X2 Snowboarding [rating: 4.5/5]
Just in time to cash in on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver X2 Games have released X2 Snowboarding, which on the back of their success with X2 Soccer, brings a lot on eager anticipation with it. So does it take the gold medal or does it not even make the qualifiers?
I lived through all the variations of the SSX range of snowboarding games which for me really set the bar on high quality snowboarding games and while I’ve been waiting to play an iPhone version of SSX I’ve been waiting for another app to fulfill my snowboarding fix. There are plenty of other snowboarding games in the app store already but none of them have hit the quality and, if I may, “radness” of SSX…..until now!
While graphics in games aren’t everything they do look rather stylish in X2 Snowboarding and very much in keeping with the genre. From the cartoon style cell-shaded graphics to the intense snow effects the game looks wonderful and I often found myself shivering at how cold the whole game looks. The navigation menus are clean and simple and navigating them is easy.
There are 6 mountains in total and 6 characters each with unique skills to choose from and while 4 of the 6 mountains will need to be unlocked by your progression through the it’s nice to find that all the characters are available immediately. While they do all have a variety of skills covering speed, a couple of them are maxed out and you’ll find yourself playing solely as those characters. There are also a variety of boards to unlock although they only change how your board looks and doesn’t add to your speed or skills.
Each of the 6 mountains contain 3 game-play styles, freestyle and race are the standard styles and need no explanation while the third is Trick-Race, a combination of the two of styles where you have to perform tricks to stop your score reaching zero. For me the speed and thrill of the race is as simple and as great as it gets but what is great about X2 Snowboarding is how easy it is to pick up and play and yet still have enough of a challenge to keep you coming back for more, especially in the freestyle and trick-race modes.
The first thing you notice is how slick the steering controls are, moving your character via the accelerometer feels like second nature as is your control of your characters speed via tilting the iPhone forward and back to slow down. There is a virtual button on the left side of the screen is used to make your jumps and anyone who has played similar games will feel perfectly at home with these controls.
Once you have some air tilting the iPhone will generate flips and spins while two snowboards with appear on each side of the screen allowing you to make your grabs. Add in half-pipes and rails and you’ll be performing all the tricks your hero’s are performing in real life, just with the risk of injury!
Each of the events also include an ability to slowdown the action for a short period of time giving you an edge on pulling off that big trick or navigate a tricky route. All is not lost if you do mess up though as there is also a rewind option that will see you whizzing back up the slope a short way to allow you to try again and perfect your move.
Achievements are including in the game but only in the form of pulling of different tricks and so doesn’t offer any specific extra value to the game but it’s not a huge issue esp. considering that as well as the 18 different events there is also a multi-player option where you can strut your stuff against your friends over either Bluetooth or Wifi. There’s no online multi-player at present but it is promised in a future update.
Snowboarding in real life has a huge music connection so it’s great to be able to play your own tunes in this game so you can rock out to your favorite tracks as you speed down each of the mountains.
There is no doubt in my mind that X2 Snowboarding is the best snowboarding game available in the app store right now and if the Olympic Games has got you the slightest bit excited about winter sports then this will fulfill that excitement perfectly. X2 Snowboarding gets our Gold Medal for sure.
- Slick Controls
- 6 Unique Mountain Environments
- 18 Different Events
The Not So Good
- No online Multi-player…..yet!
Reviewed By: Craig Willis