An almost unplayable mess.
First of all, I have never seen the point of 'racing' in snowboarding/skateboarding games. For me, it's all about the tricks, and thats where 1080 falls flat on its face in the snow. Literally. The controls are extremely stiff and counter intuitive. For example, in order to perform a 360 degree spin, you have to crank the stick round in a circle while jamming on the R button. To do a 720 spin, you have to do this twice in a row, and taking into account that there is about two seconds of delay between pressing the buttons and the boarder reacting on the screen, this is an unpleasantly futile task to try and pull off, and no, my controller isn't broken!
One of my biggest gripes is the 'trick attack' mode. Most of the runs are almost completely devoid of jumps to trick from, and the arthritic controls mean that when a ramp does appear, you can just about fit a 180 spin with a short grab before you have to release the buttons in time to align your board PERFECTLY with the ground in order to land. Even if you board is only slightly skewed or tilted, you will crash land. The time limit also irritates me. Why have a time limit when gravity and the hill constrain the amount of time you spend on the run?
The runs are laid out like race tracks, and are very enclosed. They feel almost claustrophobic at times. In games like Amped freestyle snowboarding for the original Xbox (I know, a newer console, but my point still stands), the runs are wide open, with a huge variety of routes and different ramps to choose from.
The racing aspect of the game works ok, but it gets rather boring quite quickly, as there is little sense of pace, and if you go over a jump, there is a high chance of crash landing, which puts you miles behind the computer opponent.
The graphics are pretty good for the N64. There is minimal pop up, and the game runs pretty smoothly. The characters are detailed, and the animations are very good. The courses do look a little bland however, with little background detail and little variation in the appearances of the different courses. The music is very bad.
This game was probably good for this time, but for a newcomer to the N64, like me, there are much better choices of great games for the system out there. If your craving extreme sports action on your '64, you're better off with the classic Tony Hawk series. I suppose that 1080 tries to be a realistic snowboarding game, rather than an arcade physics defier, but i'm afraid that I just don't have any patience to persevere any further with this game.