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Parents' Guide to

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

By Jeremy Gieske, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Amazing skating game, amazingly bad behavior.

Game PlayStation 2 , Xbox 2005
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Awesome game, terrible role models

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (or THAW as everyone calls it) is a skateboarding game developed by Neversoft. While the main point of the story mode is to build the ultimate skatepark, the characters steal everything using outlandish techniques that would never work in real life, including blowing up the Hollywood sign! One of the first things you experience in the game is 2 Punks (that's actually what they're called) stealing your character's bag, and telling him to "go back to Ken-sucky". Shortly after, you learn a few tricks, take on one of the Punks in a skateboarding duel, and when you win, the dude runs around with your bag, and the only way to get him to drop it is by smacking him upside the head with your board. Character language is limited to a few curse words here and there, but no audible F-bombs. Only a few instances where it is implied that it's said, but it's bleeped out. The strongest audible one I heard was "Sh**". However, there are a lot of songs with very strong language that are in the default soundtrack of the game. While the F-bombs are either edited out or drowned out by other sounds, if you actually listen to the words of the songs, you'll know when they say stuff like that. But even then, a few strong words slip through. Every now and then, you'll get a poorly cleaned up F-bomb, or the straight up N-word. Language is very plentiful in the soundtrack, but that can be muted. In terms of making money, you can take on some simple challenges such as learning new tricks on BMX, or simple skate challenges from a homeless guy who will give you hundreds of dollars in sets of 20. But the one that the game seems to promote the most is spray painting graffiti in certain places. Sexual content is surprisingly common, especially in Beverly Hills, where you can see posters of breast enlargement advertisements, and two cardboard cutouts of women in their underwear for a tuxedo advertisement. And later in the game, there is one scene where a man ditches a deal with your character after seeing a boat full of women in bikinis. This causes your character to start yelling, with strong language drowned out by the boat horn. And to top it all off, the role absolutely horrible. Most of the time, you have to run away from the cops, or do things behind government officials' backs. All in all, the story mode isn't the greatest idea for easily influenced children, but the rest of the game is fine.
age 16+
This is the first skateboard game we've had to take out of play for our 9 and 13 year old boys. They love skateboarding, and have gotten very good at this game, it is just not appropriate for them. The language, blood, and bad behavior are not something we promote in our house. Parents beware-- the bad attitudes of the skaters and characters in this game might just rub off on your kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (7 ):

A long string of successes propelled the Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games into a mega-franchise. Packed to the half-pipe with goodies, Tony Hawk: American Wasteland is perhaps the best effort in years. The skating is fantastic, and several modes of play keep players engaged, from a solid story mode to exciting online play.

Overall the game proves, hands down, it is the best skateboarding game out there. Parents may cringe over some of the bad behavior, but teens will love the outrageous tricks, the wide-open world to explore, and the first-class gameplay that they have come to expect from Tony Hawk games.

Game Details

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