Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland was a pretty cool game. In those days, Neversoft was producing Tony Hawk games at a rather astonishing rate, and they were criticized for it. While I will readily admit that there were lesser games in the series (I’m looking at you, Tony Hawk’s Underground), there wasn’t a single game that I didn’t enjoy at least a little bit.
Having played through this game about three times, I have to acknowledge that it’s not that hard, especially if you’ve played through other games in the series. It takes maybe four to six hours to finish, and while Sick mode is a little harder, it’s clearly not impossible.
The storyline is relatively interesting, with a love interest (Mindy) thrown in the mix. It basically involves being accepted in the “Skate Ranch”, an awesome skate park, and collecting new pieces for it. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story without a little conflict thrown in there, and things become tense between you and Mindy at one point.
At first I thought it was rather interesting that they incorporated bike riding, but having played through the game again recently, I felt that it was a bit of a nuisance. You have to learn new controls and pull off tricks that may not have been explained that well. Not to mention, most goals don’t involve using the bike.
I rather liked Classic mode, and this is usually where I start when I play the game. It’s funny saying this, but it’s just as much fun as – if not more than – the story mode. “Collecting things” isn’t exactly my specialty, and I usually skip over those goals until I absolutely have to do them, but getting high scores and pulling tricks is exactly what I enjoy doing.
One of the main features of this game is the ability to skate L.A. as “one massive streaming world”. It seemed pretty cool at first, and a rather fantastic notion, but it doesn’t feel like skating L.A. as much as it does skating boring cities, with a few interesting hotspots in between (like the skate park or the casino). Still, it’s pretty cool that all the areas are connected and you can freely skate between them.
I wouldn’t rate this game as high as I would have when I originally played it, and I doubt that I will ever play it again, but I give it a 7.5/10.
AS Rating: (7.5 / 10)