Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: 1080° Avalanche

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre Image1080° Avalanche is the sequel to the excellent 1080° Snowboarding, released for the Nintendo64, way back in 1998. But how does the GameCube version fare? It was developed by Nintendo’s in-house studio NST and published by Nintendo in 2003.

The core of the game is Match Race mode, with Novice, Hard, Expert and, once these are completed, Extreme Challenge modes. In eachElectronic Theatre Image challenge there are races against another snowboarder plus, after all of the races, a ‘bonus’ course. These include getting down an extremely fast course within a time limit and boarding for your life as you speed down a mountain top with an avalanche licking at your heels! These are incredibly fast and intense moments as one mistake will find you falling under 10 feet of very cold snow, it’s a pity there are only a few of them within the game. There’s also Gate Challenge where you have to go on a course and get to each Checkpoint within a time limit while going through gates along the way. Trick Attack is where, you guessed it, pull off loads of tricks to get on a High Score Leaderboard.

The game places much more emphasis on speed than trickery, giving an awesome sense of speed with your boarder’s clothes flapping insanely around in the wind as you rocket down that last slope towards the finish, and speed lines sprawl out around you as your boarder charges along at 100kmph on a thin piece of wood. The tracks themselves are amazing, with loads of ways variations to which route you can take, for example you are presented with some stairs. Do you go straight down them, losing speed? Grind down the handrail? Or take the small turning a few meters behind you and go around? The Artificial Intelligence makes excellent use of this; every time you play they do the track a different way, taking a different turning here or grinding there or even falling down over there.

The Trick System is limited; a variety of spins and grabs are present, but their stability versus scoring ratio is rather unbalanced. Usually you just end-up holdingElectronic Theatre Image down the R Trigger and screwing around with the Face Buttons until you land. It may be shallow, but it remains one of the best examples in the genre.

There are five racers, with four Boards each which you unlock in Time Trial mode. All the racers have different stats (the Boards effect them as well) that effect turning, acceleration speed, etc. Each actually handles differently, with slight variation further added by your choice of Board.

However, the title’s longevity seems to be quite abruptly stumped. It’s too easy early-on and there’s not enough meat in the Challenge Mode for it to last more than a couple of hours, but that’s what the other modes are for right? There’s also a Multi-Player mode with allows Split-Screen and LAN gameplay. Its alright, you can’t play on all the tracks and the sense of speed is lost as the speed lines are absent and the detail lowered substantially, but its fun for a short blast with some mates.

The graphics are mostly beautiful, the characters clothes and Board look amazing as they flail around in the immense wind, the snow effects are nice as well. However, there are a few dodgy textures on the environments, and on some parts of certain Character Models. There’s also some wavering in the frame-rate; when things are going fast and buildings and mountains are whizzing past the whole thing slows down slightly, it also happens a lot in avalanche Electronic Theatre ImageLevels. But the environments are very coloured and mostly very pleasingly detailed; the whole game has a very appealing aesthetic. The sound is gorgeous, with the swish of your Board rushing through the snow and an avalanche bringing up the rear all crisp and exciting, and a decent enough echo of the air whooshing by. The lines the boarders themselves can be a little irritating, but that’s often the case. The real magic comes in the soundtrack, with an adequate collection of Licensed Rock and Techno songs to play while you race, and the ability to choose it before each course.

Overall 1080° Avalanche is quite a neat little package. While it may be short, its immensely good fun. With the title now available on Wii’s Virtual Console, and available for next-to-nothing on it’s original host console – with which, of course, Wii is backwards compatible – until the arrival of Shaun White’s Snowboarding with it’s Balance Board compatibility, there’s no better choice for Nintendo fans.Electronic Theatre Image




















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