The fact that so many people are going crazy over the extreme sport known as snowboarding these days probably goes hand in hand with the recent barrage of snowboarding games being released on nearly every game system. Some of them are just for fun, others capitalize on the trend by being flashy with no substance, while still others are a solid, more realistic product. 1080 Snowboarding from Nintendo is one of those solid snowboarding games, but also incorporates plenty of fun.
The elements of this N64 cart that make it so darned good are many. First, the fact that the game is developed by the same team that did Wave Race 64 (with Shigeru Miyamoto as producer) speaks for itself. Next you have the virtually flawless graphics, awesome sound effects and smooth control. Chris McGill from Nintendo puts it like this: "It's like real snowboarding without the snow down your pants." That's saying a lot, but at this point we have to agree.
1080 sports six modes of play: Match Race, Time Attack, Trick Attack, Contest, Two-player Vs. and Practice. The Match Race is the meat of the game where you compete against a series of computer opponents across three difficulty settings on a number of tracks. Next we have the Time Attack Mode which lets you race against the clock, trying to make it down the track as fast as possible. Similar to this is the Trick Attack Mode where you not only have to make it through gates to increase your time limit, you also have to perform tricks for points. There's also a Contest Mode where you compete in five different "events" including three slalom courses, a halfpipe course and the Air Make jump (which is this HUGE ski-jump ramp). Then there's a Two-player Vs. Mode which is just that--two-player split-screen action. Lastly, there's the Practice Mode where you can learn how to do some mondo snowboarding tricks.
In the Match Race, there are three difficulties to complete: Normal, Hard and Expert. These aren't like difficulties that you can set though; these difficulties represent the kind of courses that lie ahead. The Normal difficulty mode includes Crystal Lake, Crystal Peak, Golden Forest and Mountain Village. Hard includes all of the courses in Normal and a new course Dragon Cave. Finally, Expert Mode includes all of the courses in Hard and another new course, Deadly Fall. Even though you race the same courses in each of the later modes, the difficulty and time of day changes. In each mode, you get three boards which act as your lives.
The game has a total of 15 different courses to race on, although you don't race on all of them in one mode. Out of the 15, a total of nine of them are unique. These courses include: six downhill courses, a half pipe, the Air Make and a practice course to learn some moves. The practice course consists of both a half-pipe and a series of jumps. The two are connected so you can go back and forth between them.
All of the courses feature different kinds of snow to board on-well, actually some aren't snow at all. Certain courses will have you snowboarding on pavement, grass, ice and quite a few others. On top of this, look for nifty effects in each of the courses like falling snow, lens flares, tracks from your board, snow sprays when you hit a patch of powder and helicopters flying above as you go down the course.
Without characters to choose from, the game might get a little boring. That's why 1080 allows you to choose from five racers, each with his/her own nationality and attributes like Technique, Balance and Power, among others. On top of these five, there are three hidden characters to unlock. All of the characters' moves were motion-captured ensuring realistic movement when they're doing their authentic snowboarding moves. Some characters are better at certain moves than others due to their abilities. A constant with all of the racers is that they all have a damage meter. For example, when you smack against a rock wall or don't land right, your board sustains "damage." When it gets all the way down, that board is done--you lose one "life." If you don't finish a difficulty mode in three boards, then you have to start from the beginning. Choose your board wisely, too. Certain boards are better at downhill action than they are at stunts. There are eight authentic Lamar boards to choose from, some that are essentially the same board just at a different length. Like the players, each board has its own attributes, except each includes Acceleration, Control and Stability, among others.
Download 1080° Snowboarding
There really isn't much wrong with1080 Snowboarding. The overall graphics are the best on the system, and all the problems I have with the cart are minor. Note that it takes a LONG time to master the controls--and you'll have to master them if you expect to beat the game. Maybe it's just me, but the game's Expert Mode leaves little room to screw up. When playing, I get annoyed when I seem to be perfectly lined up to land, but I end up flipping over for no apparent reason (even after the experience of 20+ plays). Another minor problem is the hit detection. Once in a while I'd come close to a rock and still hit it even though I didn't seem to be that close. This seems like nitpicking, but when you're trying to win a race, every little mistake can count toward your possible loss. Also, don't expect much from the 2P Mode--it could better. Still, as you can see, these problems don't affect my score all that much. And yes, there are plenty of good points. The graphics are magnificent. When you're coming over a ridge and the sun pops up, causing lens flare just as powdery snow blows in front of the camera--it's just awesome! When you take the graphics and put them with the incredible sounds and Rumble Pak support, it seems like you're actually on the slopes rocks!
1080 Snowboarding is like the icy equivalent of Wave Race 64, but with less courses and a much steeper (and potentially frustrating) learning curve. The graphics are beautiful, and the control is almost perfect, but with only six courses total and a select few secrets to open up, you'll be begging for more after just a few days of play. Still, the Two-player Mode is fun, and what IS here is awesome. If only it was bigger...
1080 is a decent game (and a lot less stressful than learning the real thing--at least for me). The game has solid graphics, intuitive controls and lots of variety. But a little more variety would've helped. The half-pipe is the only event I really loved; doing tricks is the best part of the game. I would've liked to have seen multiplayer races that required tricks. A Four-player Mode would've been nice as well. Otherwise, it's not bad.
While 1080's cosmetic appeal is obvious, it's not until you realize some of the subtleties of the gameplay that this truly proves itself. The controls are virtually flawless--while the boards are hard to control at first, the game makes you feel rewarded when you master stunts. Couple this with the incredible way the Rumble Pak conveys the different textures and you realize just how good Nintendo is at creating an overall experience.
One of Nintendo's two surprise games at Space World (the other being NBA Basketball), 1080 Snowboarding shocked everyone with its amazingly rich graphical detail, smooth control and overall polish that only an EAD game could provide.
Developed by the same team that brought us Wave Race 64, 1080 Snowboarding is one of several snowboarding games on the way to the N64 in the coming months. So far it seems to be the best one. There were three tracks to choose from at the show (there are supposed to be at least six in the final version), and three different boarders to race as, as well as (you guessed it) three different snowboards to race with. There's a Match Race Mode, a Time Attack Mode and a Score Attack Mode (just like Wave Race), and two players can go head-to-head via a split-screen in the game's Two - player Mode. The most amazing part of 1080, though, is the graphics. Everything looks incredibly realistic, from the path your board leaves in the snow to the photorealistic scenery in and around each track. And control with the N64's analog Control Stick makes everything move smooth as silk. It truly looks awesome.
1080 is scheduled for a February release in Japan, and it WILL be coming to the U.S. soon after, so be sure to check back for a full preview of the U.S. version as it nears release.
- MANUFACTURER - Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- THEME - Sport
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Regular readers will probably have realised that I don't have much time for snowboarders. This is probably down to my antipathy towards posers in general who spend a great deal of time, money and effort to show off about something that is essentially pointless. That and the fact that, no matter what designer label they might have on them, anoraks are for trainspotters. Any snowboarders out there will probably have it in for me now, but since the worst they can do is try to dazzle me with their luminous nylon trousers or blow marijuana smoke into my face I'm not desperately worried.
After saying that, it'll probably come as quite a surprise that I'm now vaguely considering a bit of a foreign trip to somewhere with mountains, snow and a place to hire silly woollen hats, though one junior accounts clerk from Telford trying to talk like a Californian surfer and I'll be on the first flight back. The reason for this slight softening of my attitudes? Nintendo's 1080° Snowboarding (that's pronounced ten-eighty, not one thousand and eighty), the latest game from the team that produced [Wave Race](/games/wave- race-64/) and hopefully the Big N's return, to form after the disappointment of Yoshi's Story.
The Wave Race connection should give you an idea of what to expect. If you're hoping for dozens and dozens of different courses, then you're going to be sadly disappointed. 1080° Snowboarding's pistes number a mere six, with a couple of training and stunt courses thrown in as well. What it does offer is, like Wave Race, probably the most realistic simulation of the real sport you're likely to get without blowing a month's wages on a pair of uncomfortable sunglasses.
Once again, Nintendo's decision to whack an analogue joystick on the N64's controller has proven to be the best idea in videogames since the invention of the fire button. Trying to reproduce the feeling of control you get in 1080° Snowboarding using a straightforward digital d-pad would have been all but impossible.
A great deal of time has been spent to give the boarders a realistic sense of balance. Turning your boarder isn't just a matter of pushing the stick left or right and watching them change direction. Instead, the analogue stick is used to alter their stance and centre of gravity, which gives you absolutely precise control. When you're hurtling down the slopes at anything up to 200kph, whatever that might be in real money (divide by eight, multiply by five, don't hit tree – doh!), this is exactly what you need. A slight lean forward or back is enough to keep you on the right track most of the time, but if something more radical is needed, the further you push the stick the more your boarder leans over. Push it right to the limit and your boarder will start 'edging' the board, which is nothing to do with lawns but instead runs the board on its side rather than its flat base. Very sharp turns are possible this way, at the cost of a lot of your hard-earned speed.
Holding the Z trigger makes your racer crouch down, increasing speed but making it harder to steer. Knowing when to go flat-out and when to rein it back a little in order to avoid doing a Sonny Bono is vital. You also need to learn how the different types of surface affect your board. Bottle ice obviously offers the least friction, but it also makes it very hard to steer. On the other hand, waist-deep drifts of powdery snow slow you down a lot, which at times can be useful if you need to cut your speed in a hurry without making any risky manoeuvres.
This variation in the surfaces of the courses provides scope for something previously thought impossible - making the Rumble Pak an aid to gameplay instead of an annoying gimmick. You can play io8o° Snowboarding perfectly well without it, but when it's plugged in it provides an extra bit of feedback about the snow beneath your board. Since one patch of snow looks pretty much like another, this can be a great help in finding the fastest route down the course until you get familiar with it.
Man, I Am Sooo Baked
If straightforward racing isn't your thing, but instead you prefer to show off to everyone just how cool you are, there is also the option to perform tricks. The more impressive your midair stunts, the more points you score. The Trick Attack game can be played on the normal courses, making use of those halfpipes and ramps that only seemed to be there for decoration, but there are also two courses specially designed for showing off.
Most of the tricks, such as the depressing 'melancholy' and the dodgy-sounding 'stiffy', are performed by simply hitting B and a direction while you're in the air, but the impressive spins from which the game takes its name require some stick gymnastics. A simple i8o° spin only needs to you hold R and push the stick to the left, but to get the full 1o8o°… well, here goes. R and an anticlockwise spin on the stick, followed by the same plus B, then again with Z as well. That's three complete circles and three button pushes in the correct order, and after all that you've still got to make a perfect landing as well or you don't score any points!
Personally, I didn't find this aspect of the game all that gripping, but then I wasn't a big fan of all the stuntery in Wave Race either. If trying to accomplish the almost impossible is what turns you on, then you should find the stunt games in 1080° Snowboarding a real challenge.
As well as the Trick Attack games, other options on offer include the Contest game, which turns the tracks into slalom courses where you have to wend your way between flags (missing a flag costs you valuable seconds), a training track where you can practice jumps or the halfpipe, and of course the two-player game.
This manages to be almost as fast as the one-player game, although the amount of detail suffers. Trees are felled, some of the trackside fripperies like spectators do a runner and the fog has wafted in from Mount Turok. Despite this, the head-to-head game still keeps the superb control over the boarders that makes the one-player game so much fun. It's a pity there isn't a four-player game - Snowboard Kids managed it - but having to work out the physics of four people moving around at once would probably have been a tall order even for the N64.
If 1080° Snowboarding sounds good so far, that's because it is. It's not perfect, unfortunately. For a start, the snowboarders are idiots. Well, I didn't want to say it, but... just kidding. What I mean is that the computer-controlled players, while perfectly capable of making their way from the top to the bottom of the course and giving you a good run for your money as they go, have absolutely zero common sense. It's as if they don't even realise that there's somebody racing them. If you're running neck and neck, there's a very good chance that they'll plough into you and knock you down - not out of malice (although the addition of a 'brutal elbow to the windpipe' button would have been highly amusing), but simply because you're on the path they've decided to take. Worse still, once they've knocked you down, usually going over themselves, they're still intent on following the same line, so as soon as you're back on your feet they ram you again. All the time this is happening, your damage meter is rising!
I also suspect that there's more than a little Mario Kart-style cheating going on in 1080° Snowboarding as well. You can get off to a great start, power down the slope without a hitch while hearing your computer-controlled opponent slam repeatedly into trees, rocks and buildings, glance at the course map about three-quarters of the way down to see a gap wide enough to fit a couple of glaciers between your and your adversary... then miraculously, as you enter the final stretch, a little bobble hat will pop into view at the bottom of the screen, followed a moment later by its owner blasting past you. Son of a...
This happened often enough, on different tracks, to make me realise that it's quite deliberate and not just my boarder taking a bad line. Frankly, it pissed me off. Even though it seemed to happen in reverse as well, with the N64's boarder all but stopping and waiting for me to catch up if I was doing particularly badly, I'd rather the game played things completely straight instead of messing around just to keep the two racers within sight of each other. If I'm losing badly, let me lose - I'll learn from it and do better next time. If I'm winning by a mile, don't magically strap a Sidewinder missile onto my rival's board to keep up the challenge in the final stages. This kind of crap completely ruined Mario Kart 64 for me, and though it's nowhere near as blatant in 1080° Snowboarding, the fact that it becomes more and more obvious in the harder stages really takes the fun out of the game. What's the point of struggling to beat the computer if it's just going to cheat to keep up?
1080° Snowboarding is certain to be the best of the N64s snowboarding games. However, it does have the faults mentioned above, and I'm also dubious about its longevity. All but one track was opened up within a few hours of play, and it was only sheer frustration with the computer-controlled boarders' dodgy tactics that kept me from keeping on trying to reach the final course.
That aside, if you want a Nintendo game that takes itself totally seriously for a change, and also gives you probably the most perfect control method yet seen in a simulation, then 1080° Snowboarding is definitely worth buying. Catch some air, duuuuude!
You won't get board with this!
The better part of a year after it was released in Japan, 1080° Snowboarding is now finally available in Britain. That's assuming you didn't buy the Australian version three months ago, of course.
For the uninformed, 1080° Snowboarding is - shock! - a snowboarding sim, where with the help of a well-waxed plank and Earth's gravity you race from the top of a snowy mountain to the bottom as fast as possible. Thanks to the Nintendo controller, io8ovs Japanese incarnation was the best videogame simulation of snowboarding ever, and the UK version is just as good. The feeling of control over your boarder has yet to be bettered by any other game. It's possible to tell just by looking at your boarder's stance if they're balanced for optimum speed, and for once the Rumble Pak isn't just a gimmick - plug one in for 1080° and you can actually feel the condition of the snow as you slide over it!
There isn't a four-player game, but even as a two-player battle, 1080° still delivers. A few of the trackside details disappear to help keep the speed up, but it's a sacrifice worth making, as the multiplayer game is just as fast as the regular one. Since each course has a fairly chunky selection of alternate routes to the finish, there are plenty of opportunities to pull a fast one and leave your challenger eating yellow snow.
1080° Snowboarding's only real problem is the small number of courses -there are only six in all, plus a couple of small stunt tracks, and it should only take a couple of days to see the lot. The computer-controlled boarders are also as thick as posts, and keep banging into you and damaging your board without suffering so much as a scratched Oakley themselves. Quibbles aside, 1080° Snowboarding is one of the best sports sims around. Extreeeeeeme videogaming!
Again, Nintendo outslides all of the World's snowboarding games.
For me, playing sports games usually ranks up right up there with Saturday evening TV in the brain-numbing tedium department but I'll make an exception lor 1080°. Adding those secret Nintendo gameplay touches makes all the difference and it's a real test of your analogue stick skills.
Because Golden Forest is one of the loveliest computer-generated sights I've ever seen. And it's by far the best snowboarding game ever. Cool Boarders? Schmool Scmoarders.
To get all the tricks, enter Training mode and choose a simple trick. Perform the easy trick off a ramp. In mid-air press Right-C (to re-enter the trick list) and choose another tnck (one that you can't do normally). Press A to reenter the game and land on the snow. The CPU will think you have performed the more difficult trick This little quirk can be used to acquire all the tncks and unlock the secret characters.
Playable and polished snowboarding game from the Wave Race team which looks great and plays extremely well. Try a little powder!
Question: How do I perform the hidden tricks in 1080° Snowboarding?
Answer: To do those tricks, you must be playing as the Panda character. To access this secret character, you must first get a high score on all the courses (including the trick courses), in all three places. Then, go back to the character select screen, highlight Rob Haywood, press the A button once to bring up his stats, and then press Right-C and then A again to select him. Choose your board as normal, and once you start the course, you'll be playing as the Panda.
Stomach-whirlingly good, but it takes a while to get into. Still, stick with it and that familiar Nintendo magic shines through. Great.
Crystal 'boarder: win race mode under the expert difficulty level and finish better than all the CAD scores. Now select Akari Hayami. hold Left-C and press A.
From the masterminds behind Wave Race 64 comes 1080 Snowboarding, a phenomenal game that does for snow what Wave Race did for water. If you're looking for the latest thrill, the next great N64 game is here.
1080 starts its run with six racing tracks, a halfpipe, an Olympics-style jump, five boarders, and a fine selection of rides. The racing's intense, addictive, and great fun as you battle through three tournaments to unlock tracks and other secrets. Along with the strong two-player action, a cool Tricks mode lets you rack up points by pulling off stunts like the stalefish, the shifty, and yes, the 1080-degree spin.
1080's not perfect--the sounds could be better, the controls have a significant learning curve, and doing tricks means typing out somewhat tedious combos (like in a fighting game). Still, it's the kind of great game that's worth snapping up as soon as it's out.
- Head into the trees at this junction on Golden Forest for a challenging but fast deep-powder shortcut
- If you nail this tricky jump on Crystal Lake, you'll land on a much faster run.
- While a few jumps require you to lean back to land, most of the time you only need to match the angle of your board with the angle of the slope, then nose forward just a touch.
- On Mountain Village, the fastest path through the top of the course is to stay to the left, jump down into the icy stretch, then head straight through the house and jump over all the moguls.
1080's simply gorgeous. Breathtaking snow effects, such as the fluffy spray of deep powder, combine with lifelike animations and cleverly designed courses to deliver a visual extravaganza.
Not many games have tu controls this tight. Whether you're slicing through turns or bagging big air, 1080 superbly duplicates the experience of snowboarding. Because it's realistic, mastery requires practice, but the payoffs there.
The sounds have a good day on the slopes, but they're definitely the game's weakness. While effects like the rasp of your board crossing ice heighten the experience, the lame voices and repetitive music get old.
With thrills like shreding the slopes, busting off slick tricks, and dusting a friend in the great two-player mode, 1080's tremendous fun. Tight gameplay and replayability mean you won't regret a penny spent on this game.
1080° Snowboarding brings extreme sports to the N64 from the same team that developed Wave Race 64. With Nintendo game master Shigeru Miyamoto calling the shots, these slopes are looking slick.
Boards To Be Wild
Snowboarding's burning up the slopes, and now 1080° Snowboarding's about to do the same to your thumbs! To play this impressive-looking N64 cart, you'll pick a pro from five slick 'boarders and choose a deck from eight actual snowboards. Hardcore 'board freaks will dig the Lamar Snowboard license, which enables you to choose an actual production deck from one of the top board-makers in the business.
1080 is primarily a racing game, as you tackle six tracks, blazing down mountains, twisting through slaloms, ripping through forests, and, of course, attacking a humongous halfpipe. Plus, you can take on a pal in two-player split-screen mode. In the preview cart, the analog stick provided smooth, intricate control. The snowy scenery was postcard gorgeous and, of course, cool. Speed junkies will get off on the supersonic animation and awesome acceleration as you go aggro down 45-degree angled terrain.
Now if a 360 is one complete spin, a 1080 is.. .well, you do the math. It's an extreme move, and to pull one, you'll have to master many more. The early cart features 29 stunts which you can string together like combos. Training mode lists all the stunts and displays the button presses, too. There's even a Freestyle mode, where you blast off a monster ramp to try to pull multiple air stunts. No word yet whether you'll be able to pull handplants in the halfpipe though. Just the same, 1080's looking like an extreme challenge with extreme fun.