Stoked: Big Air Edition Hands-On

Last season's most critically acclaimed snowboarding game is getting an enhanced greatest hits version.

After Shaun White Snowboarding was released to a lukewarm critical reception late last year, it looked like fans of the genre were in line for a disappointing winter. Then February rolled around, bringing with it a relatively obscure game called Stoked courtesy of Austrian developer Bongfish. Suffice it to say, Stoked wasn't a game that was on a whole lot of people's radars, but the finished product garnered quite a bit of critical acclaim for shirking the unnecessary glitz of "extreme" sports games and focusing on the basics of snowboarding. Now Bongfish is working on Stoked: Big Air Edition, an enhanced version of the original that's looking to win over those who passed on the game when it was first released.

A touched-up graphics engine means better snow particles…

The big addition to Stoked: Big Air Edition is a pair of two new mountains to go with the original five. Those new chunks of snow-covered earth are Laax and K2 (more commonly known as the tallest non-Everest mountain in the world). We had the chance to check out both of these new mountains. While Laax feels like a fairly traditional resort mountain, K2 has a much more rugged look and offers a more thrilling riding experience than any of the mountains we can recall from the original game. You'll find lots of exposed rock, big drops, and wide-open slopes--in other words, terrain befitting the mountain's exotic reputation.

New trails will also be included on all the mountains in the game. The fact that Stoked presented open-world mountains was sort of a blessing and a curse because you were offered ample freedom to approach each event however you liked, but it was rather easy to get lost. Those new trails will be groomed pathways that help provide an optional sense of direction; sort of like roads leading down the mountain that don't have to be followed. One incentive to following these groomed trails, though, is that they seem to have plenty of trick obstacles clustered around them, meaning you don't have to go wandering around to find a handrail hidden in the woods.

One of the other features to be introduced in Big Air Edition is a collection of new racing events. You'll find various downhill, checkpoint-style races spread throughout each of the game's mountains with a system that records the best times from everyone who's playing online and lets you go against the best times in the world. Naturally, there are new multiplayer racing events as well, though we didn't get a chance to try those events.

..and a slightly faster frame rate.

Various subtle enhancements will also make their way into Big Air Edition. The graphics engine has been tweaked to allow for more realistic snow effects when carving down the mountain, including more realistic spray following your rider as he or she carves through clumps of powder. The default camera's also been set a bit farther back and now offers a new trick where it'll pull back in cinematic fashion when you hit the apex of a huge jump. Also new to Big Air Edition is a new collection of winter 2010 gear and clothing from the various real-world brands in the game, as well as two new professional riders, Gigi Ruf and Romain de Marchi.

Stoked: Big Air Edition is currently slated for release on November 24. Like its predecessor, Big Air Edition will only be available on the Xbox 360. You can expect to see more coverage on some of the multiplayer aspects in the coming months.

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Discussion

32 comments
_CaptainHappy_
_CaptainHappy_

guys stoked 1 sucked why would this be any different they tell you to do a double kick flip or something seems simple enough, but you have to read and learn how to do every trick or go back to a website for the controls to it. think you don't have to and you can get by no it doesn't work that way and for a game with this many buyers you think one person would play multilayer.Also once you learn the controls you realize there different from other snowboarding games. you do get cool snowboarding gear but your limited to 5 different things 4 of which you hate. just like the last game this will sell for 60 bucks everyone will buy it and in 2 months the price drops to 30.

smookert010
smookert010

who cares if its realistic or not... as long as its fun gameplay I just hope there is splitscreen is this game

jedd15
jedd15

want it so bad, has anyone seen it in australia. where do i get it??

rangeraa
rangeraa

ssx was definitely the furthest thing from real your going to get

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

Was ssx realistic or not? It looked pretty fake to me as us real snowboarders like realism.

Pirate19
Pirate19

You said it sanechupp, ssx3 still has yet to be topped as far as I'm concerned. Moby all the way, UBER2 OMFG!!!!

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

Glad I own a 360 as I need a snowboarding game that is not SW. First one was good and hope this one is awesome!

JoetheMoe
JoetheMoe

just picked up stoked. it's decent maybe this edition will be solid

volcomstoner180
volcomstoner180

oh wow this better have some park riding in it...i have stoked and like it, but it really could you some upgrading cause the rails (logs) and it just seems kinda half baked....but for 40 bucks ill prolly get this...and another 1000 gs haha

Tuplavee
Tuplavee

Anyone know, if this is coming to pal? and when, or should i go and buy the original edition?

sanechupp
sanechupp

I'd rather play SSX 3, needs to be more SSX games

dc337
dc337

I have Stoked and it's not even close to being as good as Skate. It lacks polish and the mountains feel dull. The challenges are mostly lame, do a trick off a log or jump and repeat 100x times. It has potential but needs work.

Psy_m_on
Psy_m_on

QWERTYCommander, your 100% correct. in my opnion ssx was de best snowboarding series i ever played, kinda odd they don't make a next gen sequal :S

tigerspew
tigerspew

AUS release would be great. For both the original AND this version.

Uberpink
Uberpink

i just hope the big air version comes to europe soon,not have to wait a year, otherwise im ending up with stoked now ,and then stoked bigair version later,,, that means two similar games hm,,,, im confused,,,,,, or can u upgrade to stoked bigair IF u have stoked?

Gornax
Gornax

Kinda lame when it is austrian developers and the friggin game didnt release before september this year in europe, and february earlier this year in usa....makes no sense.

rob_42
rob_42

australian release.... please?

shoelaces-4-all
shoelaces-4-all

@DFen Stoked is decent, its kind of like Amped 2 mixed with Skate but not as polished. This new version might have some of the glitches worked out though. Shaun White however is barely even playable and thats rough for a snowboarding game. Shaun White was easily the worst game I played last year and one of the worst most poorly developed games i have ever played and I say that with no hesitation whatsoever.

QWERTYCommander
QWERTYCommander

This might tide me over for a new SSX (C'mon EA! It's been 2 years already!) but I might need to convince my older brother to get it, since it's his 360.

Death_Lord_2004
Death_Lord_2004

Ooooo a snowboarding game, haven't played one since SSX 3 so i might pick this one up as it looks like a realgood one :)

shaunmc
shaunmc moderator staff

@never-named Hey now, I said most critically acclaimed *snowboarding* game. I never said it was a AAA game.

Derek_3
Derek_3

hope its split screen unlike shawn white, and just better overall

DFen
DFen

idk not sure which one to try out stoked or shaun white are any of them good ? last snowboarding game I played was amped 3 that was a while back lol

datniccah187
datniccah187

I was going to get stoked last winter i dont know why i didn't lol. I'll probally pick this up if the price is dropped. We'll c

never-named
never-named

I wouldn't exactly call an average score of 7.2 critically acclaimed, but Stoked was a pretty fun game.

Niner0
Niner0

Will this be available in Europe? Please tell me it will...

shoelaces-4-all
shoelaces-4-all

@aerialstrike ohhhh man I hate the Shaun White hype. I hate him soooooo much, he reminds me of carrot top but of snowboarding rather than comedy... most of all... hes a dirty pirate hooker man, a dirty filthy pirate hooker.

aerialstrike
aerialstrike

im a ps3 owner and a big absinthe films fan, its just disappointing that they released this exclusive on the xbox. anyone who calls themselves snowboarders definitely knows that shaun white isnt the greatest shredder alive its nicolas muller, no trick can beat pure style and board control.

MrT__
MrT__

Well thats just great of them, seeing as the regular Stoked is only being released in Europe for the first time tomorrow (2nd)!