Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Since I last reviewed this title on the PS2, I must say, I think I may have given this game more credit than it deserved. In hindsight, while it still remains a decent title, because of its replay value, it doesn't seem as comfortable on the 360, and in the end, can be very frustrating to play. Still, it can be fun, but unfortunately, you aren't going to get much more out of the 360 version as compared to any other.

Grinding, tricking, and a wide open environment is still very much the name of the game. Although it is an understandable design decision, I wish that some of the levels had been torn apart to open up the levels for the Xbox 360's powerful hardware. The bad news is that you've still got to ride through giant corridors to get from area to area. This game also still has a very trickable environment, and an extremely wide amount of missions and different features you can try. This isn't quite what I'm used to from Tony Hawk games, as I still think the game is much more frustrating than it needs to be, but if you get used to it, it's easily workable. Mostly what I mean is the lack of ease of low speed control. It's difficult to make quick, sharp turns, so botching some moves means really botching the move.

The graphics get a little boost on the 360, with much cleaner lines and a generally nicer looking game, but it's still nothing compared to what you'll see with the Xbox 360 native titles. Still, fewer artifacts and a nicer looking game is good, so I've nothing to complain about here.

In the end, if you're a skatefreak, this isn't a bad game, but otherwise, I'd stick to a rental. There isn't so much gameplay here that you can't beat it in a couple of days, and the fact that the levels aren't completely free open really reduces the game's sense of scale. Beyond that however, it holds up well for a game of it's type.

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