Snowboard Kids 2
Snowboard Kids wasn't really broken, but Atlus went ahead and fixed it anyway. In this age of barely tweaked sequels and no-frills upgrades, Atlus has created a worthy follow-up by lending the single-player mode some much-needed depth.
Snowboard Kids 2's four-player race is a highly strategic, intense multiplayer challenge with no fall off in Its performance.
The Snowboard Kids formula is essentially 1080 meets Mario Kart: You control cartoony characters as they plunge through loony environments while performing tricks and assaulting your opponents with power-ups. In SK2, Atlus has added boss stages and special games to stir up the mix. Now you might have to race a giant dragon, bomb an angry snowman, or nail your paper route between levels.
Although the single-player game is extremely compelling and surprisingly addicting, it falls into the same trap as many RPGs that require "leveling"--you'll often need to rerun courses to accumulate enough money to buy a board worthy of the next level. Its busy work, and it blows.
Like the original, SK2s high point is its split-screen four-player Battle mode, which will send you catapulting and careening past your buddies with no slowdown or drop in performance. You can even import your saved information from the Story mode and use the high-performance boards you've earned.
SK2's courses are fluid and attractive, suffering from no clipping or draw-in, thanks to winding turns and speedy interior/exterior changes. Despite the game's visual pizzazz, such as the underwater racing and stomach-churning falls, the wonder is somewhat diminished by Mario 64-ish pastel textures. Likewise, the utilitarian weaponry effects are a bit uninspired. Why only 10 power-ups?
Catchy music and amusing, if overly cute, character voices highlight SK2s soundtrack, but the run-of-the-mill sound effects lend no assistance to the already struggling weaponry graphics. SK2 succeeds best with its core gameplay, which is augmented by an excellent interface. The pinpoint controls are highly responsive and easy to learn, while the variety of tracks forces you to choose your board and racer wisely.
Bring on The Bosses
Snowboard Kids 2 is a kiddie-oriented, cartoony game with addictive game-play and intense challenge. If you can stand the childish cut scenes and cutesy characters, SK2 will keep you shreddin' for weeks on end!
- Be extremely precise when lining up your shots in the paper route game. Don't run out of papers before you reach the last house!
- Only use the rocket or the fan on stralghtaways-if you hit an obstacle, your momentum is gone.
- For your first race, start out with the speed board. It'H get you down the straight hiH the fastest
- Take a hop off the starting line to get your momentum going-the first racer to reach the weapons has an early advantage.
With no draw-in and almost no clipping, Snowboard Kids 2 shreds! Copacetic environments and cowabunga multiplayer contests with no slowdown rule the hill--but better textures and weapon effects would've been clutch, dude!
An intuitive trick interface, controls that correlate directly to your racer, a good Training mode, and subde Rumble or Controller Pak support help Snowboard Kids 2 nail control like Thor's hammer.
There's something special about the kiddie-style screams of agony from your opponents when they feel your wrath. Catchy but repetitive music and utilitarian effects comprise a soundtrack that's neither disappointing nor impressive.
Snowboard Kids 2 shines with more of that kiddie-style Mario Kart-on-snowboards action that somehow manages to rock. Only some frustrating elements, like rerunning courses you've already beaten just to earn money, hurt this otherwise fantastic game.
Download Snowboard Kids 2
Quick to capitalize on their success with last year's N64 sleeper hit, Snowboard Kids, Atlus is already putting the finishing touches on the upcoming sequel. Snowboard Kids 2.
If you've played the original game, then you know what to expect here. Snowboard Kids 2 isn't all that different from the first game, though the programmers spent a lot of time making several minor enhancements and improvements to an already very solid game. This time around, there are more characters to choose from, more courses and power-ups, and a central town where you can go to buy new boards, participate in cool mini event stages and customize your equipment. The main core of the game hasn't changed, though--you still need to collect coins to purchase power-ups on each course, which in turn can be used to pound the crap out of your competition. Of course, our favorite aspect of Snowboard Kids is its four-player Battle Mode (which is similar to Mario Kart 64's), and that's back as well, with new courses and power-ups.
Snowboard Kids 2 supports the Rumble Pak, and saves right to the cart, so there's no need for a Controller Pak. It should be on store shelves this February, so if you were a fan of the original or are just itching for a fun, Mario Kart-style multiplayer experience, watch for it.