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Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland Review

Developer: Neversoft Publisher: Activision
Release Date: November 15, 2005 Also On: GCN, PC, PS2 and Xbox

Becoming as long-standing as the Madden franchise, American Wasteland marks the 7th Tony Hawk game in 7 years. Every release has seen changes and new levels to skate. This time you will take over all of Los Angeles. You will skate an expanding city with no load times that is fun to complete, but not the mind blowing experience it once was. While American Wasteland began on the PS2 and Xbox, it has been ported over to the 360. Let me tell you early on, this is a sorry excuse of a port.

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Go ahead and play the Xbox version of Wasteland and you will see there is absolutely no visual difference at all. Besides a smoother frame rate, they are identical to each other. American Wasteland wasn’t the greatest looking game to begin with, but by 360 standards it is horrible. This is the true example of an Xbox game just being changed to play on a different console; very sad indeed. At least when Pro Skater 2 was ported to the Xbox, it blew away the PlayStation version. The soundtrack is average at best when it comes to the franchise. Sure, there are a lot of songs, but most aren’t exactly the greatest choices to skate to. The basic grinding and boarding sounds won’t get better anytime soon, but they should have been stepped up for the 360. Voice acting and dialogue was poorly done and just hurts the already poor story even more.

While American Wasteland plays as smoothly as any other Tony Hawk game, it is identical to the current-generation game in every way. You play through the same short and easy story with the same levels and challenges to complete. Classic mode isn’t any longer either and can be beaten in a sitting. I would have liked to have seen more added to it being a 360 game that you have to pay $10 more for. There aren’t even any more characters or features in the game that would add to the fun. Xbox Live is confined to those who have the 360 version only; even though the Xbox and Xbox 360 version are identical, you can’t play your Xbox friends unless they have the 360 version. Most people have the current generation version over the new version so you won’t find many people playing American Wasteland on the 360.

While American Wasteland is not a bad game by any means, it definitely is way below the standards of the 360. With a short and easy story and classic mode, you won’t play this one by yourself for long. The multiplayer is fun online if there were actually someone to play it with. I’d highly recommend playing the current generation version and saving yourself the extra $10 expense. There is no reason to buy it for the 360 unless you don’t own the current generation release.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.7
Written by Shawn Review Guide