SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
Radical Entertainment

PUBLISHER
THQ

RELEASE
10/99

MTV Sports: Snowboarding Review

By: John Doe


With the winter season approaching, thoughts quickly turn from skateboarding to snowboarding. Personally I think of shoveling all of that damn snow, but many of you might be gearing up for a wild winter ahead on the slopes with your board. And what better way to get in shape for the punishing physical assault than to curl up on the couch and practice all of those wicked moves in the comfort of your home? MTV Sports: Snowboarding allows all the fun of the sport without the mess of those life-altering accidents. That's good enough for me.


Highs:
Lows:

I know what you are thinking: Do we need another snowboarding game in this already overcrowded genre? I've played 4 snowboarding titles this month alone with more on the way. Luckily for you and me MTV's effort is actually pretty decent. It features very good control, fast framerate, good tunes, well-designed mountains, easy to execute tricks and even a create-a-park mode. Let's face it, there's not much else you should expect from a snowboarding game, right?

What it comes down to is control and MTV Sports: Snowboarding delivers. The analog control is tight, reminding me a lot of 1080 Snowboarding on N64. The tricks are easily pulled off with combinations of the R2 button and the d-pad buttons. You are even given an ollie button and a jump button (which can be held down and released) which makes the game control even more intuitive. A quick press of the ollie button near a rail (or other similar object) and your boarder hops on and does his thing. The game control emphasizes stunts and fun, making the game more of an arcade experience. This means that anyone will be able to pick up a controller and start shreddin'.

Snowboarding games are never lacking in white and this game is no different. Sure the mountains are a little sparse but that just translates into more framerate for you. See, you give a little and you get a little. Who's got time to take in the scenery anyway while you are flying down the mountain and doing these sick and twisted stunts in mid-air? The courses are very well designed and offer freedom of movement; you won't be stuck on a narrow track in this game.

Five game modes round out the experience: Training, Qualifying, Challenge, Head-to-Head and Create-a-Park. To make it to the MTV Challenge you have to "Qualify" with 20,000 points first. Qualify mode places you on four mountains found throughout the world; United States, New Zealand, Norway and Japan. Earning points by doing tricks on each mountain is accumulative, which means you could earn 5000 points on each course and make your way to the MTV Challenge. Once in Challenge mode, you'll have to compete in various events that are spread out over the locales. There are 4 to begin with: Mountain X (compete against two CPU opponents, fastest to the bottom, wins), Slopestyle (whoever pulls off the most points for tricks landed, wins), Half-Pipe (pull out your best tricks and give the judges what they want), Big Air (are you man or woman enough to get high?). If playing with a friend, you can look forward to either a time-based race or stunt based race. The Create-a-Park feature is a cool little extra that will allow you to get somewhat imaginative while constructing that dream hill to conquer.

Since this game was produced by MTV Interactive, you should expect a killer soundtrack. Fear Factory, Ministry, Lagwagon, Face to Face and Blink 182 are just a few of the bands featured. My favorite song has to be Fear Factory's remake of Gary Numan's 80's hit, "Cars", although it could be argued that the tune would be more at home in a automobile racing game, but what the heck. Particular attention was paid to the various sound effects of the snowboard on different terrain and it shows.

Complaint Dept. This is more of an observation than a true complaint but it would have been nice to shred through different depths of snow. 1080 for N64 has it over most games in this department. I think it just adds to the reality of the sport. In this game even going up hills that are way off the beaten path are smooth and show no signs of deep snow to hinder your experience. On another topic, having a lot more courses to play would have been ideal. The ones here are great and feature branching paths and shortcuts, but we want more! Hey, that's just a compliment to the game! We wouldn't care how many courses this game had if it sucked, right?

In the end, MTV Sports: Snowboarding carries the torch from X Games Pro Boarder quite nicely. If the other snowboarding games aren't quite your style then you'll do well by this one. MTV Sports: Snowboarding does a good job of providing an arcade style game that is more fun than incredibly deep. Check it out, it's worth a look.

OVERALL
8.5

GRAPHICS
8.0

CONTROL
9.0

MUSIC/FX
8.5

FRUSTRATION
3.0

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