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XBox Reviews: Amped 2


Amped 2 Screenshots


The Final Say!


Amped 2
 - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Score: 9.2/10 
Distributed By: Microsoft

It's always a nice thing when a title bearing the number 2 after the title itself is actually better than it's predecessor and Amped 2 is certainly the case in point here. The best realistic snowboarding game on any console so far has just gotten better folks and I am more than glad to tell you about it in my own rambling way.


With titles like this there are always going to be the comparisons to EA's SSX series, which on the other end of the scope would be my favourite fantasy snowboarding game bar none. Super tricks and feet unclipped, Tricky goes a long way toward rocking my world when it comes to this sort of game. That said however, Amped 2 raises the bar in terms of realism and puts style over frantic substance.


I've got to get one thing out of the way first before prattling on about graphics and the like; Amped has 300 music tracks on it for you to thrash about to! I don't think I have ever come across a game with this many in the one hit, not even Grand Theft Auto Vice City has this many. Indie artists prevail and I can guarantee that there will be one or two of these performers that you will try to find more of their stuff after hearing a track or two from this game. That said, you can still use the custom soundtrack feature to pump your own tracks if 300 tunes ain't enough for your ears!


The main star of this show aside from the boarders themselves would of course have to be the mountain that they are traversing. This time round, the mountains are open and sweeping with absolutely dynamic draw distances truly making you feel a part of something huge. It seems that despite how good the first Amped was, that it's been given an overhaul for one of the most polished snowboarding games I've seen.


A new mode has been given to this title and it's one that I thought was great as I would have to be almost the world's biggest Tony Hawk fan, and that's the snowskating mode where the board isn't clipped to your boots as it would be in conventional snowboarding. Don't get me wrong, the game hasn't gone all SSX on us, you are still bound by physics and gravity which means that if the board goes into the air, you need to grab it or lose it, which of course is in line with real life as well. I loved the fact that you could then perform kick tricks onto other surfaces to rail them.


Player detail and environments are so crisp and clear that you can almost feel the steam rising from your breath when you are playing. Animations for the most part are very smooth and fluid, however there is the odd occasion, like when you take a tumble that the animation seems to skip a frame or two. It's nothing major and barely noticeable.

Amped 2 is also online with XBox Live and the online element is well thought out and a lot of fun. There is a leaderboard that can be accessed which in turn lets you know who rules the slopes across the entire planet, making competition a very interesting concept and something that transcends all demographics. Online modes should have something that appeals to everyone so there should be many a happy camper out there when they pick up a copy of this title.

An innovation which has made it's way from Tony Hawk world is the trick called the Butter, which lets you link tricks in much the same way as a revert to manual would in Tony Hawk. Conceivably this method would allow you to combine tricks to rack up even higher scores making for some insane combo possibilities. Just make sure that you land the tricks and let the combo take care of the rest. It's a great addition and possibly the only real fantasy element to the game unless someone out there is good enough to actually do them :)

Playing the title is a sheer delight from start to finish and as I keep saying, this is yet another reason to justify getting online with XBox Live. It's truely one of those experiences that you are not going to believe how good it is until you get the chance to have a go of it hands on. With extra content to download and the chance to use the XBox communicator headset to smack talk your online buddies, Amped 2 both in the home and online is the best way to hit the slopes in the non ski season. I recommend this game and know that folks out there will have an absolute ball playing it.


- Tory Favro

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