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Tony Hawk: American Wasteland by athodyd 12/07/2005, 3:51pm PST
If you rent it, make sure you go someplace that gives out instructions, because it turns out I basically didn't remember anything at all from THPS4 besides that manuals are important and it won't let you do manuals until you "learn" them from a character. Also, make sure you aren't playing with the 4-year-old DualShock II that came with your equally ancient PS2 because the completely shit-ass dickfuck insane number of different moves you can do often require fairly picky control inputs and if your controller isn't up to the job you may possibly shit yourself with rage attempting to do a "boned ollie."

The earliest parts of the game suck because like I said before most of the advanced things are "locked" until you hunt down a fellow skater or scenester or homeless guy to teach you how to do manuals or reverts or spine transfers or hippo times or chinese boner prisons or what the fuck ever you need to know in order to weld together huge combos, which as anyone who's played anything in the series is the main component of all the fun parts of Tony Hawk. To really ramp the hatefuck factor up to the point where it can really only be expressed in scientific notation or possibly murder, sometimes the instructions they give you in these trick-unlocking segments are vague, confusing, or flat out fucking wrong. After I finally figured out a boned ollie (pretty much by accident) the little New Trick summary dialog opened with instructions on the boned ollie that had nothing to do with what the anonymous shirtless guy was telling me to do. Right now I'm at the point where the ancient chinese stereotype is teaching me how to go into bullet time focus and do a special trick, or maybe use focus to do the special trick, or maybe do the special trick only when the special meter is completely full and so don't use focus, although maybe focus doesn't deplete the special meter if you're still in a combo, in which case do the trick during the combo, and wait the screen just told me I really did do the trick and now I've landed it WHAT THE GODDAMN FUCK NEVERSOFT. It's possible this is tying in with the weird bug that sometimes keeps you in the timed trick-learning mode even though you've performed the trick enough times to "win," but it's really hard to give a shit about that when all I really want to do is run over everyone involved in this game with one of the extremely heavily advertised Jeep that are apparently the only cars available in LA.

The story and cutscenes are fucking excruciating. I can't think of a single voice actor I've met so far that I wouldn't want to hit with a skateboard, or kickflip to death, or maybe perform a lip stall on them in such a way that they die. The game's emphasis on Skater Culture serves the sole purpose of reminding me of the skater I roomed with for a semester who would go three or four days between showers and then try and subtly suggest that I was the reason our dorm room smelled so funny. Regardless of whether skateboarding is a crime or not I have yet to meet a single skater who couldn't be improved by a few riot beanbags to their center of mass.

Skateboarding, however, is still very very fun and generally manages to resist being contaminated by the wreckage around it. You can now incorporate getting off your board and doing Parkour shit into your combos, and while the running feels incredibly weird and floaty it does help cross longer gaps. There's also a bike that feels reasonably bikey which I have pretty much completely ignored.

Overall, the game feels like they tweaked and refined the skating tricks system, hammered out a fairly serviceable wide-area sandbox environment, and then just sort of stopped trying. Character animations for anything except actual skate tricks are boring, you can change your clothes and hair (wooo devilock) but why, any interaction with the actual story is unpleasant to the point of putting off necessary story missions in favor of just fooling around with combos, and everything you do off of your skateboard is blah. Happily, they also included a "classic" mode for when you get sick of the main stuff. For that and for the actual skateboarding parts of the story mode I say: positive!
Tony Hawk: American Wasteland by athodyd 12/07/2005, 3:51pm PST NEW
    Your reviews? by Relentessly bad 12/07/2005, 4:19pm PST NEW
        My three favorite Caltrops posters by Souffle of Pain 12/07/2005, 10:57pm PST NEW
            This from the guy that thought SB was a unsung hero. NT by Seven months ago. 12/07/2005, 11:25pm PST NEW
            Note how you do not dispute the argument being set forth. by Worm 12/07/2005, 11:47pm PST NEW
                Worng is usually incorrect NT by Fabsy 12/08/2005, 12:45am PST NEW
        Guess who's made over 150 posts on POENews over the past month? by Use my regular name? Too scared! 12/08/2005, 9:32am PST NEW
    It becomes more and more clear that Neversoft has no idea what made THPS fun. by mark 12/07/2005, 11:15pm PST NEW
    Speaking of gay Athodydydy reviews by Here's one 12/08/2005, 12:50am PST NEW
        Re: Speaking of gay Athodydydy reviews by garrett2697 01/29/2006, 7:49am PST NEW
    Re: Tony Hawk: American Wasteland by Caltrops 12/08/2005, 11:25am PST NEW
        Are you trying to peg me as a mysterious faggot, confused, or misreading IP logs NT by ?Worm 12/08/2005, 2:38pm PST NEW
            Oh wait, someone atored me. :( Good job. NT by Worm 12/08/2005, 2:38pm PST NEW
        b-b-b-but I AM from college! by a crestfallen athodyd 12/08/2005, 11:01pm PST NEW
            GET OFF THE FUCKING STAGE NT by THE HOOK 01/04/2006, 7:51pm PST NEW
            Nice "callback" to your semi-colon "bit". NT by Who are you, Paula Poundstone? 01/29/2006, 8:16am PST NEW
    Re: Tony Hawk: American Wasteland by Quentin Beck 02/04/2007, 3:46pm PST NEW
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