Game Review – Shaun White Snowboarding

610xtggv6tl__aa280_Have you been itching to hit the slopes with a giant tongue depressor strapped to your feet, but not sure if your insurance will cover the broken bones?

Well the solution is simple: play the game instead.

I’m not sure it’s a realistic representation of snowboarding, as I have never been, but who wants realism in a game where you get to hurl your self down the mountain doing flips and jumps?

I’ll tell you all about my experience with the PS3 version of the game on the other side…

Pick your person, male/female, facial type, and gear up, then your ready to hit the slopes. (I like that the female character type is as diverse as the male type. Thanks for thinking of us guys)

Right off let me say it was hard to get the hang of the controls. For the first few hours of the game play I spent a lot of time wincing and cringing every time I propelled my player to the ground in some pretty painful looking wrecks. I was confused for a while as to what the goals were but there are hints and tips aplenty and eventually I figured out the map and the player log, and how they relate to one another to guide you through the game.

This game is not for the easily frustrated. If you suspect you may be one of these people, then I would suggest you rent it first to see if you like it. If you are the kind of player that likes a challenge and will not give up until you get the hang of it then this is a good game for you.

Once you master the controls, you’re ready to start doing challenges. Huge hint: you can save yourself a lot of time struggling with the death match if you figure out how to throw snowballs before you hit that challenge. I have to admit it is rather satisfying to peg someone with a snowball and watch them go down or to land a double back flip off a cliff and see the ‘sick air’ sign pop up on the screen.

The soundtrack features such artists as Social Distortion, Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Airplane, Stabbing Westward, Living Color, Heart, Dunk, and Loverboy… just to name a few. It never got on my nerves, forcing me to resort to silenced play. The dialog and commentary in the game will make you see stoned surfers in your mind but some of it is mildly amusing.  While I can only speak for the Park City resort (I do live in Utah) it is very true to the place.  While I was playing someone actually said to me “that looks like Park City”, so kudos to the developers on the scenery.

One of the things I really like about this game is that each of the four resorts are open from the start. There are challenges to complete and events to master on each mountain, but you can bounce from Park City to Europe, Japan, or Alaska at any time just free running. You can ride the lifts or take a helicopter to different places on the map, boarding the mountain all you want without ever doing a challenge. I also really like that when you go into the game again and choose the resort you can run the half pipe while the game is loading. You can, in fact, run the half pipe for as long as you want to before pressing the ‘x’ button to move into the game.

I have run into a couple of glitches but none of them were enough to make me throw down the controller in disgust, or make me hard boot my system to get out of them. Once, I was starting a race and became stuck in the starting gate and had to wait for the time out to restart the event. Another time, I got stuck in a spot between a building and a tree.  I have seen a few places where you get background popping in as you travel but not so much that most would notice it.

If you like snowboarding games in general, this is a must add to your collection. Overall, I am having a good time playing this game. I am looking forward to figuring out the few things I haven’t gotten to yet.

This game is available for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, PSP, and on PC (Windows Xp/Vista) so everyone can play.

Leola Royce is an Assistant Editor at Bag Of Mad Bastards, and a celebrated artist in Northern Utah.