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New snowboarding game familiar, fun
Wednesday, 15 June 2005




With Tony Hawk dominating the extreme sports genre, it's no surprise that snowboarding games have more trouble getting some recognition from sports fans. With the only two contenders being Playstation's SSX series and Nintendos 1080 series, Xbox hasn't seen a good snowboarding game since the first Amped that debuted in 2001.
There haven't been many changes to Amped 2, but why revise a game that was great in the first place?

Xbox Live owners will be happy to hear that this is also the first snowboarding game with the online feature, on any system to date.

Amped 2 has similar controls to the Tony Hawk games, so players who are familiar with the controls can jump right in. The left thumbstick controls the characters movements, flips and rotations, while the right thumbstick takes care of the grabs.

The game can be very unforgiving if the player doesn't release the grab before they hit the ground, or if they land sideways.

This guarantees that the player has to have the right experience to move onto the higher levels. Players can't just run through the career mode. The difficulty will keep people playing for quite a long time, battling to reach the top spot.

The point of the game is easy to earn as many points as possible until you reach the end of the run. More points mean more stats and levels. There are plenty of other objectives though, such as sponsorship tryouts and magazine shoots.

Together, there are five game modes. Career mode and Free Ride are used for single player, while Just Ride, Session and XSN Sports are based around multiplayer and online gameplay. The difference between Free Ride and Just Ride is that Just Ride allows for up to eight players to play on the same mountain.

The graphics on this game are amazing. The character models are beautiful and the mountains look realistic. The snow shines in the sunlight and glows by moonlight. Microsoft Game Studios really went out of their way to bring gamers the best looking snowboard game to date.

Amped 2 supports custom soundtracks, so if players find the music to be annoying, they can load music stored on their hard drive. The music that Microsoft chose for the game could have been a lot better, so I found myself being thankful this game supported the custom soundtrack feature. The sound effects make up for the bland music, with the realistic sounds of grinding on a rail and landing on fresh snow.

Amped 2 will please both online and offline crowds alike. With beautiful graphics, addicting gameplay and online capability, Amped 2 will keep fans excited for quite a while.

Overall: 9/10
By Travis Allshouse
For the Leader Times
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Travis Allshouse is a student columnist from Karns City High School

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