NDS Tony Hawks American Sk8land - Downloadable Conent & More

IGN has got a recent hands-on with online-enabled Tony Hawk's American Sk8land, see what new features there is.

IGN has got a recent hands-on with online-enabled Tony Hawk's American Sk8land, see what new features there is.

From IGN:

The Tony Hawk franchise may be getting on in years, but there's no denying that there's a lot of fun to be had in the aging game design, and Tony Hawk's American Sk8land brings the series back to its roots on the Nintendo DS system. This portable version is pure Tony Hawk: fast action, tons of skate moves, clever parks with tons of grind rails and vert ramps, and dozens of unique challenges to accomplish along the way. The DS game runs at a viciously smooth 60 frames per second rate, with the designers pushing a cel shaded appearance that works with the DS system's 3D limitations. Even though the handheld system isn't a 3D powerhouse, the game looks fantastic running on the portable system.

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land is an original property that's only loosely based on the just released American Wasteland on the console systems. The concept is similar: skate around areas around a streaming world earning the funds to rebuild the classic Warehouse skatepark that Tony Hawk holds dear. It's a loose plot with a very far-fetched concept, but the Tony Hawk games were more about the action than the story. Even with that said, the American Sk8land team's managed to put a lot of fun into the storytelling: like the development team's Ultimate Spiderman DS game, American Sk8land uses a clever 2D "paper doll" animation system for all the cutscenes within the game. Vicarious Visions recorded tons of original voice over from Tony Hawk and other skaters, which goes in time to the animated sequences that zip across both of the DS screens.

The lower screen is used for several elements. Most importantly, it gives players, for the first time, an overhead view of the current skatepark, as well as the location of all the players you'll need to skate up to in order to access the next challenge. The screen's touch sensitive functions are also used in several places: when stopped, players can look around with a free flowing camera system by dragging their finger. Filling up their special meter will cause one, two, or three "Special" buttons to slide in from the right which can be tapped to pull off the user-defined move. If you bail during a particularly heavy combo, players can "freak out" and earn back some lost points by tapping the three power bars at their highest peak. And, of course, the touch screen is used for personal customization.

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land finally brings handheld Tony into the console presentation. Players can "create a character" by selecting from a batch of heads, bodies and legs. They can create their own decks and graffiti tags with a robust editing program, enabling custom art as detailed as 64x64 pixels large. Though the final track list hasn't been announced yet, the game will feature several recorded, licensed songs from popular bands. Players can even record their voice and attach those samples to their Special and Bail animations. And finally, the team's managed to get Create-a-Park into this handheld game…sort of. This custom park isn't entirely full featured, only allowing players to choose one of three different park pieces in specific locations in the warehouse. So, while there are more than a hundred different combinations when everything's complete, players can't slot any piece anywhere they want. Maybe next year?

But the real reason everyone's looking to Tony Hawk on the DS: the game will be the first third-party Nintendo DS game to support the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. This game will go online and enable players to go head-to-head with anyone else connected to the internet wirelessly. During our hands-on with Tony, the Wi-Fi servers were disabled so we couldn't get the full experience, but we were able to poke around the interface to see just how seamless it will be. Once players find a Wi-Fi capable internet connection, it's entirely seamless. In the interface, everyone can download the top scores and ghost data on the Tony Hawk servers, as well as link up with friends to challenge in several skating competitions. Disappointingly, Tony Hawk DS doesn't have the favorite modes like Graffiti Mode and Horse, but there are fun options like "The Price is Wrong" where the two connected players try to score as close as they can to the set point scale.

Even more interesting: Tony Hawk DS will have downloadable content. Every week, Vicarious Visions will create a custom challenge within an existing skatepark that everyone will be able to compete in, with the top skaters' scores and ghost data uploaded to the servers for people to peek in and see just how they did what they did.

Have a look at the game in action by clicking on the newly uploaded video clips below. Tony Hawk's American Sk8land hits the DS on November 14th in America, with the ability to go online starting on day one. See you guys on the Wi-Fi Connection next month.


Posted on 25-10-2005 by skarma


  • Oh, Ah, oh...ah. This game sounds great, just one part that saddens me a little the map editor / what ever you call it in this version. Well the download play seems intresting. Probibly will stick with mario cart for now.

    walaluigi, 30-11--0001 at 00:00
  • I really want a mario board in this game.

    nin10d0fr34k, 30-11--0001 at 00:00
  • Just MAKE a Mario board. YOu can edit boards. And I like how the developers are going to have weekly challenges.

    Fish, 30-11--0001 at 00:00
  • spelt contents wrong. =)

    NiNe9cEnTs, 30-11--0001 at 00:00
  • Darn you beat me to it.

    Tellyn, 30-11--0001 at 00:00

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