Review by Tenshi No Shi
"Is that a penguin in your pocket, or are you just happy to be snowboarding?"
I still remember the commercial for this game. It was a funny little skit about this nomad who traveled through the desert looking for snowboarding opponents. No one could beat him at it. Then it turns out that its not actual snowboarding but a new N64 game about the sport call 1080 Snowboarding. The commercial stood out in my mind so much, when I went to the store to check out new releases, I decided to buy it (despite the fact that I normally dislike this sort of game).
There's no real story to 1080. You pick a boarder and race other boarders to prove you're the best. Each character has his or her own background as to why they're doing it, but this isn't really conveyed in the game, so it's of little consequence.
I'm still amazed to this day by the graphics of 1080. Despite the fact that it came out over two years ago, I'd still match its standards to most games hitting the store this day. Though the technology wasn't available for 1080 Snowboarding to benefit from the use of the Ram Pak, you'd swear the game couldn't get any better. The rich and detail courses will give you much to look at. Although you might not want to stare too long, as nicely as your player animate, you still don't want to watch them spill.
The sounds of 1080 can best be summed up with a single word: unmemorable. Aside from the typical set of grunts and swishing sounds, you won't find much going on here. While it's not all that bad, it's still very uninspired. As for the music, well don't expect to find anything worth tapping your toes to. I spent many of my games cranking Metallica with the sound of the game turned off.
Controls for 1080 can honestly be described as nearly perfect. I've played a few snowboarding games now, and have yet to find a controller layout and implementation as well done as this game. Most tricks are a breeze to execute (though you may find your hands in extremely unnatural positions if you attempt an actual 1080) which makes for some high scoring games. Smooth and precise, you won't find yourself asking for any better.
The whole design of 1080 Snowboarding just smacks of detail. So much thought went into the making of this game, that you could tell they wanted to provide the ultimate experience. With all there is to do in the game, you'll find yourself playing it for quite a while just to try a perfect every aspect of snowboarding that the game has to offer. A truly wonderful and slick package.
Through the course of playing 1080, you will unlock three more players and a new board. While this might not seem like a lot, you haven't lived until you slide down the side of a snow-blanketed mountain on the back of a penguin. Yup, the secret board is a penguin. A funny sight and well worth the price of admission.
Be you fan of the sport or die-hard racing junkie, this game is for you. If you are just looking for something unique and fun to play (as I was) you might want to check into this title. What you find may surprise you.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/05/02
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