Review by QXZ

"OOH! That’s one nasty spill!"

Snowboarding has become a phenomenon within the past few years. Here comes the N64’s first ’boarding game, brought to you by the “brilliant minds at Nintendo”. 1080°’s the first N64 entry into the ’boarding genre, it's also similar since it's not a very good game at all.

Nintendo touts that “1080° delivers snowboarding action so real, you’ll be checking your nose for frostbite”. I certainly got a cold feeling from the game, but I’d like to ask them, “How the heck do you guys define realism?” Finding anything realistic in 1080° is an arduous task, and there is nothing I could find that could prove these guys correct.

Culprit #1 is its stunt mode. Immediately out goes realism, in, twice as fast, comes frustration. Question: If it’s so damn “realistic”, why can’t I perform a two-in-one grab/spin move? Answer: Stunts can only be pulled off one at a time, but there is no way to intertwine a spin and a grab. Worsening this further is that the boarders are a bit on the unresponsive side, so you’ll eventually pull of an indy nosebone when you really want to perform a method or any other grab. This is shameful. Very shameful.

Surprisingly, the board’s sturdiness grows weaker. Mainly because I hold, in my mind, the hardest, most critical piece of non-circumstantial evidence against this game's claim of “realism”: None of the default characters can perform flips. Of course, when you say you promise “snowboarding so realistic”, you have got be feeling so humiliated that you can’t expose your face.... Mainly because you had forgotten that the most intense, the most awesome, the coolest tricks of them all are flips.

What’s more, judgment in landing the stunts is inconsistent. Having nailed certain landings, the points were wrongfully delayed until they thought I had landed when, in fact, I should have been dubbed in the clear. Certain times have also passed when I know that I blew a landing on certain tricks, only to be awarded for it. Literally, I had fallen down on a couple of stunts, and the judges thought to themselves, “Heck, let's just award the points to him out of pity. What do you say, guys?” “Why not?”

1080°’s credibility takes, perhaps, the most critical blow by the box falsely advertising over 25 stunts to perform. With the standard characters, you're given just over twenty. Despite my overall feeling toward the stung mode, and I still stand by these exact opinions, it’s mildly entertaining, but peaks out at mild (or at the 50% mark). If these words don’t convince you, good luck having fun.

As a racer, however, 1080° falls hard. Never does any of the six available differentiate from being straight downhill. Thus making the only thing necessary for victory is just keep pressing Z and hammering that thumbstick. Two things would have vastly improved racing: 1. Implementing slalom courses; 2. Having more racers on the field, and not just participating in these races mano-a-mano. Neither were included, so races are always boring and never become exciting. This also brings further lower believability in the physics. Racers who get too close for comfort will only bump each other if and only if their bodies make contact — the boards are virtually non-existent. So what was already a pathetic racing mode is now totally and complete garbage.

To be fair, there is a little bit to admire about 1080°. For one, the visuals are an admirable effort with good representation. Each character looks nice, and their animations are very smooth, with the rush of the wind blowing through your suit at high altitudes, although seeing the suit flap all the time would give a better feel of zooming down the slope. I also thought that the audio was a mite catchy — especially the training course tune.

1080° is immediate boredom within a few mere minutes after popping it in your 64. Despite a promising start, 1080° has no substance, and replay value is close to being completely empty. Raceboarders should avoid this one entirely. Stuntboarders, despite minimally amusement, can also avoid this with no worries. It’s unfortunate that the same guys who produced WaveRace made this smoldering pile.

1080° will work as a Friday night to Sunday morning rental, it ain’t worth a whole week, let alone half. By choosing never to play 1080°, all you are doing is saving yourself from a piece of N64 software that only wants you to think it's cool when, in reality, it’s anything but. You really would be doing yourself a favor.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/13/01, Updated 03/14/02

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