termite's 1080° Avalanche (GameCube) review

1080 Avalanche review by Termite

Game Review: 1080 Avalanche

1080 Avalanche is a Gamecube game released on December 1st 2003 and is the sequel to the rather popular Nintendo 64 game 1080 Snowboarding.

The gameplay is very racing based, unlike other snowboarding games such as the SSX series where tricks are the main attraction. The races take place on numerous stages and pit you against another computer player or human player in a race to the finish.

The races are divided up into a few different difficulties and there is a fair number of tracks for you to race on. There are also different characters with different attributes to choose from. These characters also have unlockable snowboards and outfits. Every character even has a special character with exactly the same attributes that you can unlock. All of this is fine and dandy and some people like me for instance might feel the urge to unlock every single thing present in the game, but this plethora of stuff seems to be in stark contrast to the actual length of the game.

This game is short, very short. I breezed through all the difficulties and tracks in one or two sittings. While you might think it would be remedied by all those unlockable goodies, I don't think it is because most normal people simply aren't going to be trying to get them. I just had to get that out of the way quickly, as that is surely the game's worst point.

Anyway, on to some more positive aspects of the game. The graphics are very nice for a Gamecube game and the track design has lots of nice looking scenic areas for you to snowboard around. Especially good looking is the Avalanche. There are I believe 2 avalanches that you can encounter in the game, the first one you might miss however ( I haven't been playing the game in a while so if this isn't so, sorry ) and the second one is at the end of the game. These avalanches are really exciting and are a centerpiece for the game.

The sound is arguably even better than the graphics. It has a pretty large soundtrack, filled mostly with rock and alternative songs which can really get you pumped up for a race. And you can choose which song you want to listen to while at the loading screen, which just makes it better.

The game controls well, and I didn't encounter any problems with that. The whole "Spin the joystick when you lose balance" mechanic is kind of badly made however. Basically when you land a bit off center you have to spin the stick to get back upright, and this whole sequence is in slow-motion. But the problem lies in the fact that not only are you viewing this is slow motion, your character actually is in slow motion. So if it's a close race a slightly missed landing can cost you the game ( Which, as you can guess is not very fun ).

The trick system is rather dull, which is no surprise as the game isn't centered around tricks but more around racing. You won't find much to captivate you here. The reward for pulling off enough tricks is that you can become invincible. Well, by invincible I mean that if you fall you recover instantly and if you bump into an opponent you send them flying into the air and then they will crash, which can be quite useful. You will lose your invincibility after you do either of these things though, and I found myself not really needing these powers at all as the game isn't especially difficult.

So, if you don't mind the lackluster length I think you can enjoy this game quite a lot. It will also help if you are the sort of person who likes items and unlocks and stuff like that, because if you do that will significantly increase the length.

Overall: 4/5

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