1080 Avalanche takes
cube owners to the slopes again in a very different way that they would
have been used to with SSX Tricky. Yes they are snowboarding titles and
yes graphically they are both lush to look at. Pumping soundtracks are
there also, however Avalanche takes the more serious route in gameplay
options and produces a more realistic sort of game. The funny thing
about this title is that they haven't really done much to take it to the
next level especially in the face of the what was and has been
accomplished with the EA franchise in SSX Tricky, I get more of the
feeling that they are simply following on the success of the first
iteration of the title on the N64 and really there is not a great deal
more that they've brought to the party other than some graphical
improvements and a little bit of trick improvement.
One thing that I will
give this game is that it truly looks magnificent and has been developed
to run fast and smooth on the Cube. The emphasis seems to be on the
downhill race in this game and not focussing on hangtime or getting the
big tricks nailed. It succeeded 100% in this case, but we've gotten so
used to Tricky and the Tony Hawk games that anything else simply doesn't
cut it. One of the first things that I was trying to do was a trick and
I'm sitting here staring at the controller when it simply wasn't
happening. You are guaranteed a rush when you are lucky enough to get to
a level that features an avalanche, which quite frankly is sensational
from every single aspect of where I am sitting as the reviewer. It's all
there, however it simply doesn't happen enough to save the title.
The physics of this
game are really nice to get into and make for an entertaining
experience, you just get the impression that the guys haven't had a
stretch before they started skiing for you. The characters are also
pretty uninspiring, unlike the exciting and vibrant player characters
who inhabit the game world in those other games. There are a number of
effects with deep snow, falling branches and other environmental hazards
that are recreated with sensational effect.
I did notice that at
some stages the framerate did stutter a bit when the going got tough but
it's not something that will effect the game to the point of being
unplayable. It's simply there and it is a bit surprising to encounter
this on a first party Cube title.
The audio in this game
is really nice and in fact I can put this one down as being almost
flawless. Everything is taken care of with great clarity and the game
supports Dolby ProLogic II to accentuate the gameplay experience. It's
mainly a licensed techno soundtrack with a few rock tracks thrown in for
good measure. Actual in game sounds though are the real stars that shine
through this experience.
say that you will enjoy this title for the most part, however remember
here that the focus is on speed and winning the race as opposed to doing
tricks. The avalanches are stunning and general graphics in the game
look great too. Some of you might want to give this one a rent before
jumping in with the buy but as long as you understand what you are
getting then you are going to be in for a very fun experience.
Recommended with a caution.