle of no load times and skate or bike where you want when you want is not the whole truth.

It has a few load times and of course every video game has them. The title does have a few ways of masking the actual loading times. Now this is not to say that NeverSoft and Activision are exaggerating since the areas appear almost instantly and quicker than on the Xbox version, but the no load time tag line is a little misleading. You will go through each part using doorways or tunnels, if you want to call them that, to reach the other areas. I can live with that and having played every version of THPS it's enjoyable enough.

The storyline is the same as the Xbox version. You're trying to make it in LA with dreams of being the next Hawk and want the bright lights of fame and fortune. Of course LA is where Tony made his mark with the Boyz of DogTown so the story is decent. You meet up with a girl who tells you to drop the country look if you want to start off right. This is where the loading times do kick in since you need to get a new hair style and some clothes. Then it's off to the single-player mode where you meet up with the other skaters who will give you goals.

Even while I enjoyed the game, it holds your hand a bit too much in this mode and makes it too easy to finish especially for long time fans of the series. They threw in some great challenges and goals but they might as well do it for you unlike past versions of the franchise. Okay so it tends to show too much, perhaps they are trying to attract new players by making it a bit easier and I am all for that, but I still want a challenge. This is where the online mode really comes into play and with the 360 and the new achievements help to make it work." [more]

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