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Overview

Trick'n Snowboarder (Tricky Sliders in Japan) is the second snowboarding game from Cave and unlike the first, was developed for the home market rather than adapted from an arcade release. As such, more emphasis has been placed on expanding the single player experience through a unique story mode in addition to including a multiplayer component that had been missing from the previous game. Also, the game was published by Capcom for the home market; while the previous game Steep Slope Sliders had been distributed by Capcom in arcades, it was published by Victor and Sega when it was released at home. With Capcom handling the home publishing duties, it was possible to include three Capcom characters as hidden bonuses within the game.

Gameplay

Controls remain unchanged from the previous game; the player is able to independently rotate their snowboard from their character's turning by using the L and R buttons while the directional pad is used for turning/leaning and in helping determine which trick is executed. Again, there are buttons for jump, grab and flip.

New to the game is a ten stage scenario mode where the player joins a film crew to record snowboard videos around the world. The player is required to hit certain types of stunts at specific points and/or is required to meet a certain point goal prior to the end of the run. At three points within the story, the player is approached by a challenger that must be beaten on the course just played. Challenges range from outscoring the opponent on the half pipe, getting more trick points for a single jump or simply racing to the bottom of a difficult course.

Two player versus mode makes its first appearance in Trick'n Snowboarder, as well. Players can choose to play each other via horizontal or vertical split screen and if desired, via the Playstation link cable. All of the courses are available for any game mode, such as racing to the bottom or scoring the most points.

Characters

There are three hidden characters, each from Resident Evil 2:
  • Leon Kennedy
  • Claire Redfield
  • Zombie

Throughout the Scenario Mode, the player runs into the following characters:
  • Ashley - Ran into in Russia during the night time "One Jump" competition.
  • Majagh - Competes in Canada during the half pipe competition
  • Jack - Races the player down the X-Treme slope in Italy

Reception

Despite Steep Slope Sliders' relative success with reviewers, Trick'n Snowboarder faced a harsher reception. The previously lauded control system that reviewers called easy to learn was now considered by some to be awkward due to its differences from Cool Boarders 3 and other snowboarding games on the market at that point. Gamepro said, "The controls take a bit to get used to" in their review while Gamespot reviewer Nelson Taruc more positively stated, "This makes for highly fluid control, making the game very easy to play while giving it an accurate feel. At no point does the gameplay feel mechanical, which is a great plus".

Legacy

Trick'n Snowboarder would be the final Cave snowboarding game released in the US. Its successor, Snowboard Heaven remains a Japanese exclusive title and despite not resonating with critics or being particularly successful in sales, Trick'n Snowboarder has since developed a positive reputation amongst fans of Steep Slope Sliders who are only now discovering of the game's existance ( link). 

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