Winter is almost over, but that does not mean that it is too late to take a look at one of the countless snowboard games released for the Xbox; Amped 2.
Amped 2 is the Tony Hawk of snowboarding games. It features all the real pro snowboarders you have seen on ESPN during the Winter X Games and all the pro snowboard brands such as Burton, Forum and 4 Square. Amped 2 tries to be a somewhat more realistic snowboard game than, for example, SSX 3. In Amped 2 it’s almost impossible to pull off those huge airs and massive combos that you have come to know from other snowboard games and this unfortunately ruins the fun slightly.
One of the reasons why it’s impossible to do kickass tricks is because of the physics in the game. They play a very important part when doing tricks. One of the most frustrating things about the physics is the landings. If you land a few degrees off you will bail and trust me - you will bail a lot when playing this game.
The core of the game is the career mode. Like its predecessor it’s very good, very challenging and easy to pick up and play. After you setup your ride and have picked your name and a look, you’re ready to go.
As you get better and better you will unlock clothes, boards and new levels. Whenever you reach a new level you can choose whether to just cruise down the mountain and check out the sights or try to complete some of the goals within the level which for the most part include: Impressing a sponsor, doing a cover shot for a magazine etc.
It’s good fun and each mountain have its own unique feel to it.
Unfortunately the controls in Amped 2 are still as unintuitive as they were in the first version. It takes a fair amount of time to get used to them. Learning how to pull off different grabs tricks using the right thumb stick is especially hard.
The graphics in the game are fairly good though the snow seems to be a bit too static at times and the trees are way too pixilated when you get up close and personal with them (which is inevitable). Besides that, the drawing distance in the game is insane; you can almost stand on the top of the mountain and look down and see the goal line.
A big part of games nowadays is the soundtracks, and Amped 2 really kicks it out with a massive soundtrack. The music never stops playing; not even when changing from one mountain to another. It just keeps on going and with over 300 different tunes there should be more than enough to keep everyone entertained for a while.
To draw a conclusion on Amped 2 is a bit hard due to the mixed feelings I have about this game, as I like realistic games. I thought Amped 2 would do more for me than SSX 3 did. But unfortunately it did not. Amped 2 is realistic to the extreme meaning it’s almost impossible to land your kickass tricks and do those combos that can blow the competition out the water. Amped 2’s advantages over SSX 3 are the amazing soundtrack, the real pro snowboarders/companies and the support for Xbox Live. So my final word of advice if you are into snowboarding in real time and are not satisfied by playing SSX 3, you might want to give Amped 2 a shot.