9

This is the kind of game that's easy to pick up and play at any time.

This very well-named snowboard game is an experience that will keep you coming back for many additional runs. I'm not a snowboarder and I don't like extreme sports games very much, but this game really had me hooked from the start.

Graphics:
The reason why I decided to give it a go in the first place was the graphics. The graphics are crystal clear, crisp and very well drawn, with small details in the backdrops. The lightning and shadow effects are elite, the animations as you execute the moves (that are pretty few) are top-notch. In the career mode you get to try to impress the photographers and the media-people. If you succeed you get "Media coverage" that is displayed as Monty Python style animations. Cool idea. The overall layout of the game is state-of-the-art and you won't want to put the controller down for a long time. It's a very animated game with a lot of things happening all the time. Before you throw yourself downhill you get to customize the boarder and dress him or her in various kinds of gear and clothes from sponsored brands in all the colors of the rainbow. There is tons of stuff to be unlocked as you impress various sponsors on special "sponsor" tracks. What I find the most amazing about the visual aspect of the game is the range of vision which is huge and there is almost no pop-up at all and everything looks great including the snow and how it "behaves" and interacts with you as you plunge through it. The physics in general are very good I think, and you really get a sense of being up in the air, performing all those tricks. Whether the gear and the tracks/locations look like they do in real life I'm not the one to say, since I don't even watch (real) snowboarding, but the tracks in the game are very well designed and fun.
90%

Sound:
The sound-effects in this game are the best I've heard on the Xbox so far. The sound as you grind or hit stone is really good. As well as the cool tunes you get to hear of various surf/skate (/snowboard?) punk-rock. Even the scratching sounds you hear as you browse through the menus are cool. In the game, as you fail to do a trick or if you swoosh past a press-guy people will scream at you and comment on your lack of ability in a very realistic way and the taunts sound very situation sensitive and works perfectly. "Why don't you call it a day?" and "Yeah, you rule… not!" are my favorites. There is an "explore" challenge on each stage/location in which you are to find 10 snowmen and run through them. They are humming and whistling so you can hear if they're near. They will also call out a hilarious "Hey, amigo!" if you get very close and they have a "death-yell" as well. HILARIOUS!
Also, if you almost hit a photographer he will cry out "Pay attention, man!" awesomeness.
90%

Game-play:
This is the kind of game that's easy to pick up and play at any time. Since the game flows so well and the controls are spot on (apart from the spinning… more on that soon) it's just a thrill to play. To "finish" the game you need to complete a set of challenges at each location. There are four kinds of challenges; the first one is High-score, which you need a certain amount of points to beat. There's the Media challenge that you complete by executing tricks in the near vicinity of press-people, your boarder will be in a camera lens thingy when you are close enough for the photographer to shoot. The third challenge is the Pro, where you'll follow in the tracks of a pro-snowboarder, trying to exceed his score. Finally, there's the "sponsor" challenge where you have to impress a sponsor by doing tricks that he or she likes, to make them AMPED! As a bonus, there is also the aforementioned Explore challenge. Completing challenges ranks you higher in the world rankings and unlocks new challenges, tracks, boards, clothes, media coverage etc. Personally, I find it very satisfying to succeed in the really cool tricks and it's great fun to do the "impossible" stunts, like railing the electrical wiring and skid fallen trees over ditches etc. The spin-controls are a bit flimsy though as you tend to fall flat many times because the spin controls don't really work together with the way your boarder behaves, which makes it difficult to predict how much you will spin. This can get frustrating at times. Other than that it's a solid title that's also good with a few beers. You can actually SKIP the exercise and GAIN weight at the same time! Come on, you know you want it.
91%

Lastability:
There is a plethora of unlockables in this game, which you'll want to unlock. The career-mode is really cool and very long, especially if you want to complete all the challenges and try out new stuff. Combined with the fact that this game is also easy to pick up if you've got half an hour to spare after work before the wife comes home, it has a longevity that exceeds most other games. Personally I also like to enjoy this with a few beers and a few good friends.
86%

Overall:
A nice game that looks, plays and sounds good with lots of things to do.
89%

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