If you want to shred the white waves of an endless winter, be on the lookout for CoolBoarders. Choosing from three runs (beginner, advanced, and expert), you race the clock while navigating some narrow trails loaded to the extreme with obstacles like trees, rocks, and bottomless cliffs. Of course, there's plenty of air to catch, and the more radical your moves, the more points you score. The game controls are super tight, and the graphics are also sharp, despite some breakup. Options include being able to pick your board, style of clothes, and gender. While you can't race against other boarders, the game is still very addicting. Look for it to carve its way to the U.S. sometime this winter.
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Ah yes, another year another Cool Boarders. After five editions you'd think it'd be perfect. Years of experience and countless hours of refinement have cultivated in a masterpiece right? Not quite. Like so many others that are waving bye-bye to the PlayStation, Cool Boarders 2001 will probably only appeal to its most loyal fan base (maybe). For everyone else it's same oP, same ol'. That's a jaded view, but if you haven't noticed, SSX has broken the genre wide open (it was a long time coming), so that every normal snowboarding game appears to be just that-nor-mal--not to mention dated. If that doesn't bother you, keep reading. While stunning originality and jaw-dropping gameplay won't be used to describe CB 2001 (not by a long-shot), it's not all bad. The halfpipes are decent fun. Pulling off big-air maneuvers is entertaining (at least for a few minutes) but viewing the same cookie-cutter tricks over and over gets stale fast. The longer, more intensive slalom courses only compound the problem. They require that you find trick sequences; sometimes they're obvious, other times they're super hard to find--it gets frustrating. The dumbed down tricks interface (they all are nowadays) works OK, especially for button mashers but again, the tricks aren't awe-inspiring. The final buzz-kill: The graphics are chunky and nondescript. Hold your cash for SSX or the flashier PS2 snowboarding games to come.
I can imagine the boardroom meeting when Cool Boarders 2001 was being designed. The boss didn't have a clear vision, so everyone raised their hand and threw out ideas taken from games that were successful. Maybe even the marketing department got involved. This game tries to do everything, and it does absolutely nothing. It has a few simulation elements, it rips off Tony Hawk, it even borrows a few things from Road Rash (you can shove the competition while skimming down hills). Just about everything is over-the-top. but doesn't feel like it is. The only saving grace here is its soundtrack, but why not just buy the music CD.
It's getting more and more difficult to pick up and play soulless updates to games that were never that great to begin with. The Coolboarders franchise peaked with number 2, and 2001 moves me about as much as a bowl of granola. The variety of modes is utterly predictable, and the control is definitely no Tony Hawk. Knowing that, is there any reason to slap down the 50 bucks it would cost to play this "xtreme" game? Nah. The graphics are absolutely basic, the inclusion of licensed boards and whatnot means little. Clearly a marketing-driven product that needs a kick in the ass for even showing its face on the slopes. I care not for this game.
Some people call it a I lifestyle. Others call it I insanity. No matter what you call it, hurtling down a slope at incredible speeds with nothing but a flimsy fiberglass board to keep you on course is certainly a unique experience. You take your life into your hands with every bone-wrenching drop, and some might wonder whether the rewards are worth it. But that's snowboarding, and it's grown increasingly popular worldwide over the past few years. Until now, no home video game has really capitalized on the snowboarding market. That's about to change: enter Coolboarders the new title from Japan's UEP Systems, which is setting up to take over the snowboard niche in a big way. Snowboarding is huge in Japan, and Sony Computer Entertainment officials are seriously considering bringing out Coolboarders over here-with a few cosmetic changes and possibly a name change.
This game will feature four different courses which will offer a variety of obstacles, like jumps, cliffs, moguls, trees and even some huge boulders that you'll need to slalom your way through. You'll be competing in a timed race, but you'll also score points for pulling off one of the ton of different tricks available to you, like the Stale Fish, the Late 180 and the Melancholy Grab. It's unclear whether the time or the points will be the factor which decides who wins the race, but it's certain that both will be important. It looks like you'll be able to select your own gear, as well, which is sure to add personality to the game. When you win you should be given points that will allow you to upgrade to a newer snowboard.
The contestants will be presented as fully 3-D texture-mapped polygons, which should allow for realistic, fluid animation. The backgrounds look vivid and should complement the foreground action well.
Although it's still early in the development, it looks like this game will capture the feel of the snowboarding experience. Fans of the sport should keep an eye out for this one.
Show off on the slopes and score big
Coolboarders will give players the chance to live out their snowboarding fantasies on a number of treacherous downhill courses. The courses will feature a load of jumps and obstacles which will give you a chance to show off your talents. If you nail a trick, you'll be awarded points, which will probably be used to upgrade your gear, letting you purchase new boards and accessories.
- MANUFACTURER - Sony
- DIFFICULTY - Variable
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Snowboarding has finally made the transition from the cold, snowy mountains to your warm, comfortable living room. Sony's Cool Boarders lets those of us who prefer the warmth and safety of our homes over the cold mountains and broken legs, experience what it is like to hop on a snowboard and pull some gnarly moves.
So step up, strap on 10 different snowboards, and attack five different courses. Each of the tracks are 3D texture-mapped and are supposed to give you the realest experience next to actually being on the mountainside. There are plenty of jumps to pull off, a host of snowboarding tricks like 180s, 360s, flips and spins. Choose between male and female characters as well as their boarding garb. Cool Boarders will leave you somewhat satisfied, but still dreaming of what it could have been.
Cool Boarders straps you to a snowboard and pushes you down the hill. As with real snowboarding, when you first start off, you fall. You get up and fall again. After you get the feel of the board, you can go straight for a while. When you get to a turn, you fall. After about 10 races, you will start to get the hang of turning and not falling. Going fast and doing tricks is still a long way off.
The basic idea of Cool Boarders is to try to make it to the bottom of the slope with a time that allows you to qualify for the next race, and to do enough tricks to add to your total trick points. This is not easy. Even on the novice setting, you can make the whole run without crashing and still not qualify. If you do manage to qualify, you will move on to the next track and start in on this one. After you qualify on all three tracks, you will open up two new tracks and four new boards to select.
The clock is only one aspect of the game. I found that it was far more exciting and fun to forget about qualifying and try to pull off some serious stunts. You can fly off jumps and pull a 180 or even a 360. That's nice, but pretty boring. It gets real fun when you try some of the more difficult moves. Trying to do a 360 while holding your board -- now that is where the excitement begins. Most of the moves are difficult to pull off, and the scoring system is less than forgiving if you try something and fail. Also, I pulled off some moves that I thought were very difficult and got rewarded with lousy scores, and other times I would miss a jump and do some lame move and get a good score. After a while, the inconsistent scoring goes ignored as well. I just wanted to impress myself with the cool moves.
For anyone familiar with snowboarding lingo, let me tell you what moves you can actually pull off. Now to the rest of us English-speaking gamers, this may not make a whole lot of sense, but we need to try and understand. The first move you can do is a Tail Grab. This is just a standard, grab-the-back-of-the-board-while-in-the-air move, easy to do and not too impressive when done alone. The next moves are the Indy Grab, Mute Grab, Stale Fish Grab and the Melancholy Grab. Each of the moves are different types of moves that can be performed after soaring off a jump or cliff. Now performing any of these tricks alone are fairly routine and boring. The fun part is trying to spin or flip while doing a grab. It is rare that you will pull one off, but if you do, you will be high-fiving everyone in the room.
I have to be honest and say that when I first played this game, I was less than impressed. The controls were difficult and it was almost impossible to qualify for the next race, even on the Novice setting. After playing the game more, the controls became a little easier, with still a few rough edges. When I decided to focus more on the tricks than qualifying, that's when the game got fun. I found myself dying to try different moves off jumps. It was almost like I was out there in real life, waiting on the damn chairlift just so I could make another run. This is where you will find the most enjoyment in the game.
One of the two things that really bothered me about the game was the fact that if you hit anything, you are bounced around like a pinball. This was very annoying, because it would take forever to get turned around and headed back down the hill while bouncing off rocks or fences. This could have been worked on a bit more.
Cool Boarders uses texture-mapped, 3D tracks and polygons for the characters. The graphics are all right, but do suffer from quite a bit of breakup and tweaks. The mountains and the backgrounds look very believable, and you do get the feeling of shredding down the slope. The replays are also cool, because you can see all the tricks you pulled off from different angles. There is nothing better than seeing your 360 looking up from ground level.
This is the second area of complaint I have. First off, the music is good. I really like the alternative tunes that were selected. They are a good mix that fit the game excellently. My problem was with the commentator. His annoying surfer/boarder voice made me want to shoot myself. The limited sayings were repeated over and over. I wanted nothing more than some original sayings or clever comments after a crash. Instead, we are stuck with the same repetitive crap. You will be reaching for your mute button faster than you can fall off the face of a cliff.
Cool Boarders is a pretty fun game that should have been a lot better. The tricks are awesome and the music fits the game perfectly, but the annoying commentator and the difficulty in qualifying for races keeps this game from being a must-have. The idea is great and I think that this will open up a whole new market for the PlayStation; I fully expect someone else to follow the path and release a similar game. Hopefully, they will learn from Sony's mistakes and make the game what Cool Boarders should have been.
Racing down the slopes at breakneck speed comes Cool Boarders, a PlayStation snowboarding thrashfest.
Boarders select from three tracks and six boards, then glide their thrasher toward designated checkpoints while pulling serious aerial maneuvers in an attempt to beat the best times and trick scores. Once these feats have been accomplished, you're rewarded with access to more boards and tracks to race on.
The controls allow for tight handling and make performing tricks a breeze. Although the graphics show minor breakup, they're still well animated in the popular polygonal style. The music fits perfectly; however, the announcer never stops making mundane comments.
If you can't go big on the mountain, do some shreddin' at home with Cool Boarders. It's a fun ride.
- If your boarder starts to slide, let up on the directional pad and they'll straighten out without slowing dow n.
- To pull off the best tricks, start your jump just before you reach the edge of the cliff.
I predict that we'll see a lot more games like this hitting the console before long. EA's working on its Shredfest, and Namco's got Alpine Racer in an arcade near you.Tapping into this exciting genre is UEP.
The Tokyo-based UEP is just starting in the video-games realm and hopes to take the sporting-game world by storm with this nifty little title, Cool Boarders. Featuring some excellent graphics and smooth scrolling, Cool Boarders will feature four downhill tracks of varying difficulty on which you can perform a variety of tricks and maneuvers.You can choose from a couple of different characters, and three types of snowboards, all of which are designed to perform differently. At this point the game is about 50 percent complete, and it looks really nice.There are some really nice backgrounds, plus what can only be described as a wacky commentator. Cool Boarders will be hitting the stores in Japan this August, and will hopefully be landing on our shores shortly after.