“ Genre: Sports „
The PS2 has finally gotten its first COMPLETE snowboarding game. It isn't a boring simulation like ESPN, and it isn't just boarding downhill with over-the-top and patently unrealistic effects like distracting fireworks or huge scoring mulitiplier stars. It has a great balance of realism and goofy fun. The graphics are not as colorful as SSX, but they are about on par with it. As far as comparisons to ESPN go, CB2K1 has much prettier graphics where ESPN's graphics were horribly boring (all white seemingly with no eye candy). The sound in a snowboarding game is admittedly sparse, and this game isn't much of an exception, but one cannot expect much more than snow swooshing and angst-ridden and guitar-heavy alternarock to permeate the aural canals. Probably the best-playing snowboarding game of all time. The moves are much easier to pull off than SSX, (save the special move), and are very Tony Hawk-like; directional button 1 of 8 ways coupled with a press of the X button. Throw in 180 degree rotations with the L2 and R2 buttons, tweaks with square and flips and such with the circle and you've got it covered. Also, triangle grinds downed trees and the like and, as is the apparent standard in "Xtreme" sports games, holding down X to build-up speed. The thing that is cooler here than in SSX is that you can still turn left or right in the snow while the X button is held. Nother is more frustrating in SSX when you hold X to build speed and you realize you are not quite centered with the forthcoming jump, so you have to release X (which causes an unwanted jump) and square yourself with the upcoming jump and then hold X again.......AARGH!!! That is frustrating. CB2K1 is fortunate to come out later than SSX and remedy that problem. What also sets the gameplay apart is that racing and doing tricks is more balanced. SSX seems more like simple boring racing. And while it has a showoff mode, it sort of feels tacked on. CB2K1 has muc
h, much wider courses as well, so maneuverability is far easier. Also Tony Hawk-like is the sequences on the different mode types for each course. The game asks you to do a dozen or so different things (called sequences; i.e. grind a downed tree, jump over a cliff, and land in a grind on a downed tree underneath) and the track is littered with trick opportunities, hidden lines and each of the aforementioned sequence is denoted by a pot with smoke arising from it color-coded with the color of the sequence that can be seen from the pause menu. I'm also relieved to see this has a halfpipe mode where SSX did not. This just proves CB2K1 is more trick-oriented and less race-oriented. All in all very tight control and a cornucopia of different play modes, tracks and characters make this THE snowboard game to get...on ANY system! The only 2 ways this is inferior to SSX is in color and character design. However, SSX' color was WAAAAAAAAY over-the-top. I'm surprised I haven't heard any stories of kids suffering from epilepsy from the color and everything that's happening on the screen in SSX. The characters in SSX seemed to be comprised of more polygons, perhaps, and just appear more detailed. But the draw distance, lack of pop-up and smooth speed (probably 60 FPS) rival and, really, surpass SSX by a bit. Maybe because I prefer games closer to reality coupled with instances of fantasy as opposed to SSX with dream world courses do I prefer CB2K1 greatly over SSX in the graphical realm. CB2K1 makes the player feel (or just me at least) that these are real world areas with just the right amount of fantasy thrown in for good measure; never getting too crazy (a la SSX) or way too subdued and boring (a la ESPN). It's also blazing fast, but never too fast. Like noted earlier, sound doesn't come into play too much in a snowboarding game. But, like the graphics, the sound is more realistic and not wild, crazy and (goofy?) like SS
X. Those with A.D.D. need not buy this game. There will be no firework explosions emanating from the speakers. Yes, the riders voices get annoying within the first hour (can be turned off) and the music is either lovable or hatable (also can be turned off), but this is also the case with SSX. Since we are even with sound between the two, what puts CB2K1 above SSX is the realistic sound effects. From boarding through powder, ice and packed powder the sounds change. The sound of grinding on rails and trees is also quite pleasant. The sound does not stand out, however, and is merely competent and appropriate. In defense of snowboard game developers, this is an area where these developers would be hard-pressed to originate or enhance much, if at all.
The PSOne version of this game is completely different. That game terrible, this one is very good. I think it would've been smarter to rename this game in some way, either by calling it CB 2002, CB 2001 special edition, etc... graphics very good, smooth, and detailed. all-around good visuals. the frame-rate is very nice, this game looks appropriate, and not overdone. not a whole lot to say in this catagory, besides "good graphics" and "great frame rate". sound good music, and the riders all have their little comments to throw out there, such as: "ow, my butt!", and the like. i thought the music was a little on the quiet side, but it is still a very good job. the various effects sound nice to, and match their onscreen action very well. gameplay it can be hard to pull off a fast variety of tricks, but you can do the basic ones with the greatest of easy. this is a very good playing game, the best snowboarding game since old 1080 back on the N64. In fact, this game reminds me of that a great deal. the controls are "easy to learn, yet hard to master". This game is what snowboarding games should aspire to be like, I have played all I know of, with the exception of ESPN's game. The gameplay is flatout sweet. there's also different modes of play, and you can actually fight with other riders and shove(yes shove, not just bump into) them into trees and what-not as you race down the slope. buy? yes. i'm a snowbaorder and i highly recommend this game. so it is coming from someone who can really criticise this kind of game for what it is. DO NOT buy the PSOne version, that game is just plain lame.
UEP Systems has a long running snowboarding heritage spanning back to the earlier days of the good ol' PlayStation, with Code Alien marking the fifth game in the Coolboarders series, which also marks its first outing on the PS2. With EA's fabulous SSX already on the scene drawing in fans Code Alien definitely has its work cut out for it. The main core of Code Alien revolves around the Snowboarding Combined mode. This is split in to two separate events, trick and extreme, the latter being a no holds bar race. Whatever score you achieve in the trick mode dictates how much time handicap you receive in following race event, so its wise to pick a balanced character. There are also separate trick and extreme modes on offer that will allow you to practice your moves and explore the terrain to work out the best route to take. Finally there's the trick master event which serves as a kind of training mode, teaching you how to perform all the various tricks and moves on a never ending slope of jumps. There are seven selectable characters in the beginning, with three more secret ones to unlocked the further you get in the game, all with their own characteristics and attributes. Each character also has a selection of boards which can be used to enhance their primary abilities or level out their weaker skills, making them more of an all rounder. The major downfall of the game comes from the unforgiving margin of error and the slightly unresponsive controls. Once you get a few hours of practice under your belt you should be able to pull off the basic tricks with no problems, but try performing anything too complex and you'll most probably end up kissing the snow, and when your racing it isn't worth the risk. Too many falls can also result in your character retiring from the contest injured as you also have a life bar to contend with. The main reason why bigger tricks are difficult to pull off is the fact the windup peri
od is far too long. To perform say a 720 spin and grab you have to hold down the X button whilst pressing left or right, the longer you hold the bigger the spin, which depending on the skill of your boarder can be a few seconds. In the meantime you can't control your boarder, so you have to make sure you have a clean straight run at the jumps, which most of the time just isn't possible due to scenery. Also there is no "reset" player button as featured in SSX, so if you fall on a flat area you're left to build up speed under your own steam, which can be seriously frustrating when your in the lead and all the other boarders sail past you hurling abuse. Interestingly the game features a GT style license mode, which involves performing certain basic moves, with the odd trick, on a small section of slope, spanning ten different tests for each license. Completing some of the later license medals will grant you access to some of the higher snowboarding combined tournaments, and award you with a few extra courses. It starts off pretty gentle and you should be working your way through the medals with no real problems, but things start to get real tough when get reach semi-gold level. As Code Alien makes the tasks of performing tricks pretty difficult some of these later levels can be tough going. In the multiplayer department Code Alien caters very well, offering a banquet of neat varied two player split screen game modes. One in particular that was pretty fun was the Line Battle, where building up a lead over your opponent awards you with a larger portion of the screen, leaving them with the smaller portion. There were a few glitches and moments of scenery pop up, due to it being split screen, but nothing to annoying. One area the game really does stand out is its graphics. UEP Systems have taken a more realistic viewpoint over EA's SSX but that didn't stop the designers from creating some o
f the most gorgeous and outlandish courses ever seen in a snowboarding game. There are fourteen courses in total, seven trick and seven extreme slopes, which you can also race on at various times of the day adding a little variation. The Bottom Line... Sometimes Code Alien can be as unpleasant as being force fed yellow snow, mostly down to the unforgiving controls and physics, but it does have its moments and all-in-all it is not a bad game. It's not quite up there with EA's SSX, but it's not too far behind.