Tony Hawk Downhill Jam
Imagine racing through a busy city street, jumping on rails and grinding out tricks in order to increase your boost power. Then imagine that you are not only racing the clock but a gaggle of friends in a brutally exciting multiplayer race. Well stop imagining because in Downhill Jam, it all happens, and it's fantastic.
In a nutshell, you start off creating a character and entering the six courses a player must complete to completely win the game. Some races focus on doing tricks while others focus on placing first. The point being the game mixes it up quite well and the player never knows what new challenge is going to be set before him/her. So the initial shock of there only being six courses is quickly subsided by the fact that you race down the same course several times, but must do a specific task as well. The courses themselves are a skateboarders dream, what with all the wires and bars for tricks, the massive jumps and dizzying heights, it was a completely surprising experience for this reviewer.
The look and sound of Downhill Jam was also somewhat of a surprise, being that this is the first Tony Hawk game where you don't have complete freedom to go where you want (cause it's a racing game) I was happy to see a smooth frame rate and consistent look to the game. Items are easily seen so is to avoid or use them, the courses never blur with poor pixilation or shoddy level design. It is a smooth looking and controlling game. Sound wise the soundtrack does repeat a bit more quickly then other TH titles but that is completely understandable given the storage capacity of a DS cartridge. Otherwise good sound effects and modest voice work in the game's cut scenes round out a straight up solid game.
Lastly, the game does feature a user friendly wi-fi multiplayer experience that is a complete joy to engage in. The DS microphone allows you to communicate with other friends (a first for this reviewer). I cannot stress how much fun this title is and I hope that readers out there put this on their holiday shopping list for any DS owner they know.