Twisted Edge Extreme Snowboarding
If your snowboard has a twisted edge, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Radical dude! Blastin'! Heavy-duty slammln' man! Way to lose it, loser! Er, sorry, but play Twisted Edge Snowboarding for too long and you too will find yourself slipping into the puffa jacket vernacular.
Twisted Edge Snowboarding has been thought of as a potential 1080° beater, and now it's finally arrived. Graphically, it does look a lot nicer than io8o°, although it suffers from some rather bad clipping if your boarders get too close to the edge of the tracks.
Initially you get to choose from four different boarders and four different boards. Each time you complete a stage in the competition mode another boarder and a new board becomes available. You have a rather limited choice of courses to begin with, as these are opened up by playing through the various modes. Mind you, as in 1080°, there are only a few tracks in total anyway. Twisted Edge offers just six competition tracks and one half-pipe. Where it pips 1080° at the post is on the courses themselves. In 1080°, as you moved up through the difficulty levels you simply played the same tracks again. In Twisted Edge, although you play the same tracks again, they each get longer, and features on the tracks change. More alternative routes open up on each track, allowing you more choice as to which way you go. In addition, more hazards are added as you get better at the game, such as the tunnel on one of the tracks which is fairly nondescript the first time that you play it, but has icicles dropping from the roof the second time around.
The very first thing that becomes apparent about Twisted Edge when you first turn it on though is that it's rather lethargic. That is to say, it takes quite a while to get going. Despite the fact that the boarders start the course by dropping from parallel poles, they don't seem to pick up speed very fast.
At first it almost seems like you're missing something - like you're using the wrong button for accelerate or something - but then you notice that the CPU players have the same problem. It takes some time before characters can reach their full speed and even then they don't seem to be moving very rapidly, certainly nothing like as fast as the characters in 1080°, despite the fact that the speedo at the bottom of the screen announces a speed of upwards of 50 mph.
This is because there is no speed control as such in Twisted Edge Snowboarding. If you crash on a fairly flat area of the course, it takes absolutely ages to get going again, and you can pretty much guarantee that any chance of getting a good position has been lost.
Generally Twisted Edge is a lot more forgiving than 1080°. The boarders can happily slam their boards against the walls and the barriers and - providing you're tilting your board a little at the time - don't crash. However, this has almost been overdone because in some places it's possible to actually pass whole parts of your character's body -head or arms for example - right through a rock outcropping or metal barrier and keep going.
Stunts in Twisted Edge are a lot easier to accomplish than in 1080° too, although at times too easy! It can be quite annoying when you're trying to take the lead in a downhill race only to have your boarder suddenly perform multiple mid-air backflips because you inadvertently touched a С button.
Two-player mode is well implemented and doesn't seem to suffer any slowdown, and the viewing distance is pretty good. However, the generally slower pace of Twisted Edge Snowboarding just makes it much less exciting than 1080°. Maybe if 1080° hadn't come out first... but even then, the boarders in this game would seem slow. Maybe the speed of the characters in Twisted Edge Snowboarding is really quite realistic. Maybe that's the speed that people really travel down mountains in real life. But what it means in this case is that Twisted Edge Snowboarding just doesn't have the thrills of 1080° Snowboarding.
2nd rating opinion
1080° was a good game, but it had some problems. So what does Twisted Edge do? It adds more problems of its own! The boarders feel like robots, not people, and the painfully slow recovery from even the tiniest mishap quickly gets unbearable.