E3 2002: 1080: White Storm impressions

Nintendo shows an early version of its upcoming snowboarding game for the GameCube.

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Today at its E3 press conference, Nintendo showed 1080: White Storm for the GameCube. The sequel to the popular Nintendo 64 snowboarding game, White Storm will have multiple gameplay modes, including match race, trick attack, contest, and a training mode that includes both half-pipe and big-air events. The game will include surprise avalanches that will break free with no warning and follow the rider down the course, rock slides, and a wide variety of weather conditions that will affect the control of your snowboard and unlock new areas of the course.

The game's visuals were quite impressive: a bump-mapped snow surface and particle effects were put to good use to demonstrate rooster tails of snow being kicked up by the carving boards, and clothes realistically flap in the wind when your rider gains enough speed. Plus, there are sections in each course where you may break through barriers to find fresh powder. Speaking of which, boards will realistically disappear under the snow when your rider is cruising through deep powder. The courses look a bit plain in the game's present state, but the draw distance is impressive, as you are able to see a good distance down the mountain. The courses also appear to be fairly wide, with multiple branching paths.

Currently scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2003, 1080: White Storm is shaping up quite nicely. Look for our hands-on preview of the game from the E3 show floor later this week.

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