Review by KFantasy017

"Personally, I'll stick with THUG 2."

After coming off of the amazement that was Tony Hawk's Underground 2, I was expecting the same or even better from American Wasteland. Well, I was given more. Sadly, I was given more of what I do not want.

I'm all up for tons of content, but I prefer the standard "List of Goals, do the missions, unlock new levels, repeat" gameplay of previous games. Thankfully, Classic Mode gives me this, but I was hoping for some of the same in the Story Mode as well.

As you start up story mode you get to pick from five characters (I believe it was five), and you begin your skating journey. You start off by meeting a very annoying girl who tells you why she comes to LA. Very nice and all, but I really don't care. So you step off of the bus you were riding on and get your stuff stolen while you were punched in the face.

Of course, it was because you look funny, so you must change your clothes. Like the way your character looks? Good for you, you'll save money buying your things. Yep, you have to buy clothes, shoes, and even pay for a haircut.

This leads to doing endless missions for a hobo that, oddly enough, has tons of cash. You can also simply talk to a tagger that has you spray paint different areas around him. Sometimes you will be required to hang from a ledge or paint the ground, but these require little thinking and take all of ten seconds to accomplish. Oh well, free cash is good, I suppose.

After you change your clothes (or not), you can change your board, but you'll find that you don't have enough money to make the changes you will like! Time to go find the hobo!

You can sleep on benches or dumpsters as well. The only thing this really seems to do is pass the time in which you have to wait in order to increase your stats. Yes! No longer are the days where you don't have to wait to increase your stats. You have to wait until midnight every day for the skate shops to post new challenges for you to complete. If you happen to forget about some of them and new challenges arise, you must wait another day for those challenges to return. Thankfully, days and nights pass rather quickly, so it isn't that annoying.

Next we have the new concept of riding a bike. Do yourself a favor and stay far away from it as it will only bring aggravation to you while you become frustrated trying to figure out how to control the bike without screwing up. The only thing I found fun (or should I say funny) was that it is faster to throw your board away or ditch your bike and run than it is to bike or skate.

Surely, under all of this there must be something good to this game. Thankfully, the skating itself is still the same. You get the same circle grab tricks, square flip tricks, and square stalls and grinds. Manuals and specials still remain the same as well, but you cannot perform a special move for quite some time because you must learn new moves before performing them, unlike past games in the series. This is only slightly annoying and it does make sense, so you'll quickly get over it. My only real problem with the skating system is that (either this or I just plain suck at the game), you seem to bail very often early on in the game. Other than that it is the gem that keeps me coming back for more.

Would you want to rent this game or buy it? Well, I rented it and beat it with no desire to return, so I would suggest that you do the same.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 10/25/05, Updated 08/31/07

Game Release: Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (US, 10/18/05)

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