Activision stopped by today with an updated version of Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder for the PlayStation 2. Following in the footsteps of Activision's popular Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise, Shaun Palmer includes an extensive combo-based trick system and obstacles strategically located on the mountain that allow for strings of tricks and combos to be completed. According to Activision, there are 75 tricks included in the latest build, and they may be linked together using manuals or butters to keep the combos going between obstacles. If you find yourself out of position to land a trick, you may press the recover button to ensure a safe landing.
There are 10 real-world riders included, such as Ross Powers, Tara Dakides, and the game's namesake, Shaun Palmer. Each of the eight courses features branching paths and warp points that can be ridden into to take you back to the top of the mountain. Much like Activision's Tony Hawk series, there are a bevy of objectives to complete in each course. Some ask you to accumulate a certain number of points, while others ask you to discover hidden objects or perform tricks on specific obstacles. As you complete objectives, you are awarded with new sponsors.
The multiplayer modes included in Shaun Palmer are quite extensive. The trick-attack mode asks that you accumulate more points than your competitor as you cruise down the hill. The trick-boost mode awards you with increased attributes as you land tricks. The most exciting of all the multiplayer modes is called the push mode. The push mode is a battle for window space. If you begin tearing it up, your window will become larger. The player whose screen is depleted first is the loser. Shaun Palmer also includes the rudimentary horse mode where you must duplicate your competitor's tricks.
In addition to a solid trick system and smooth control, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder also includes a create-a-rider option that lets you craft a rider in your own likeness. There are currently 10 bands signed for the soundtrack and three more on the way. The groups included are representative of Shaun Palmer's own taste in music. Groups like Static X, Alien Ant Farm, and Nine Millimeter round out the roster.
The version Activision brought here today was pre-alpha, so there should be plenty more improvements instituted in this already impressive game before its release later this year.