|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Coldwood Interactive AB||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Valcon Games LLC||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 24, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Some will also find the stunt-only courses a little annoying; little more than a distraction from the core racing experience. They're a frustrating distraction, at that, because it's hard to keep track of, not to mention accurately select with the joystick, eight different tricks that take different amounts of time to pull off. You'll be wiping out a lot until you get the feel for it.
Perhaps our biggest complaint about career mode is that there's no way to adjust the difficulty. It would be nice to get the hang of the game on an easier setting, and then ramp it up, rather than being dumped into a difficulty that will be too much for some and too little for hardcore racing fanatics. Even though the game lets you retry races immediately as many times as you'd like, if you leave a race or stunt course too many times before beating it, you can actually fail it.
In terms of presentation, the game is usually acceptable, but it's never dazzling. The graphics aren't very detailed, and hiccups in the framerate, while occasional, can get distracting. The sound effects work well, but the music is a repetitive blend of pop-punk tunes, some of which are too whiny to fit the adrenalized mood of the game, and all of which get old quickly. The loading times are far longer than they should be, especially when all that's loading is an image of a snowmobile you just unlocked. Most frustrating is that we managed, on several occasions, to get locked into loading loops: we'd wait for the game to load, it would tell us to press start and we would, it would start loading again, and the whole process would repeat. Fortunately, it doesn't seem as if we lost any save information that way.
Still, all in all, the fun racing action and the budget price tag incline us to recommend this game. It's a lot of fun and takes a good day of gameplay to conquer, making for a nice value-to-cost ratio.
CCC Freelance Writer