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Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam really surprised me. I had played an earlier version several weeks ago, but it just didn’t stand out as much, possibly because I had just been playing it on the Wii, but now that I’ve had the time to thoroughly invest myself in the title and explore all the cool modes and challenging events and especially the console-quality multiplayer features, I am hooked and so will you. Downhill Jam might not make the most of the dual screens or the touch screen functionality, but I can’t imagine a better system to enjoy this type of game on. The sheer level of customization, stat tracking, and online potential will keep you skating throughout the holidays and well into next year.
On the Nintendo DS, Tony Hawk takes a wildly different approach. As the name implies, Downhill Jam tosses out the traditional Tony Hawk structure for a focus on downhill skating. The action is fast and frantic, although there are still some Tony Hawk tricks and moves thrown in for good fun.
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam has enough of the right stuff to continue on as its own franchise, but I'd be lying if I said that it's a better concept than the original open world, go-anywhere Pro Skater/Underground/American Sk8land designs. The racing game is excellent even with its slight restrictions -- the designers have explored the core idea to give it a fantastic amount of variety. It's really great stuff that'll appeal to racing fans and skateboarding nuts.
Downhill Jam setzt dabei auf dieselbe flotte 3D-Cel-Shading-Engine, die bereits in der letztjährigen Skate-Episode Tony Hawk's American Sk8land zum Einsatz kam. Neben den 15 lizenzierten Punk-Tracks (u. a. von Lagwagon) bestechen auch die Fülle an Spielmodi sowie der Online-Modus, der noch umfangreicher ist als im Vorgänger. Eine saubere Handheld-Umsetzung, die sich noch dazu richtig gut spielt!
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam (at least the DS version [gimme a break, I just got my Wii a few days ago]) is a fresh take on the Birdman’s signature skateboarding series that has been in need for a very long time. The racing action combined with the freestyle skating mechanics is a nice change of pace that harkens back to the downhill levels of the earlier Tony Hawk games. While I hesitate to say this direction is where further Tony Hawk titles should go, Downhill Jam is a nice diversion between Project 8 and wherever Tony Hawk and Activision decide to take us next.
I see the reasoning behind the switch to downhill -- especially with the Wii version going the same route -- but I'm not exactly thrilled about it. American Sk8land was such a stellar game that it's a shame we won't see a true follow-up. Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, in general, is a decent title with quite a bit to offer and awesome multiplayer. It'll just have to be satisfied being labeled one of the weaker Tony Hawk games on the market.
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam is a fun game that I personally feel should have been a part of its own series. I understand that Activision kept the Tony Hawk name for its instant familiarity with casual gamers and skateboarders, but Downhill Jam is a game that’s more SSX than Tony Hawk. If Vicarious Visions chooses to make another Downhill Jam, the ingredients to a better game would be more courses, a few creation modes (like a Create-A-Skater that isn’t so restrictive), and a little more life in its environments.
Downhill Jam is a good game, just not an awesome one. Its speed-freak obsessive gameplay can get frustrating, as can the control layout and overly difficult challenges, but in the end, it's pretty fun, and will be a welcome addition to your DS library if you like skateboarding games.
Abwärts, aufwärts, abwärts, aufwärts. So sah's in mir auch beim Testen aus. Da sind auf der einen Seite die spannenden, spaßigen Downhill-Rennen - und auf der anderen die zahlreichen Missionen, in denen man merkt, dass die Tricks nicht so recht in das neue Format passen wollen, dem Spiel die rechte Balance fehlt. Da die besseren Aufgaben aber die Oberhand behalten und Euch nicht jede Herausforderung aufgezwungen wird, gibt’s von mir eine 7. Wer mal ein auf SSX gemachtes Tony Hawk spielen will, dem wird Downhill Jam fraglos gefallen.
Même si dans le fond, Downhill Jam est une transposition du gameplay Tony Hawk à des niveaux tout en dénivelé, cet épisode apporte un petit bol frais pas désagréable à la série. Voyons maintenant comment cette nouvelle approche évoluera au fil du temps.
The points that stick out about Downhill Jam are its somewhat buggy nature, a serious lack of online competition, and a single-player game that has potential but often isn't too exciting. On top of that, changing the Tony Hawk games into racing games plays away from the series' previous strengths, making the whole game feel like a second-rate SSX-style game. If you have friends that own the game, you'll probably enjoy some of the online competition, but beyond that, Downhill Jam is a real downer.
It's certainly a good thing that the Hawk games are being pushed in new directions, but the DS version doesn't convince that this choice is ideal. It flips and grinds like a skateboarding game should, and the multiplayer offers lots more potential. Later on there's snowboarding and mountain boarding on offer too (although they are just graphical changes, playing identically). It does lots, and it does things reasonably well. It's just, well, it's doing the wrong things reasonably well.
Tony Hawk Downhill Jam is a new step forward for the series offering something different from the norm. Stepping into the role of half downhill racing and tricks, this new Tony Hawk game is a nice diversion from the typical free roam skate story design of the other Hawks. I wasn't completely sold on Downhill Jam as I believe the production could be stepped up, I did enjoy the new challenges the game presented. If you enjoy games like SSX Tricky or if you're a certified skate freak then Tony Hawk Downhill Jam will please your adrenaline rush. Other gamers and casual fans, I have to suggest you try this Downhill Jam out before you slap down your cash, simply because it might not be what you expected.
Downhill Jam is a fair DS effort. The critically underrated Wii version is the proper way to experience the game, though if you’re looking for something slightly more traditional, this may suit you better. You’ll still have to make it past the clunky graphics that hinder gameplay to fully embrace it however.