Going on a Downhill Jam

At long last, a game review. Vicarious Vision’s latest skateboarding game for the Nintendo DS, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam is nothing short of a marvel. As its name implies, it is a downhill racer, with an emphasis on tricks and speed. Gameplay wise, it is very fast, and the cell-shaded graphics accentuate the feeling of speeding downhill.

The first thing that grabs you about this game is the soundtrack! Developers somehow managed to fit in several songs into the DS’ capacity-challenged cartridge and I’m not talking MIDI stuff here…more like MP3! The game starts off with the character creation process, which is pretty comprehensive. I modelled my character after a certain controversial Japanese fella.

The main single player game mode would be the World Tour. You’ll be skating your character through challenges and competitions, which will unlock different locations in a world map. Be sure to go through the lessons first before embarking on the Tour, or any other single player modes, otherwise you’ll be like a duck out of water.

The level of customization is astounding for a handheld game. Change your character’s gear (shirts, pants, hair styles and skates and use the money earned through the game to purchase more stuff. Even with the usual suspects such as a logo editor and a special moves editor, the developers put in a sound editor for players to add in their own voice cues.

I’ve not tried out the Wireless play but this game is WFC enabled. This means that you can race with other gamers from all over the world via Nintendo’s free WFC service.

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