Conclusion: It’s good to see the Tony Hawk series continue to try to do something different with itself while still maintaining the basic idea of skating. Downhill Jam however is a step in a different direction; not forward, but not really backwards either because I think it does cater to a different skating crowd and because it does have its merits, despite being flawed.
Excerpt: The name of this Tony Hawk title should be your first clue that something is different here. Downhill Jam changes the emphasis from pulling off tricks to winning races, all of which take place on steep hills. It’s good to see the Tony Hawk franchise trying new things, but while new is always different, different is not always good. Is Downhill Jam the good kind of different or the bad?
Excerpt: Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam was a departure for the series. Ignoring the Wii-specific control system, the game dumped the open-world play of past games in favor of a SSX -styled, trick-oriented racing game. The PS2 iteration of Downhill Jam is the same game as the Wii version, only without the motion-control, though in its place are a few new multiplayer races and three new characters. Graphically, the PS2 version of Downhill Jam is a few notches below the Wii version.
Excerpt: Even the greatest gaming franchises of all time have taken small side-steps in genre to increase their mass market appeal. Take that chubby little Italian pipe cleaner with the way-out-of-his-league little blonde honey. While the bread and butter of the franchise has always been the adventure games that we’ve been playing since the NES, Nintendo has taken Mario and his entire posse in multiple directions over the years.
Conclusion: Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam really wants to be the next SSX, but due to its repetitive levels, boring single player mode, and bad trick system the game never quite hits the same high notes as EA's popular extreme sports series.
Excerpt: Anybody remember the ‘Xtreme’ games for the original PlayStation? There was ESPN Extreme Games (which would late be known as 1 Xtreme), its sequel 2 Xtreme, and the final (and worst) 3 Xtreme. The games have always combined skateboards, rollerblades, bikes, and snowboards and spread them across various stages. It was essentially Road Rash, minus the bikes.
Conclusion: It's hard to know what to be more pissed about -- that this lackluster port was brought over in the first place or that it will still probably sell due to the sheer number of PS2s out there. Don't be one of those people that gets suckered, though, please?
Conclusion: When looking back on last year’s version of Outlaw Golf 2 we see a game that really didn’t have anything overly wrong with it. Outlaw Golf had some very creative characters that all had really interesting personalities. So does Outlaw Golf 2 improve upon this winning formula? In Outlaw Golf 2 we have a game that sticks with the same formula as the original and never loses sight of that.