Stoked XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.6
Graphics 8.5
Sound 8.5
Value 8.6
Distributor: QVS
Classification:
G+
Review Date:
November 2009
Reviewer:
Kyle Sudukis

8.5


Stoked

This well made and little known snowboarding game is probably the most realistic and surprisingly entertaining games that has graced the world of console gaming in a long time. At its heart, Stoked is an adrenaline pumping snowboard game that allows gamers to display their prowess on the snow and of course pull off a variety of tricks that would make Tony Hawke proud.

With a snazzy menu system, the gamer must first create their avatar before engaging in the world of Stoked which include sex and which country they are from. Once you have chosen your virtual snowboarder, you're basically read to hit the slopes but first, you need to select which gameplay mode you'll try first.

Still feeling a little out of your water? Thankfully Stoked features a rather short but in-depth tutorial to teach you in the ins and outs of this game. From there, it's time to check out one of the short or long gameplay modes.

The gameplay of Stoked works quite well and is mapped well on the XBox 360 controller, although the learning curve is probably around the medium level because there of the tricks.

The left analog stick is used to controller your body, whereas the right stick is used to control your board and by pushing this up, it will allow you to get air and then of course, attempt one of the very cool snowboarding maneuvers. The key to Stoked is acquiring "fame points"  that allows new events, gear, locations and sponsors to be unlocked and these are awarded to the gamer competing challenges and events.

Although you can explore the gaming environment on your own and compete in a variety of events to gain popularity, there is even a career mode type element to the game that has the player getting sponsors and ala Skate, a photographer will film your exploits.

As you do pull off the various maneuvers in the game, the player is awarded points for succeeding and of course, the better you do, the more points you are awarded. Needless to say, some of these tricks are quite frustrating but gamers who are familiar with most skating games, will easily be able to transfer themselves onto a snowboard and on the snow. The career mode is fun as you attempt to get real-world sponsors such as Burton and the like and does add itself to this realistic snowboarding title.

Apart from single-player mode, Stoked features some interesting online challenges  such as "Trick" where players must select a trick to pull off and if they succeed, their opponent must also mimic this move.

Another fun move is "The Ground is Lava" where you need to do jumps and tricks to stay off the snow as long as possible which can be quite challenging at times but very rewarding if you manage to succeed. With a variety of different online challenges, Stoked is definitely as fun a game in single-player as it is in multiplayer.

Graphically, the game is visually a good looking game and the 3D environments are great which mimic the real-world snowfields quite well. As you're playing in the "snow", the backgrounds are a little Spartan but it actually works well. Your snowboarder is animated well, especially how he or she interacts with the gaming environment. The game even contains some great realistic weather conditions which look quite decent on the 360.

The overall presentation of the game is great, especially how the developers have created a variety of great designs on the boards and when you reach certain levels of game, you appear in magazines which is definitely a great incentive. To compliment the graphics, Stoked features a pumping soundtrack and all the sounds you would expect to hear on the slopes which go well with the gameplay.

In conclusion, Stoked is probably one of the most competent snowboarding games available that although has a rather high learning curve, if you do manage to put in the time, the gameplay mechanics will definitely be rewarding enough. Although it won't change the extreme sport gaming market, it does give the gamer a choice, besides the tedious skating market.

Interesting and fun to say the least!






 
 



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