1080° Snowboarding Review

Developed by the same team that brought us Wave Race 64 comes 1080 Snowboarding. The most striking element about the game is its graphics. The scenery is detailed and believable. One minute you’ll be boarding across a powdery section only to be thrust into a city the next, complete with rooftop ramps and cars. The animation is also top-notch and realistic, going as far as clothes blowing in the wind.

The courses are all unique and offer their own shortcuts, forks, and lots of opportunities for big air. There are plenty of characters and boards to choose from, meaning you’ll find someone who’s just right for you. This is also one of the best N64 soundtracks to date. All the tunes are enjoyable and some even feature lyrics. Sound effects are nice as well.

While the presentation is nice, the control is the game’s biggest strength. It’s highly technical and takes some time to get the hang of, but it’s worth it. This title addresses some issues of snowboarding (the sport) that few games have. The Z button, for example, crouches your character. This helps increase your speed but is also used when landing. If you land and crouch the instant you hit, you stand a better chance of surviving. Also important is your center of gravity, as you need to land at an upright angle out of every jump to get the points or keep up speed.

On hand are several modes of play, from the typical Match Race to Trick mode (go for the most points), Time Attack, Training (use it often), Contest, and Two Player Versus mode. All of these will keep you glued to your board for months on end as you unlock secrets and compete with a friend. When all is said and done, if you’re a racing or boarding fan you must own this game. It’s got the looks, the gameplay, the great tunes, and it is one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences on the system since Wave Race 64.

Graphics

The best-looking snowboarding game available to date. Textures, lighting, character animation: it’s all perfect.

Sound

A fun and high quality soundtrack with perfectly suited sound effects.

Enjoyment

The game has a steep learning curve, but it’s still great fun.

Replay Value

The numerous modes and two-player option will keep you playing long into the night, but the lack of tracks hurts 1080’s overall score.

Documentation

Not only does the manual explain all the technical moves, but it comes with a quick reference sheet too!

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