Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Racing games were all the rage during the age of Nintendo 64. Many memorable ones come to mind right away, Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, F Zero. However, there were other obscure racing titles that not too many people remember, namely 1080 Snowboarding. I spent endless hours beating my sibling and friends in a downhill snowboarding battle to the finish. Playing 1080 again brought back all the great memories of the decade. Let’s take a look and see how it has stood against the test of time.
Firstly the graphical prowess of this game was immediately noticeable. I was expecting the same old boxy feel I get when I go back to play most N64 games after over a decade but in the looks department, this game has really kept up. Yeah you get your typical sharp lines and pixellated blurred features, but lighting, shadows, and movement are better than expected. The animation of the characters during cut scenes and in-game play add an overall depth to the title that is hard to find during this time period in gaming. You can tell that the developers really spent time on the feel of the title and it’s overall really well done.
When the player first starts out they pick a rider. All riders in the game have different states which are marked by tick points in the areas of technique, max speed, balance, power, and jump. Secondly, the player will choose a board with the same tick points marked in the areas of, edge control, acceleration, response, stability, and flex. Depending on the combination of board and rider, there is a variable amount of strategy that the player can use while racing down the slopes. Add in the fact the rider can take damage and must actually stay balanced on the board during gameplay, as well as being timed, and you have the perfect mix up for a beautiful snowboarding title.
The sound effects and music in this game really involve you as well. Heavy metal and hip hop music give the extreme sport feel that the player is looking for. The music selection is classy and still stands the test of time today. You can here the rider crunching snow under foot as the board slides over hills and valleys, and some voice acting was created to give the riders unique personalities. It’s the little things that really bring out the success in this title.
While a straight race against the competitor is my favorite way to enjoy the title, the game does offer time attack, trick attack, contest, and training options. The game offers over 25 tricks which can not only be fun but create an advantage during race gameplay. It’s helpful for the player to actually practice these in the training mode as they don’t count unless you land them right. Because the control scheme of the game is highly advanced practicing these tricks is a necessity. The slope of the ground, angle of the board, and balance of the rider all come into play when either landing a trick, or just landing off a jump slope. The only issue I have with control in this game is the odd first person option. It’s difficult to pull off and really not necessary. They could have done without it.
The stages and course design are very well done as well. There is an added aspect of difficulty that comes with the change in weather during play. You never know if you are going to be engulfed in a white out, or having a clear sunny day. each course can be started in a random variety of environmental differences which only adds to the pure joy of this title. With eight stages, some of which have to be unlocked, the player is sure to have a guaranteed in-depth experience.
Really I haven’t played a snowboarding game since this title that I’ve liked as well. The developers heart was in this and as a player I could really tell. 1080 Snowboarding has stood the test of time. With availability now on the virtual console at $10, and the original title costing $5-$15 depending on condition there is no reason not to enjoy this classic title.
1080 Snowboarding Gets
4.5 Out of 5
+Sound effects and music
+good choices with staging
-Using first person is pointless
-Tricks could have been more involved during 2P vs. mode