Trick'N Snowboarder Review

By: John Doe

Q. How many video game companies does it take to change a light bulb? A. Only one, but first they have to make a snowboarding game. Okay, so not only did that make no sense at all, it wasn't even funny. But it's so darned true. Capcom enters the crowded shreddin' market with a game that at least tries to come up with an original take on the tried, tested and true snowboarding gameplay; namely a 1 player mode that has you auditioning your best tricks for a primadonna producer of snowboard videos. It's a cool idea that actually works. The gameplay itself isn't revolutionary but it's solid.


All that you could want in a snowboarding game is here: tight control, tons of locales, easy to execute tricks and best of all, fast framerate and nice graphics. Sure, TNS sounds a lot like other snowboarding games out there, but the others don't have Capcom at the helm. It's the classic Capcom twist on a basic idea that makes this game stand out a little more from the crowd. What other company would bother to flesh out a story for a simple snowboarding game? The 1 player mode involves making a video and you are about to audition for the role. If you can put on your best tricks in front of the cameras, you'll do fine. If not, you'll be sent home with a steak in your belly and your tail between your legs. Hey, that's showbiz fella. The tracks each sport four camera locations where you must perform your best tricks. At first I thought, "What a crazy idea," and then I saw the genius behind it. In regular games you can go down the mountain and blow it constantly and still win the race. In TNS you aren't racing, you are being forced to be professional and pull off those amazing stunts at certain intervals on the track. Talk about pressure. Score enough points and you'll be invited to do more videos in other locations. In all there are over 14 tracks available in TNS, with a bunch of secret Capcom characters to unlock. Resident Evil anyone, wink wink...

The control of the game is easy to get into and won't have you fumbling for things while playing. The stunts are fairly easy to execute with practice and soon you'll be hitting the white stuff like a pro. The tracks are littered with jumps and run the gamut from wide-open mountains to narrow village passageways. The framerate is fast and allows your downhill journey to be a smooth ride.

The downside to the one player mode is the ease at which it can be beat. Due to the excellent control, average players will be able to get through the one player game fairly quickly. So, when that's done, move on to the more challenging and exciting two-player mode. The two-player mode can be played from either a horizontal or vertical split-screen or even the often-neglected link cable. Personally I'd go for the link cable option, but too many that is simply impossible. Luckily the framerate remains constant in the two-player mode so the enjoyment level is retained even on one television. As you might guess, two player challenges consist of combinations of timed races and stunt races or both.

Complaint Dept. You might argue that aside from the video making scenario there isn't much here that is new or innovative. I can't argue with that, but the sport itself only consists of a few things: a mountain with snow, a snowboard and a person willing to risk life and limb. My only complaint is with the level of difficulty but even that is subjective. Some of you might find it the toughest game you've ever played. Who knows? My take on it is, if you've played a snowboarding game before you'll know what to expect.

There you have it. If you can't get enough of video shreddin' then check this game out. It has some features that you've at least never seen in a video game before. I love the challenge of performing for the cameras, although some might find it too limiting. If the scenario mode doesn't cut it for you then the challenge of two-player mode will do it. If you don't have any friends, then whose problem is that? Try brushing your teeth every once in awhile maybe. In the end TNS is not Capcom's best work, but they've done enough brilliant games to warrant just a "decent" game every now and then. TNS is a good night or two worth of fun for one player and a hoot and a half for two players.






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