|a game by||Electronic Arts|
|Platforms:||Playstation 2, Playstation, PSX|
|Editor Rating:||7.1/10, based on 6 reviews|
|User Rating:||9.5/10 - 4 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Winter Sports Games|
I have to say that I am genuinely shocked at how good this game is. While the premise may sound a little unusual, and maybe even gratuitously, urn, "unique" you have to appreciate that this is one of the most original racing games that's come along in a long time. You'd never believe that 25 mph could feel so fast. Believe me...get one of these snowmobiles up to 3omph or more and it starts to feel blindingly fast. What makes things even more exciting though is the fact that the track design is so comprehensive. Every course in the two modes (straight racing and the motocross-like "SnoCross") is built to make sure you get as much out of the gameplay as possible. The SnoCross tracks are built to help you pull off some ridiculous stunts, while the tracks in the "meat and potatoes" of the game, the "open mountain" racing, offer so many hidden routes, secret areas and shortcuts you'll find that you go around the course a different way each time. This is a really tactical game, and when playing alone you'll find the opponent Al is unnervingly crafty. Choose multiplayer and you'll be able to enjoy the relatively unique experience of actually getting to plug your multi-tap in for a change. Cool. Graphically it's beautiful-smooth and sweet. As for the soundtrack, Rob Zombie, Econoline Crush...it's great.
Sled Storm is going to do for snowmobiling games what WipeOut did for futuristic racing games-make them hip. OK. maybe not, but Sled Storm is a damn good racer. It has tight controls, great gameplay and the graphics are easy on my eyes. The four-player mode is fun, but all too often it was difficult to see what obstacle was coming up. The frame-rate kept up though, that in itself was an accomplishment. I'm bracing myself for all those snowmobiling clones. Brrrr....
Sled Storm is really good. The physics and handling are right-on, not that I ride snowmobiles, but it feels accurate. Beyond imaginative design, the courses are full of shortcuts, diverse snowpack and killer jumps. It's easy to keep an eye on the upcoming path as well Four-player works well, not much slowdown at all. A good selection of upgradable sleds seals the deal. For a new genre racing game, SS has set a high benchmark for those to come.
It's easy to make a racing game based on something other than cars (like snowboarding, go-karts, etc.). It's not so easy, however, to do it well. But EA's Canadian team did it with Sled Storm-a not-so-common racing title in a fun and easy-to-play package. Sled Storm is challenging, has excellent graphics and maintains a speedy frame-rate at all times (even in the four-player mode for the most part). Overall, it's a racer to look into.
Download Sled Storm
Snowmobile racing not turn heads like NASCAR does, but Sled Storm should draw a crowd with its surprisingly fun extreme-sports action. Few extreme-sports games have delivered this kind of polish before, but this Storm comes on strong with exciting arcade thrills, cool tricks, and sweet controls.
Sled Storm pits you against three other racers on six supercross-style Snocross tracks and eight regular tracks. The well-designed courses are packed with sick jumps and slick shortcuts--you'll catch so much air that it's easy to spend half the race busting off stunts. Up to four players can race in the split-screen mode (using a multitap)--a rarity on the PlayStation--and single players can compete in two tournaments, earning the cash to upgrade their sleds with an impressive array of Gran Turismo-like upgrades.
Much of Sled Storms fun comes from its killer controls. These snowmobiles handle like the real thing, but not so realistically that they aren't fun. They aren't just cars in the snow, and the result's an exciting feel that racing pros will enjoy for its responsiveness and originality.
The game does have one flaw: the opponent A.I. In tournaments, long you spend your upgrade dollars wisely, it isn't too strenuous to come out on top. On the other hand, Sled Storm makes no bones about its arcade focus, so it's not fair to expect the depth and replayability of a sim.
The game's awesome animations also juice the thrills. The riders lean heavily through turns, slip smoothly off the sled for tricks, and splatter painfully across the snow during wrecks. The tracks are less eye-catching--they're hardly eyesores, but they tend to all look the same. Best of all, the frame rate's clean and quick, and the pop-up's minimal in the one-player mode--though in split-screen modes, the pop-up becomes much more problematic.
All told. Sled Storm's definitely worth taking out for a spin. If you don't plan on much multiplayer action, you may just want to rent it, but whatever you do, don't miss out on this absorbing adrena-n line rush.
- On Kodiak Canyon, veer right past the yellow caution sign Just after you see the bear to find a cool Jump and shortcut
- Whenever a bunny darts across the track, hunt that sucker down to earn a whopping 7500 stunt points.
- On Goat's Bluff, there's an important shortcut near the end of tin circuit Just after the steep climb-make the leap of faith into the gap to the red sign.
- One of the best upgrades early on Is the Sure Start, which lets you restart your sled without yanking on the starter pullcord.
- On Pine Valley, head left after the second patch of green ke and break through the ke wall for a key shortcut.
- When rating at night, It's worth laying out the extra cash for the halogen headlights.
Fluid animations bring the races to life as riders rocket through hair-raising stunts and crunching collisions. The tracks look solid and the races are speedy, but the pop-up in multiplayer races gets really distracting.
You'll crank up the thumping Rob Zombie tunes, but you'll mute the corny character voices. The in-race sound effects are respectable, but not amazing.
Sled Storm's controls nail the feel of a snowmobile with enough realism to be cool, not annoying. They're comfortable, easy to learn, and a big part of the game's fun.
Despite a few flaws, Sled Storm's addictive arcade racing, sharp controls, and outrageous tricks combine for some sizzling fun. The one-player game's a tad short on depth, but it's still a rowdy ride you shouldn't miss.
Electronic arts is delving deeper into extreme sports with Sled Storm, which lets gamers race snowmobiles (a.k.a. "sleds") on eight open mountain courses and six supercross-style SnoCross tracks. But these races are far from tame as sled-ders catch huge air, bust off 50-plus cool tricks, and trade paint like NASCAR drivers. The games coolest feature is its four-player split-screen racing (requiring a multitap)--a rarity on the PlayStation. Sled Storms snowmobile racing is definitely original, and as long it doesn't get mired in mud, it could attract an extreme-sports following.
So it’s the end of summer, the leaves are starting to turn colors but there likely isn’t any snow on your porch yet. You know you can’t wait for the first snowfall so you can pull out your mittens, parkas, and snowmobiles. Why wait? Go satisfy that snow urge now with Electronic Arts’ new snowmobile racing game Sled Storm.
At first glance, one might think this is just a racing game. While that is true, that’s only about half the story. The other half involves catching lots of air and pulling off insane stunts. There are several riders with their respective sleds that you can choose from when starting a race. Each rider has his or her own advantages and faults. For instance, one may have a fast sled, but that person cannot perform tricks as well as someone with a slower sled. If you’re good enough, you may be able to get vehicle upgrades and unlock special characters.
There are several modes of racing available including single races and championship races. The championship mode consists of two styles of racing: Open Mountain and Super Snocross. The goal of Open Mountain is basically to get to the finish line faster than everyone else can. Any points for tricks performed will convert to cash to upgrade your sled. On a side note, you will definitely want to look up the stunts page of the documentation so you can see how to perform them -- I found the information there very helpful. Super Snocross is a motocross style race where points are king. Points earned here will allow you to unlock special characters and sleds to race with -- there are no upgrades to existing sleds here. In addition to all the single-player races, this game also has the same races in multiplayer format. You can get together with up to three other people on a four way split screen. When playing two players, you have the option of either a horizontal or vertical split-screen. There are quite a few tracks you can initially race on. Doing well in championship races may allow you to unlock even more tracks. There are lots of other secrets in this game such as shortcuts that add to the fun.
The controls in Sled Storm are wonderful! This is the kind of control that you wish every game had. It is very responsive which is extremely important given the type of terrain you’re racing on. As you may have already guessed, the game supports the Dual-Shock Analog controller and does it well. The shock feature is handled quite nicely as you can feel the varying degrees of shock as you race across bumpy terrain. While the Dual-Shock Analog controller enhances the game, it isn’t required and this game still plays well even with a digital controller.
The interface is as easy to navigate as virtually every other game out there. If you can read, you should have no problems with it. Even if you can’t read, you still may be able to get through it as a lot of the options in the menus have icons, or pictures, next to the option.
This isn’t a game of dazzling special effects or explosions. There are some nice effects with falling snow zipping by your sled and also some really great looking stunt maneuvers. The ambience of the game is very nice. There are all sorts of canyons, mountains, rivers, ice fields, buildings, and bridges to speed through. The details of these places are very nice and are littered with trees, bumps, jumps, signs, and even some small animals running around. While it appears there’s nothing really groundbreaking here, the overall graphics are a definite plus to this game.
There’s a lot of it and it’s a bit noisy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the audio contains a very energetic soundtrack with music by Rob Zombie, Econoline Crush, EZ Rollers, and Jeff Dyck. Interestingly enough, you can select these audio tracks while waiting for your course to load. This CD is also set up so you can listen to these tracks in a regular CD player if you so desire. As with most games these days, you can adjust the music and sound effects volume to your liking. The sound effects are done well and sound as good as any other Playstation game, but there is nothing innovative or new here. Again, this isn’t a bad thing.
In a nutshell, Sled Storm is a fun game that’s hard to put down. This game should primarily appeal to race game fans or snowmobile riders, but don’t let that stop you even if you aren’t, as I suckered a few people that don’t normally like these types of games into playing it and they had a blast. With its nice graphics, great sounds, different racing theme, variety of tricks and tracks, and responsive controls, I give this game a score of 88.
The course is there, the sleds are there, the riders are there, the snow is there, the jumps are there, the shortcuts are there, so that leaves one question. Where are you? Odds are you are sitting down in front of your computer reading this review because you have heard a fair amount of hype surrounding this game.
Racing a supped up snowmobile across frozen tundra has always held an appeal for me. And much like the fantastical world that (most) snowboarding games take place in, I actually thought it might be fun to rip through a creative. albeit dangerous, course strapped onto a snowmobile. Dangerous cliffs, shortcuts galore, impossible jumps and other obstacles are littered across a game that, as it turns out, was slightly disappointing.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
OK, we (most of us) have all played some version of SSX. We either bought it, rented it, played it at a friend's house, or stood in front of the demo machine at the local game store. It was the first "killer" title on the now 18 month old Playstation 2. A slew of fans gobbled it up and the reviewers scored it well across the boards, Electronic Arts decided to up the ante and put out a sequel, much to the delight of the gaming public in general. SSX 2 was and is, awesome. It delivered it all in terms of gameplay and then still gave us more. Well, this time I think EA bit off a bit more then they could chew, and while their heart was in the right place, some nagging and annoying bits keep Sled Storm from becoming another winner.
At its heart, this game is in fact SSX with snowmobiles. You view the game from a A? view and must race a snowmobile course through several laps. This "course" is as crazy a race anyone has ever seen and would surely kill anybody who tried racing it in real life. Jumps that would make sky divers cringe, 500 yard drop offs, cliffs that fall into oblivion'you've seen it before, you'll see it again. Now at this point, I'm sure you are wondering why I seem to be putting this game down because it seems to possess the kinds of qualities one might want from a game of this type. Don't get me wrong'I get some enjoyment out of this game for several hours but it seemed to me that after a certain point (around 2-3 hours) my initial score of 84 started to dwindle as the game's flaws became more and more apparent.
The game suffers from the dreaded, auto catch-up feature. This is one of the most debated aspects in all videogamedom. And I, dear readers, have the answer (as if it wasn't obvious enough already)...simply put an on/off switch in the game's options menu for this feature. That way, purists can race the way they want and younger players can make the game a little bit easier. But what does this translate to in the game? Well let me put it to you this way?you will never clearly win a race even if you hit every shortcut, never wreck once, and never get pulled off the track. You will always win only by a hair. This ties in with the fact that you can even send one of the game's racers off the track and down a chasm, and they will still catch up to you, making your victory a narrow one.
This type of AI is fairly typical in the game. On more then one occasion I would get up from playing and have to walk away from the TV to prevent me from splitting my PS2 in half with an axe. Not only does the game's racers ALWAYS seem to ride the track's lines perfectly, but 9 times out of 10, if you happen to touch them (even a glancing touch), you will spill out all over the place. And if this isn't enough of a frustration, the game takes far too long to reset your racer back on the track and by then, you will undoubtedly fall from second all the way back to last place. It was simply infuriating.
On the plus side, I really liked the tracks and how they were laid out. Unlike SSX, these tracks were associated with laps (instead of one long run), and while those wacky shortcuts still exist, chances are you will be able to take them more then once if you have a sharp eye. You see, most hidden areas are represented by a gate that indicates and practically begs "take me, I'm a shortcut." Once you do however, the gate is destroyed and effectively disappears, prompting you to remember exactly where that shortcut may be and trust me, the first few times you race, you probably won't remember squat with everything going on in the race. The upshot to all of this is the fact that there is a whole boatload of shortcuts on each race. There were so many in fact, I don't think you could hit all of them even in a single three lap race.
The game's ultimate challenge (Championship mode) is to unlock every rider and every snowmobile. As you start the game, you can choose from one of the three available riders, each defaulted to a particular snowmobile that reflects their respective riding style (aggressive, passive, etc.). From there you enter the fray and are charged with accomplishing certain tasks in order to complete the race. A typical course reads something like this: You must finish first in order to unlock this course's hometown rider and finish 3rd or better in order to continue on the challenge. In addition, you must score a total of 20,000 points in order to unlock a new snowmobile. If this sounds like it could be difficult, don't worry, it is. Fortunately you won't need to accomplish all three of these things at the same time. You see, the best way I found to unlock as many things as I could was to just race the race, not doing any fancy tricks or hitting point markers'I just raced. Once I won, the game screen would show two of the three challenges with a little checkmark by it. From there, I simply would choose to not go on to the next race and would race the same course over again, only this time I would focus on hitting the big point tricks while taking the course a bit slower. Doing things this way would usually land me in last place, but since some of the point totals are astronomically high, it was the only way I could ensure unlocking all the snowmobiles which were essential in the later races.
Scoring points in SS was a bit tougher (initially). The game's courses are set up to use several large jumps during which you have an opportunity to perform some neck-breaking stunts, including some that would be impossible in real life. Using a combination of the four trigger buttons and the triangle button, you can do several tricks, most notably the front flip and can-cans. Completing these tricks will fill up the "storm meter" that is located at the side of the screen. The storm meter is used to give you an additional boost of power so you can really launch off of those jumps and/or ram opponents from behind in order to knock 'em out of your way. Timing a full boost of storm meter with a particularly large jump will enable you to perform two tricks, thereby creating a combo, which racks up even more points. Doing tricks gives you points and by daisy chaining two tricks, you earn even more points. One last thing'if you do not mix up your tricks you'll notice that you don't get the full point amount., That's the game's way of telling you to mix up your tricks.
Well, the thing that stands out most in my mind are the courses themselves. They are an awesome blend of traditional racing action and wildly entertaining suicide jumps. On one of the game's earlier courses that takes place on a huge iceberg, I found a shortcut that launched me onto a giant derelict ship that was trapped in the ice. It's these kinds of nuances that make the tracks so much fun. Next, the frame rate was top notch, a blistering 60 frame per second pace that never seems to bog down.
The riders and snowmobiles look good when they are selected from the menu screen, but seem to loose some of the vivid colors they all seem to possess, once they enter the actual race.
The two announcers that call the race really started grating on my nerves, but I could see their purpose when I stood back and watched others race. EA was looking for the widest audience and the comments made by these two guys were clearly aimed at the pre-teen crowd. As far as the actual racers go, they all say some sort of comment that reflects their character's racing style. Snowmobiles sound a little light in the engine department, unfortunately. I've been on plenty of these bad boys and know for a fact that they churn out some really interesting sounds when they are being ridden like a maniac.
I liked it, I hated it, I liked it, I hated it. This game reminded me of my junior high girlfriend. It possesses some really fun parts but the package as a whole just isn't all there. The courses were original and I liked all the shortcuts the game contained, but the auto catch up feature and seemingly "perfect" AI really started to give me some heartburn. If you loved SSX, you will ultimately be disappointed. If you haven't played SSX, you will probably like this game more then I.
My suggestion'rent it first, as the game can be beaten easily in two days.
The original Sled Storm (PS1) won our hearts with rock-solid gameplay, great track designs and a square emphasis on racing. It may have been tame compared to this neo SledStorm, but the formula worked really well. I have to say I’m disappointed EA didn’t stay with the proven SS plan. This bad boy is, without a doubt, an SSX disciple. Everything from the gigantic free-fall drops, to the familiar red arrows that line the curves scream SSX. I’m not saying that’s bad; in fact, it’s probably a smart move by EA since more people played SSX than the original Sled Storm. But before you blab to your pals that this is just SSX with snowmobiles, let me tell you if it lives up to that. Lots of SS’s gameplay mechanics don’t really work; it gets too fast and chaotic at times, leaving you disoriented, out of control, and bouncing off objects like a pinball. I would gladly sacrifice some speed for a smoother framerate and more control. The tracks are peppered with precarious cliffs, oddly placed poles and other objects to fall from or collide with-they’re very frustrating. At its heart, though, SledStorm is good, basic fun -not SSX fun, but fun just the same. You won’t stop playing until you’ve unlocked every hot-rod sled and track you can-it’s tough, but addicting. Two-player is also decent for a lighthearted laugh. Think of SS as SSX’s spastic and somewhat dim-witted cousin. He means well, but doesn’t quite live up to family standards.
Bearing almost no resemblance to its more realistic PSi forerunner, the new SledStorm borrows heavily from SSX’s mix of extreme characters, radical tricks and glitzy razzmatazz. However, it’s not just a clone-the fundamental gameplay beneath all that pink snow is decidedly different...but different isn’t always good. An overly complex control scheme (have fun using eight buttons at once, sucker!), frustrating A.I. and a small repertoire of tricks constitute some serious bummers. Also, the difficulty skyrockets after the third race. Slick presentation and bountiful replayability help to balance out the bad, but truly, I’d rather be playing SSX.
Oh goody, yet another SSX clone. And much to everyone’s surprise, just like Jonny Moseley before it, SledStorm doesn’t quite meet any of the standards set by its snowboarding precursor. The tracks aren’t as cool or impressive-looking. The tricks aren’t nearly as varied or easy to pull off thanks to the new element of having a throttle and brake to deal with. And the huge turning radius (even using the “sharp turn” button), unreadable jumps and blind curves you encounter while you’re careening down these uninspired courses don’t scream “must play” to me. I suggest simply running through SSX Tricky again instead.